Photo Credit: Yori Yanover

6. Don’t ask them if they need anything. Say, I will be by on Monday to take you to the doctor or to bring you a meal or to help you with the wash.

7. Don’t tell the person you know how they feel. You don’t know how they feel. Don’t compare tragedies. And don’t tell them that you could never understand how they feel.

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8. Don’t give advice or platitudes. Don’t try to solve their problems. Don’t tell them what to do or why it happened.

9. See that the children are receiving attention as well. Children often are the silent victims in bereaved families because they don’t express their pain so everybody assumes they are fine.

10. Don’t tell people to be strong. They may need to feel broken. Feeling sad is okay. If they are allowed to feel their pain, then one day they will be able to emerge from their pain as stronger, wiser, more compassionate people.

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Sherri Mandell is co-director of the Koby Mandell Foundation (www.kobymandell.org), which runs programs for bereaved families in Israel. Her book "The Blessing of a Broken Heart" won a National Jewish Book Award in 2004.

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