Tag Archives: connections

Can You Be Open to This?

When we open our minds, we break down the barriers that keep us isolated from others. Being open-minded requires that we recognize others can

blue sky with large puffy cloud in the center

Clouds respond to shifting winds while maintaining their fundamental weather purposes. We can respond to new information while maintaining our values and our relationships.

believe or act or live differently than we do and yet still be in our lives.

When we are open-minded, we take the time to understand the point of view, beliefs and experiences of others. To be open is to show respect, even when we do not agree, or even necessarily approve of the other person’s ideas or actions. To be open is to accept others for who they are, not for who we think they should be. To be open is to love the person, even when we cannot love the actions.  Continue reading

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When Death Calls, What Do You Say?

On Monday I wrote about the 12 Thoughtless Things People Say When Someone Dies. Of course we want to know the right thing to say when someone dies, but what can sound like the right thing to us does not at all sound like the right thing to the person who is grieving the death of a loved one.

granite cemetery headstone with American flag

When we choose our words for how they are heard, we can bring comfort to those grieving a death.

Here is a quick check list to help you judge whether the words you’re about to say are likely to bring comfort, or only more sorrow. Continue reading

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12 Thoughtless Things People Say When Someone Dies

Somewhere in our upbringing many of us were taught to not talk about death, and when death happens, to not talk about our feelings of loss.

An indoor columbarium niche wall of recessed compartments holding urns.

Chances are good that by the time the memorial service ends, the family and closest friends will have heard several thoughtless comments that people say when someone dies.

 

As a logical consequence, when someone dies, we have no idea what to say. So in a well-meaning but ignorant effort to provide comfort, or out of our own discomfort with silence or with the emotional pain of the loss, we open our mouth and insert our foot.

Sadly, ignorance is endlessly creative, and so there are far more than a dozen ways to be thoughtless with our words and inflict pain instead of bringing comfort and consolation. I picked these 12 things to not say when someone dies because I think they are the most likely ones we mistakenly believe are actually helpful. Continue reading

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