Melissa Locker
May 15, 2018
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One of the saddest facts of adult life is that most of us know someone who has experienced a loss or a trauma or someone who just needs a little extra attention. While it’s easy to remember to be there for a friend when a loss or a trauma is fresh, it can be hard to keep track of those sad anniversaries a year let alone five or ten years down the road. Yet anniversaries of loss can be difficult times no matter how much time passes. Your friend may need a kind word, a chat, or even just a supportive message on the anniversary of the passing of a loved one or the birthday of someone who has gone, even if it has been years. Unfortunately, we are all so busy leading our own lives that many people move on and stop checking in after a few months, even though the grief continues.

While our grandmothers had to rely on their own good memories to remember to check in on friends in need, these days we have technology to help us out. A clever Reddit user suggested an easy way to remember to call friends during tough times. Most smartphones let people set annual events on their calendar with alerts that pop up to remind us of the date. Those little alerts can help you be a better friend to those in need. Admittedly this is not the most sentimental notion, but it is undeniably practical. Amid the sea of your own packed schedule, these little alerts can help you remember to reach out to a friend in need and ask them how they are holding up.

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When a friend experiences a loss, at an appropriate time, set up a calendar alert to remind you to check in. When the date rolls around next year, the alert pops up on your phone, as a gentle reminder to check in with your friend, reminding them that you know this time of year is tough and that you are here for them. A simple phone call–or even text message—can feel like a lifeline to someone still grieving. And as any Southerner knows, it’s only right to treat others the way you want to be treated