Comforting Words - When You Don't Know What To Say

This is the blog of Robbie Miller Kaplan, author of "How to Say It When You Don't Know What to Say." Please bookmark my site as a resource on helpful ways to comfort those facing tough times. Comments and questions are welcome!

My Photo
Location: United States

Welcome to Comforting Words! We’ve all faced a situation that’s left us speechless. A friend shares a devastating medical diagnosis, you learn via email of a relative’s death, or an acquaintance with a long-standing marriage tells you she’s getting divorced. What do you say? We’ve all been at a loss for words when we've needed them most. My goal in creating this blog is to provide a forum to share stories, ideas, and resources that will help us communicate effectively when confronted with unexpected news of loss and difficult times. And most important, I’d like to give insight into the best ways to help others so they don’t feel isolated and unsupported when facing difficult times. I feel so passionately about the importance of providing support that I wrote a book on the topic: How to Say It When You Don’t Know What to Say: The Right Words for Difficult Times. It's now available in volumes on Illness & Death, Miscarriage, Suicide and e-books on Death of a Child, Death of Newborn or Stillborn Baby, Divorce, Pet Loss and Caregiver Responsiblities at

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

In memory of mom

When friends and family faced tough times, my mom knew just what to do. She was a master at doling out comfort and her willingness to listen bonded many friendships. But it was her prowess as a baker that forged relationships. Whether someone was just home from the hospital or grieving a loss, my mom paid a visit, always with something baked from her kitchen.

So it’s no surprise that in the weeks following my mom’s death, I spent countless hours in the kitchen, trying to comfort myself in the same way my mom comforted everyone else. I wanted to master her date and nut bread recipe, the same bread she packed in my lunch when I was little and continued to bake for me every time we visited, whether my home or hers. The smell of date and nut bread baking warmed my heart and as much as I loved it, I had never made it myself.

And so I used the kitchen as an outlet for my grief, trying to decipher my mom’s cryptic recipe. I distracted myself with important questions: “How many tablespoons are there in an inch and a half of margarine?” And: “How many ounces of dates in a small box of dates? I kept baking breads until I finally filled my house with the same wonderful smells that conjured memories of mom.

Baking my mom’s date and nut bread was a way for me to hold her close. I still love to bake and when I want to nurture or console myself or others, I just head to the kitchen. Nowadays, it’s my hands that do the comforting.

Robbie Miller Kaplan is the author of How to Say It When You Don't Know What to Say, a guide to help readers communicate effectively when those they care about experience loss. Now available in three individual volumes: "Illness & Death," "Suicide" and "Miscarriage." Three additional titles are available as e-books: "Death of a Child," "Death of a Stillborn and Newborn Baby" and "Pet Loss." Click here to order.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home