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Sometimes, you're better off putting pen to paper than opening up your mouth to convey just the right sentiment. Margaret Shepherd, author of The Art of Civilized Conversation, shares these appropriate occasions.

Condolences

At first, everything is a blur for the bereaved so it's comforting to have notes to read later at their own pace. Give them something to look forward to; for instance, "I know you're going to be busy with family right now, but in a few weeks, I'm going to call you so we can have coffee together." Then do it.
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