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Old 01-14-2015, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,434 posts, read 41,632,813 times
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Sorry for your loss should be at the top.
When It's Not God's Plan: 8 Things to Say to Grieving Nonbelievers | Alternet
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Old 01-14-2015, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Florida
18,290 posts, read 18,539,506 times
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All good suggestions but on this forum it may be preaching to the choir and the ones that need to read it probably won't see it.
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Old 01-14-2015, 10:14 AM
 
12,544 posts, read 11,919,458 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by old_cold View Post
All good suggestions but on this forum it may be preaching to the choir and the ones that need to read it probably won't see it.
Good point. OP, maybe you should post this in the general religion forum, where believers can learn from it? Or maybe just the grief forum?
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Old 01-14-2015, 10:45 AM
 
34,466 posts, read 8,888,267 times
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Thanks. I always feel embarrassed at this stuff because as an atheist, while we regret and miss someone who has died, the breast -beating and grief seems ...I really do not understand it. And I have no idea what to say.
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Old 01-14-2015, 11:10 AM
 
Location: Florida
18,290 posts, read 18,539,506 times
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Believe me, Arq, having been on both sides of the issue, almost everybody hopes they can find something to say to help...to actually make things a little better but, as that article points out, in a way, that's hoping for something commendable for yourself even if you sincerely want to wipe out the pain for the bereaved.
The truth is, nobody can do that so all the suggestions in that article are good.
The primary thing is sincerity.
Little beats an honest "I'm sorry".
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Old 01-14-2015, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Dallas
243 posts, read 189,629 times
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I grew very weary of all the religious platitudes when my Mom died, although I did get some of the helpful ones too. A really sincere "I'm so sorry for your loss" went a really long way. Having to bite your lip when people are unintentionally offensive really sucks when you are grieving, and I got a little too much practice at it. Sad to admit, but now that she's gone I have little to no incentive to ever have to be around many (if any) of them again. Sadder still that the thought is more of a relief than anything else.
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Old 01-14-2015, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,434 posts, read 41,632,813 times
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a nice way to deflect an uncomfortable comment is "Thank you for coming". That seems to hit all the bases.
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Old 01-14-2015, 02:40 PM
 
Location: Dallas
243 posts, read 189,629 times
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I used "Mom would have loved your being here" quite often. Politely, but still.
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Old 01-14-2015, 05:37 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,070 posts, read 8,562,897 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
Thanks. I always feel embarrassed at this stuff because as an atheist, while we regret and miss someone who has died, the breast -beating and grief seems ...I really do not understand it. And I have no idea what to say.
Yes ... these suggestions are good ones for unbelievers to take guidance from when comforting the grieving -- theist or not. In all honesty it's more effective than most of the gambits used by believers -- even for grieving believers.

When my wife died, one of the most appreciated things offered me was in the form of advice. A friend of mine had lost his wife to a sudden brain hemorrhage some years prior. His advice: "walk it off". He was correct. Of course, unsolicited advice is dicey; it's all in how and in what context it's offered, and by whom. This was practical advice from someone I respected who had been through what I was going through, so it worked, at least for me. I walked like a madman for months afterwards. It kept me in motion and gave me a focus.
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Old 01-15-2015, 06:33 AM
 
10,491 posts, read 4,137,043 times
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in the line ...
"sorry about your loss'

out of line ...
"Rather be the mourner than the mournee anytime."

I told my wife to put dollar bills in all my pockets and see how many are left after my friends leave. I tell my friends that she better not find one bill or I am coming back.
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