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Hints from Heloise: Be considerate when calling grieving families

SHARE Hints from Heloise: Be considerate when calling grieving families

Dear Heloise: Please advise your readers to be considerate and discreet in regard to a grieving/hurting family. I have once again been in a situation and was appalled by the inconsideration of many people. They perhaps meant well.

A family may receive many phone calls, and it can be very tiring. Please don't make late-night or early morning calls, and limit the length since the family is receiving and sending many calls.

If each caller wants to talk 30-60 minutes, it disrupts a day very much. Please ask at the beginning of the call if the person is in the middle of something important, and call back at another time, if needed.

Please refrain from giving advice. If people would give consideration to the above, it would make such situations much easier. From one who knows. — M., via e-mail

Dear M: You are so right! People mean well and think they are helping. A hint I've used is to establish a "phone tree" where you inform one or two people about the situation or update, and they in turn let others know. Folks, take note that for many people, a phone call after 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. can mean bad news. —Heloise

Dear Readers: Don't toss an old, deflated foil balloon. Instead, try one of the following:

• Use as a fun gift wrap.

• Use as the background of a scrapbook page.

• Use under a potted plant to protect the surface.

• Use as a small bag for little items.

• Use as gift-bag stuffing when shredded.

• Use to line a basket. — Heloise

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