August 21, 2005
From time to time, I encounter students who are having academic difficulty caused or exacerbated by circumstances outside of the law school adventure. One of those circumstances is death. What do you say to the student who has lost a parent, a sibling, a child?
Today I read "Stress, Change and Loss," the draft of an article by Stephen Marsh, a Texas lawyer who has experienced devastating family tragedies. This article represents one person's point of view about what hurts and what helps.
"If you are on the outside, helping someone who is experiencing grief," Mr. Marsh writes, "express sympathy and feel free to express that you do not know what to say. The statement 'I'm so sorry, I don't know what to say, but I want you to know that I am so sorry and I wish I could do more. We are praying for you and thinking of you...' is just fine. It is truthful, honest and direct, doing no harm and much good."
I was not able to find the article in its finished (published) form. If you are able to find it on-line, please send it along, and I'll include it on the blog.
Does anyone else have some advice to contribute for students dealing with grief? Send me an e-mail and I'll post it here. (djt)
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