Tag Archives: death

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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What Remains After Hope Is Gone?

I lost an old acquaintance a few weeks ago to cancer. Her’s was a short journey from diagnosis to death, not three month. Given no reason to hope for recovery, she faced her death with courage.

sign painted on the Victory Chimes tri-mast wood schooner hatch

When we have no more hope, we must call upon courage to do what we must do.

We face many times in our lives when we must abandon our hope for a different outcome and instead call upon our courage to see us through. Courage, you may remember, is not the absence of fear, but rather the willingness to move forward in spite of it.

Diagnosis of a fatal illness is one of those times. So is a chronic condition without treatment options. Divorce, permanent disability, loss of limb and death of a loved one all require courage. Continue reading

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