Friday, August 1, 2014

This I know for sure...

I've received a number of condolences from various people during the last couple of weeks. I know the thoughts and feelings behind the words are sincere and heartfelt, but there are a few well used phrases, I wish people wouldn't say. 

  • She/he is in a better place. -  I understand what you're trying to say, but I will always feel that the best place for my loved one is to be with me in my life.

  • Time heals all wounds. - I don't think this is true when it comes to death. I don't think anyone heals from or gets over the loss of a loved one. You just eventually learn to cope with the loss with some days being easier than others.

  • At least she/he didn't suffer. - Is this supposed to make me feel better about losing the person? If the person did suffer before passing on, am I supposed to feel worse than I already do? Is that even possible?

  • "I'm sorry to hear about your loss" or "I'm sorry to hear of your loss." - I'm a literal person by nature so when someone says this to me, it immediately offends me. Why? Because the speaker isn't saying he/she is sorry for the loss that I suffered, just that they're sorry they had to hear about it - I'm sorry to hear of or about your loss.

Maybe I'm just being extra sensitive because the loss is so fresh and raw, but having been on the receiving end of these, I now know I will never utter them to someone who is grieving for the loss of a loved one.


  1. I don't think you're being overly sensitive. I never understood some of the sentiments spoken in the wake of losing a loved one. Never. They don't make sense. The worst, to me, is, "At least she/he didn't suffer."

    How do you know? Were you there? Did you watch them deteriorate? Did you watch them go through treatments? Did you, did you, did you?

    Intimate knowledge of what the deceased went through before passing is often omitted when people gather to say goodbye, but it doesn't mean it wasn't experienced. Those close to the recently departed know firsthand what he/she went through. The ugliness that sometimes happens before death is not something easily forgotten.

    1. Hi Miriam,
      Thank you for your comment. It helped validate my feelings about some of the well meaning things that have been said to me.

      I agree "At least he/she didn't suffer" is one of the more offensive things one can say. Whether a loved one suffered, how much or long they suffered, or if the death was sudden and there was no suffering doesn't make the loss any easier to bear.