I always knew I'd enter a stage in my life when many of my friends and I would lose our parents, but I never imagined it would start in my mid-twenties. When I lost my dad 14 months ago, I learned that we are rarely as vulnerable as when we lose someone unexpectedly. Each misguided comment I heard from someone trying to console me simultaneously felt like the least sensitive thing someone could possibly say — and also incredibly trivial. But what should you say to someone who's lost a family member? The answer isn't always clear, but I can certainly contest that there are some things you definitely shouldn't say to a grieving person.
After being on the receiving end of several of these more ignorant comments, I began to realize that most of these phrases are said simply because people are afraid of saying "the wrong thing." For me, the only wrong comments were those that were misguided, rehearsed, and said without thought. Those are the comments which tend to be repeated over and over for every death.
While I appreciate the thought and understand the need people feel to say something, I would much rather hear the "wrong thing" said sincerely than the totally insensitive or misguided “right thing.” I understand how awkward and helpless people feel in the face of grief. I understand that no matter how many funerals you've been to, it doesn't become easier to know what to say. I don't think anyone intentionally says hurtful things; instead, I think the desire to say anything and to help makes us go back to those phrases that are repeated so frequently they lack meaning.
So with that in mind, here are nine of the worst comments I heard in the days and weeks following my dad’s death — comments that might be considered the “right thing, ” but which felt rehearsed, staged, and insincere.
1. “It Happened For A Reason”
Every time I heard this, in my mind, I screamed, “You have a crappy belief system if you think my dad dying from the flu at 50 happened for a reason!”
I suppose when taken literally it did happen for a reason: my dad didn't go to the doctor when he wasn't getting better. But I don’t think that’s what people mean when they say it happened for a reason. Frankly, if you think it happened for a reason, fine, but keep that to yourself because it does nothing to address my pain.
2. “Everything Will Be Okay”
Really? You think it will be okay that I’ll never see my dad again? You think it will be okay that my future children will never meet their grandfather? You’re wrong. It won’t ever be okay.
Amidst confusion and chaos, it's normal to want order and to make sense of things, but in an unexpected, sudden death there is no sense. If everything were okay, I would be able to text my dad right now.
My dad used to say everything won’t be okay. I’m gonna stick with that instead.
3. “You Look Great!”/ “You Look So Skinny!”/ “That Dress Is Great On You!”
Really? I’ve been crying for four days, haven’t slept more than two hours in a row, and haven’t eaten. I assume I’ve showered at some point, but I know I do not look great. And guess what? It doesn’t matter. Because my dad is dead.
I asked my brother about this — and he told me that nobody said any of these things to him. It seems that even in grief, some people only know to comment on a woman’s appearance.
4. “You Should Figure Out Some Coping Mechanisms”
" data-attribution= contenteditable="false">Tips what todo in dially fgo? how to apply for helper easy How to treat folliculitis? What is the show that reveals how magic tricks are done? How much do ruth's chris servers make in tips? What day are we celebrating halloween this year? What does comprehensive mean? How to play crazy eights? Legend says when you can t sleep at night meaning? Where to buy yellow roses with pink tips? How to get first time home buyer tips 2018? What does kts mean? What does wtw slang mean? How to help a cat in heat? What is the meaning of hitched? What does ion stand for? Who is giving me tips? Tricks when buying a new house? What does nana mean? Tips when buying a lot? How to check if you have a warrant? How to lace jordans? How to lower high blood pressure? How to convert pdf to word on mac? Masterlist of how to life tips? What does howlite do? What does peace mean? What are sulfites? What is mineral oil? How to leave group text iphone? What does the name channing meaning? How long to bake a pork tenderloin tips? What does relay mean? How to watch better call saul season 5? What is the meaning of trinomial in math? When only tips are flocked flocked christmas tree? What is market cap in cryptocurrency meaning? what do you call a santas helper that takes a selfie Tips on how to make flowers last longer? How to stop a dog from barking? How to seduce my girlfriend tips? What are the symptoms of diverticulitis? What is the meaning of behaviour? How to cure a yeast infection at home fast? What does an ssri do? What are balloons made of? how many carbs are in prepared hamburger helper beef pasta twin pack What are signs of diabetes? why helper t cells are vital to immune response How to make puppy chow? How to play pick 3 and pick 4 tricks? What does swelling mean? how much does a pipeline welder helper make an hour How to get rid of common cold? How to get unbloated in 5 minutes? Tips for employees who suspect employers violate safety rules in minnesota? What is the meaning of phishing? What shows are on starz? What are the tertiary colors? How to play soccer sports rivals tips? What is gardnerella vaginalis? How to freeze squash? What channel is the celtics game on? How to remove deep splinter? What does alamo mean? How to scan photos on iphone? How to hit a driver? How to buy acres tips and tricks? What are some characteristics? Dating tips for men who want to be successful with women? How to make a paper snowflake? How to stake cardono? Vaga brothers tips how to find cheap vacations? How to prevent cancer? What is the meaning of revert back? What does it mean when cats rub against you? What does wheel base mean? How to cook shrimp in air fryer? What time is it in singapore? Cast of new tricks and what happened to old cast? how to get rid of wondershare helper compact popup How to get rid of clothes minimalist tips? how do i make sure the servic efacility is filled in therapsit helper How to make pupusas? What does exception mean ups? What is spironolactone? What are the benefits of dragon fruit? What do your sun moon and rising mean? How to properly address an envelope? Mover tips how much? What is edm music? What is the correct meaning of the word manipulate? How to create folder on iphone? how to get helper arrows on research in game of war What does a queen of spades meaning? What is the meaning behind if you seek amy? What does probiotic mean? How long to fry chicken legs? How the police use psychological tricks when they pull you over?
The Mother's Guide to the Meaning of Life: What Being a Mom Has Taught Me About Resiliency, Guilt, Acceptance, and Love (Guides to the Meaning of Life)
Book (Skyhorse Publishing)