Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Public Education for the Terminally Tactless

Never assume malice when stupidity will suffice
Hanlon's Razor

Tonight will be a bit of a fun perspective piece. As you are by now no doubt aware, people can say some remarkably stupid things to you in your bereavement. Even though my personality is such that people generally don't presume to give me unsolicited advice, I have still been on the receiving end of some interesting comments. One I received the day after Deb died was, "You will be strong." I figured that was code for, "Please don't burst into tears in front of me." ;-)

So, in an effort to show you that you are not alone, I've reproduced the Top Ten Dumb Remarks and Stupid Questions from WidowNet. There are actually 71 Dumb Remarks listed in the full article, and Widownet has lots of other great resources as well. A really important Grief Recovery Tool is a change of perspective, so hopefully the following can help you see your loss in a new light, and hopefully bring a smile to your lips as well:

  1. "Death happens. Get over it."

    Thank you for the deep insight from the school of T-shirt philosophy.

  2. My wife just died three weeks ago day after tomorrow (Oct. 17, 1997) after the birth of our only son. After the memorial sevice at the cemetary the family returned to the chuch where my deceased wife's grandmother commented, "At least with that precious little boy, you now qualify for FREE CHEESE!"

  3. A few say "I am so sorry. You just don't hear of anyone dying after having a baby anymore."
    Like this is suppose to comfort me?

  4. The baby's doctor said, "In the 35 years I have been a baby Dr, this has happened only 4 other times." I don't give a rat's butt how many times in the past, today it happened to me and I didn't even know I was in this lottery. Like it was a contest. I know he was just trying to relate and didn't think that it would be information I wouldn't "mind" having but guess what -- I don't care.

  5. In the limousine, on the way to my husband's memorial service, my mother-in-law blurted out: "Did anyone think to call [so-and-so]?" So-and-so was my husband's girlfriend when I met him. (He dumped her for me, but she wouldn't stop calling him trying to reconcile.) After a pregnant pause in the limo, I responded, "Well, *I* didn't call her." My mother-in-law laughed, hugged me, and said, "She always sends ME a Christmas card!"

  6. Why do you spend so much time on the computer? I'd rather talk to REAL people.
    - What does she think we are - FAKE people?

  7. I was talking to my next-door neighbor about having to put my fiance's house up for sale, mainly because it is too big for me by myself, and I can't afford the house payments. His answer was, "Well, you need to get you a MAN!"
    I just got tears in my eyes, and said "I HAD one!".

  8. I was a caregiver for a long time so a friend said to me - "In a way it's a good thing - now you will be able to do a lot of the things you wanted that you weren't able to do before."
    (I'd take the caregiving any time just to have him back!)

  9. "Oh, it's too bad you're not pregnant.."
    (2 days after my fiance died...we didn't plan on having kids).....

  10. The day started out so good ... and then came "the phone call." ARGGGHH!!! It was a lady I had met just once before at our Parents Without Partners meeting. She was calling to see when the next meeting will be, and asked me how long I had been divorced. When I told her that my husband had died, she laughed and said "If it's any consolation, I wish my ex was dead."

If you found any of these amusing, you should check out the full article:
Top Ten Dumb Remarks and Stupid Questions.

No comments: