Insight: Communication During Grief

Why I stayed in touch with concerned friends over social media and not in person when my wife died.

Joel Eisenberg
4 min readJun 6, 2024

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Photo by K. Mitch Hodge; Unsplash

In my grief, I could not bear to be seen, heard or read any other way. I now understand others share that predilection.

As compared to my usual Medium contributions, this piece will be relatively short.

Further, as I have learned from recent conversations with those who have lost a loved one in general, my thoughts on the matter are certainly not universal but they are apparently common.

Allow me to explain.

Everyone who had reached out to me following the unexpected November passing of my wife, Lorie, meant well. I have no doubt about that. The cards, generous gifts in her memory, emails, texts and phone calls were innumerable and sincerely touching.

That said, in my grief — which was excruciating — I simply did not have the patience or even emotional wherewithal to respond to the senders of each and every one.

When I received a phone call, for instance, the person leaving a message would invariably state they were there for me and to call them if I needed to talk.

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Joel Eisenberg

Joel Eisenberg is an award-winning author, screenwriter, and producer. The Oscar in the profile pic isn’t his but he’s scheming. WGA and Pen America member.