Years ago when Sister Pat and I lived in the same town, we would get together nearly every Wednesday evening for dinner at her house.
When we feel like whining, we can choose instead to get together with a friend and talk out what we’re really feeling.
She’d cook and I’d bring a bottle of wine. We gave each other the gift of unconditional listening as we’d discuss whatever was troubling us. There was no shortage of topics. She was recently divorced with a grown child, and I had divorced several years earlier and was raising two teenagers. Sometimes, we needed to solve problems, and sometimes, we just needed to vent. Misery loves miserable company.
We called those evenings our time for ‘wine and whine.’
At the end of the evening, we both felt better for having expressed ourselves in a safe venue. Sometimes we learned to look at our situations differently. Sometimes action was possible. Sometimes, we simply had to accept things as they were. Continue reading
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.
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
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.
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