Friday, July 3, 2015

What NOT to say

So once upon a time, like last Friday, someone told someone I love very much that they should not be in mourning for my grandfather because he was 92 and we should be glad that we had him so long.

And some other stuff along the lines of "just get over it."

So I had not planned on writing another "mourning" post, but you guys, I am deeply offended, and since I can't go tell this person off, I'm going to instead give you a Mourning 101 lesson.

Because I'm mad.
Get it?

What NOT to say

"He's in a better place," or "He's not in pain anymore." We'd still rather have him with us.

"He lived a long, good life." Yes, he did. That's why it's so hard to say good-bye.

"You shouldn't be sad because he was 92." Uh, that makes it harder, actually, because we had him so long and knew him so well. And he loved us fiercely, and now that's gone.

"When I lose my loved one, I won't be sad because he's 95." You haven't lost your loved one. You have no idea how you will react. And you are not us. So shut up.

"It's time to just get over it." We will grieve as we see fit for as long as we want.

"Time will heal." What does this even mean?

"I don't understand why you ... (insert any of these: are so sad, can't get this figured out, can't do this, whatever)." You don't have to understand. You are not us. Putting pressure on us to explain ourselves is mean, yo.

What TO say

"How are you ... today?" The "today" makes all the difference.

"There are no words." No, there aren't. Thank you.

"Let me know ...  (insert any of these: when the funeral is planned, how your grandma is doing, how I can help, when I can visit, whatever)." This is helpful because now we know we can talk to you freely about what is happening. And that is a gift.


You know, for the most part, people have been really great. And I should probably point out that I've said some things myself on the NOT list before I understood what I was saying. Basically, when in doubt, just offer a hug.

Thank you. Seriously.

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