Monday, October 6, 2008

What Not to Say to a Grieving Person, part 2

kenichi hoshine

A Daily Undertaker reader commented on What not to say to a grieving person, part 1, and I'd like to share some of her thoughts on this subject:

"It has to be said that it's hard to know what to say to someone recently
bereaved because, as Pat says, nothing will take the pain or hurt away or change
anything however eloquently it has been expressed.

It's hardly
surprising then that some people just avoid the bereaved person altogether
simply because they don't know what to say and will actively go out of their way
to avoid them.

I don't actually blame them because it's so tricky
to offer condolences at all.
Having been told in all sincerity, not 24 hours
after my husband died,
'Never mind, he's gone to a better place now!',

I replied without thinking,
'No, he's not ~ he's dead!'

Even though I
was numbed beyond belief by grief and booze, I felt the collective gasp of
unease ripple through the room as I said what I said and I immediately felt
guilty which I know in my heart is not what the person who uttered those words
would have wanted.
I still feel guilty about that years later and in my mind
I know that person still see's me as someone who doesn't 'take prisoners' or
suffer fools gladly and I feel somehow the 'guilty' party for my instinctive

It's a shame that I think this way but that's just me, we all
react differently but I'd rather have had that person's company and misguided
attempt at comfort than not at all because at the end of the day, it was
heartfelt and his heart was indeed in the right place!

It's important to
know that there are NO right things to say
but you can never know how much
the bereaved needs and appreciates your support and company....even if it all
comes out wrong,
just being there is enough.

We all lose somebody
close to us in the end,
it's a fact of life we'd rather not face. " -T.D.

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