Since we're in the subject of death, last Saturday, one of my colleagues told me that his grandmother passed away last Wednesday. I quickly conveyed my condolences and mentioned that it's never easy to lose a loved one.
This morning, I dug out my copy of Rita Avila's 8 Ways to Comfort with Grace with I wrote about here. With a lot of people passing away, I'm sometimes at a loss on how to comfort them. Though I've read her book before, I tend to forget.
Probably the best advise she gave was: "offer any little help that you can give". I've been losing relatives 2 years in a row (my last grandparent in 2012 and my paternal uncle in 2013). I couldn't offer much consolation for my mom as she's in the US at that time but I helped out the only way that I can to ease their grief--which was to arrange for my grandmother's burial here in the country (it's not easy and entails a lot of coordination. Although big kudos to St. Peter's for a job well done on that). When my uncle died last year, I also did what my dad asked me with minimal fuss. They mentioned that I was a big help to them in comforting them but I did not understand why. I guess now, I do.
As for my colleague, I already conveyed my condolences through text last Saturday. I'm glad though that I asked him about it and that I learned it directly from him. When I get back to work tomorrow, I'll probably just say a few more words and ask him if he would need further time-off.