Wednesday, 23 December 2009

When a client loses a loved one...

...what do you do?
What do you even say?
I got an email from a client a couple of days ago telling me her son passed away suddenly and she wouldn't be able to make her appointment. I couldn't even believe that she had the presence of mind to email me. Her son was only 29 and he wasn't expected to die - he just got sick and things went from bad to worse very suddenly.
I've been in the same situation before - where clients have lost someone close suddenly, but every time this happens I'm at a new loss on what to do. I'll go to the funeral, send a card and have a the tissues near at hand when they return to getting massages. The thing is, I'll probably bawl my eyes out next time I see them. I'm not an emotional person. Seriously. But there's something about losing a loved one that just makes me cry, especially if it's someone young and the death is unexpected.
One time a client showed me a tattoo she had got to remember her brother by - he also had passed away young and suddenly. SHE wasn't crying, but as soon as I saw that tattoo I just lost it.
How do you handle it?


  1. That's awful...I'm so sorry for her AND you.
    For me (luckily, in a way), this hasn't been as much of an issue, because I was mainly working at the casino spa. You don't really get a regular clientele when your clients are all tourists. I've heard some heart-rending stories, but was able to maintain my composure, due to not having that close connection with the client.

  2. That is always difficult. As soon as I hear of a client's loss, I send a card. That means there is less that needs to be said when the client comes in for their massage.
    Wow - I would really try NOT to cry. This kind of puts the client in the position of needing to comfort YOU!
    Luckily for me, I am not an emotional person, or rather, I don't show my emotions.
    I just say, 'I am so sorry about the loss of your ----. What kind of massage do you need today?" I assume the person is coming for massage at this time because it will be helpful to them, and I just proceed to give them the massage that they need.

  3. Thanks, everyone!
    Actually when she came I held it together. she talked a lot during the session and I just listened mostly.
    Know what's weird? I had another client that lost a family member during the week. I dunno - something about this time of year.