So. Since I love to talk about the mundane details of my life, many of you are probably aware that I currently live in NYC but grew up in the Midwest, where basically all of my family and childhood friends still live. My best friend's dad died yesterday*, and (kind of surprisingly, since I moved away from home years ago) this is one of the first times that I've dealt with one my my long-distance people going through something so terrible and life-altering. I'm finding that I just don't know what I can do from where I am... it's not really feasible for me to fly back for the funeral (I checked today and flights are in the range of $400-$500 which is super not doable on my grad student budget). When I first found out he was sick I sent her a care package full of a bunch of comforting stuff she likes, but now that just seems... inadequate. I want to do something for her and her family, but I feel helplessly removed. Sending flowers seems stupid... I've known these people well for half my life. Any GTers who live far from loved ones... what do you do when you can't physically be there for support in times of tragedy? Though the logical part of my brain knows that this isn't true, I feel bad and useless... I'm not there when my friend needs me :(

*it wasn't entirely unexpected, but it was fast and sad. He was relatively young and they learned he was sick about 6 months ago.