So here are some things I've discovered that helps everyone deal with that time, for both sides.
If your family member, friend or loved one find themselves there, they have a lot of time on their hands, often way to much to over think and over analyze things. So if you get some "crazy" letters, don't read to much into them. If he/she out of the blue, while there gets it into their head that you would be better off moving on, they aren't doing it to be mean, they are having a pity party and no way to distract themselves. Unless they say something like they are going to hurt themselves, put the letter up and don't revisit their dark times. If they have a credible amount of threat and you fear for their safety don't hesitate to call the prison, or their counselor.
Keep busy, especially if you are used to calls everyday it is easy to get down. Start journaling, writing more to them, pick up some exercise. Anything to stay busy makes time go by faster.
Stay positive it is hard, but you will get through it. Mediation helps alot to with focus
Jody's biggest tip: Tell them to have a routine down, nothing is worse than just staring at the walls and nothing makes time go slower. His routine was wake up wash off, make his bed, clean up the cell (as I mentioned he is a clean freak ) eat breakfast write me, pace the cell, go out, come back wash off again, lunch, nap, exercise, do some puzzles, write me some more, dinner, work out some more, finish my letter (needless to say I got a lot of mail) clean up the cell meditate and then sleep.
His second biggest tip: If they allow outside time, even if it is raining or cold take it..You will need the fresh air to keep your mind and spirit clear. Also learn how to mediate, it is good for keeping you calm, when you feel pent up.
As soon as I find out he is in the hole, which is usually 2-3 days of no phone call I know something is up. I will call the watch/unit command and confirm it. Then I go into massive letter writing mode, since we don't get to talk, my letters are back to 4-5 pages for a day. My husband is truly the only person besides my kids that I want to talk to that much lol so he gets long letters from me to. On top of the letters, I send in puzzles, magazine articles, funny print outs from the internet. Anything and everything to keep his mind busy and occupied. Be careful with the puzzles though crosswords seem to be the safest bet about not being sent back for "contraband". Anytime I question weather or not something will get through I send it in a different enveloped. The jumbled word puzzles, for me have never made it in so I quit sending those. I also send pics of family, while he can't get them, the CO's will allow him to look at them for a second.
You have a right to your feelings, but like I mentioned in the first part, once they are in the hole they have alot of time to over analyze...So if you feel the need to dog them out, "yell", nag or bitch about them screwing up yet again. Try to save it till they are out of that part, or better yet till a phone call. I learned that the hard way...and letters tend to draw out arguments, usually b/c of the time lapse. Like I'm mad at him today I put a "fight letter" in the mail...it doesn't get delivered till Tuesday, (by this point, I've calmed down, and am like okay the fight is over). He reads it Tuesday night, knows that his family is once again disappointed in him and feels like he doesn't care about them, ect. ect. ect. So he gets up Wednesday and writes you back saying fine move on he is a fuck up ect.ect.ect. it gets mailed out Thursday morning...On Saturday you then get his part of the fight letter, which can make you mad all over again. Making what could have been solved in a 20 minutes phone call, stretch out weeks on end. So while I am big about being honest about your feelings, wait on the heavy relationship stuff till they are out of the hole.