I was in college and still living at home when my great-aunt called to tell my parents and me that my great-grandmother had passed away (at age 106, bless her). My parents were gone at a seminar all day, and I had to be somewhere else by the time they got home. I called their cell phones, but they (knowing good manners!) had their phones shut off while in the seminar. I couldn't leave a voice mail telling my dad that his grandmother had passed on, so I did all I could think to do: called their phones every 20-30 minutes, hoping they'd turn them on while on a break. I also held out hope that they'd call me at some point during the day, but of course this was the one time they didn't. The day went by, I had to leave, and I still hadn't reached them. I was practically in hysterics by this time, hoping they'd come home before I needed to go, but they didn't.
So I wrote a note. I just didn't know what else to do! I worded it as gently as I could, but it was still a note. Luckily, Mom got into the house before Dad, saw the note, and was able to break the news to him. So it worked out as well as it could have, but I still felt terrible about it.