Mary May I – Is It Too Late to Send Sympathies?

Welcome to Mary May I where Mary C. Smith dispenses all types of wisdom. If you have a question for Mary that needs answering you can ask her  at

A friend lost her father a few months ago, she told a small number of friends through our group chat.  Since then I haven’t done anything to express sympathies more personally, like flowers or a card. The pandemic breaks the normal connectivity and social patterns we have relied on in the past.  Is it too late? – Sympathetic and Apathetic in South Miami

You have 99 problems but sending belated condolences is not one.  Grief is the funkiest topic and I could talk about the behaviors it brings out in people forever. The truth is that loss becomes more about the folks that are left behind.  Three months is around the time that the calls and notes start to wane.  The wound is still fresh though.

My Mom always said to make sure to check up on people after the casseroles stop coming.   A beautiful card with a heartfelt message is always welcome, right?  Get to the post office toot sweet and send out that love.   Your friend will be happy to find something other than a bill in her mailbox. Those good vibes come back 10x.  It’s a beautiful thing.

Over the past year my workplace has held periodic open Zoom calls as a forum for colleagues to express their feelings regarding social justice issues.  Many people (including me) have found them inspiring and eye-opening.  Others have privately expressed that they consider them a waste of time.  The calls are not mandatory to attend, can I advise the naysayers to simply not dial in? Or do I have an obligation to challenge them to find meaning and empathy in these sessions? – Conflicted in Coconut Creek

This is a refreshing and progressive approach to social causes.  Impressive. Kudos to your employer.  You know what is most definitely a waste of time?  Telling a closeminded person anything that may expand their awareness and improve any situation that does not directly relate to them.  Not a firable offense but It certainly makes you less hirable.  Tell them to turn off, tune out and to step away from the Zoom.   Sounds like someone needs to make a change to their career.  They have stopped growing.  Sad. I don’t feel it is your responsibility to convert them to a reasonable human.  Life is all about connecting.  More so now than ever.  Thoughtful debate is always welcome, bad vibes are not.  Don’t let anyone rain on your parade.  Best to shoo that pest out of your good energy. Some people just like to ruin things.  Move away from them.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Jitney on Patreon! The Jitney needs gas. Please donate or become a Patron here

Mary C. Smith

Smart, funny, honest, practical and sometimes in-your-face advice on relationships, being single, finance, self care and life in the city. Catch her in action at IG @ohmygirlmedia