How Should You Offer Condolences to a Friend When They Lose Someone They Love?

How Should You Offer Condolences to a Friend When They Lose Someone They Love?

Lisa Vanderpump wasn't thrilled with Erika Girardi's card following her brother's death.

By Marianne Garvey
Show Highlight
Erika Jayne Learns Her Condolence Card Wasn't Enough for Lisa Vanderpump

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills had some Bahama drama last week when Lisa Vanderpump told Erika Girardi she wasn't happy with the condolence card Erika sent in the wake of her brother's death. 

Let's get started.

What started as a gorgeous lunch by the ocean turned tense when Lisa Rinna suggested they all unleash whatever emotional demons they've been bottling up, just for fun. OK, not exactly, but she did suggest the ladies put their issues on the table and talk. Big mistake.

Basically, everyone is decked out like they're going to a beach on Mars (except for Lisa Rinna, who looks like she's going to a crawfish eating contest in the Bayou) when LVP decides to tell Erika that her handwritten gesture was "a little distant." "And that's one thing we've tried to overcome," Lisa says, adding that she wished Erika had called instead.

Erika is there to show off her futuristic Barbie shades and her mesh top only, so she's having none of it. "If that didn't work for you, I don't know what to say," she tells Lisa, then pushes her food away. Later, in the interview, Erika added, "I've never known of anyone to react this way. 'Your condolence note wasn't good enough.' Are you f---ing kidding me?" 

Lisa Vanderpump says she wants to move on but, before we do, we've got some advice from an etiquette expert on how to handle this situation before it reaches a beachside face-off. 

"If it’s a family member of a good friend, even if you don’t know the family member, don’t hesitate to reach out and leave a message by phone. They likely won’t answer because they will have other things to do but they will hear your message eventually. You can also text to let them know because it’s an immediate response from you," says Diane Gottsman, founder of The Protocol School of Texas.

"Keep in mind, that they are probably been inundated with messages and feeling overwhelmed so a response back should not be expected. Even if you know they are receiving multiple messages, you don’t want to be the one who did not reach out," she adds. "If you live close by, drop by a casserole or a basket of breakfast foods they can eat and offer to those who show up. 

"If attending the funeral, make sure to sign the book so they can look back and see your name. Everything is a blur right now but when things settle down, they will have time to sift through cards and go through messages as well as read who attended the funeral service."

But, she says, the "most remembered gesture" is always a handwritten condolence card.

Watch the moment for yourself in the clip above, and catch up on this season of RHOBH here

Related Stories
Related Show

Personal Space is Bravo's home for all things "relationships," from romance to friendships to family to co-workers. Ready for a commitment? Then Like us on Facebook to stay connected to our daily updates.

You May Also Like...
Recommended by Zergnet