A Happy and Thankful Life

What not to say

A few days ago a video was posted about the things people say to widows. Watching it hurts but it is true and helpful. As well intentioned as some of the comments are, they do hurt. Unfortunately, I’ve received my own share of comments. Both said directly to me but also behind my back. In the first days and weeks, for those that are grieving all they want to hear is that you are there for them. And for you to listen. If you don’t know what to say, that’s okay. Chances are that they don’t know either. It’s okay to say, “I’m sorry. I don’t know what to say but I’m here for you.”

Shit People Say to Widows

That being said, know your friend. I am okay to have a real conversation with a friend. Or even to talk with someone who wants to better understand what is going on. I may be a very honest person and often okay to talk through my experiences but not everyone is. And that is okay; everyone is different. The hurtful statements I heard were not in a conversation but were made in passing.  There is a big difference talking about the challenges after a spouse’s death and just randomly asking if he had life insurance. Also, most people grieving a loved one don’t think they are strong; they are just doing what they can to get through the day. They may be strong…but they don’t believe or feel it. So, as well intentioned as the statement is, it makes them feel bad because they don’t think they’ll ever be strong enough. Or at least that is how I feel.

I guess what I’m trying to say, in a very awkward way, is be thoughtful and aware of the things we say to those that are grieving loved ones. That is all. Just don’t ever ask if they miss the person.



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