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Old 11-10-2012, 04:47 PM
 
Location: Florida Gulf Coast
4,083 posts, read 5,496,975 times
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No, it's not a "keeping score" thing and I didn't mean it to sound that way. I still can't say exactly who sent cards, who showed up at the services, who expressed condolences in person, etc. I have a huge family and a lot of friends, and I know I was overwhelmed with support, which is all that matters -- the support of family and friends during that difficult time.

But yes, later on, you realize you didn't hear from a particular person, and wonder why. Not hearing from a co-worker is quite different from a family member, or a friend to whom you had specifically reached out. I don't agree that it's OK to just ignore the situation if you're uncomfortable with knowing what to say. That's what sympathy cards are for. For family or close friends, I think we'd all do that as a minimum, wouldn't we? Yes, I do give a pass to my cousin because she was so good to my Mom, and I think she just handles death differently than most. And my friend -- well, we know she's still around since she told our other mutual friend about my Mom, but she could be having other problems in her life that I'm not aware of. We'll see if I hear from her, eventually.
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:41 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
9,457 posts, read 16,404,322 times
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I remember that 4 years ago when my ex dumped me that I was rather angry with a friend b/c she offered practically no support and never called to ask how I was doing. As we had been rather close at some points in our lives it really stung. Another friend was totally there for me though and I thought of her as the better friend. Then my g-mother and mother died within a year of each other and the friend who avoided me for the divorce part was totally there for me and the other friend never came to either funeral or sent a card and I realized that I have friends who fulfill certain things that I need and no one friend will do it all.

Anyway, not sending a card is not a sign that someone doesn't care--I never got one sent for the funeral of my "other mother" when I couldn't go to the funeral--fortunately the family understood. I truly loved that woman and I was glad that I was able to drive the 300 miles to see her just weeks before she died and I know it meant a lot to her--much more than a card after her death would have.
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Old 01-31-2014, 01:50 PM
 
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hello readers my mum has just passed suddenly and I work on reception with another woman who ive known for years and even she or her husband didn't even say anything to me about my loss and it just makes me wonder why,, she is a caring person to others because ive seen her with other people, it blew me away that she hasn't said anything or even so it makes me cross that we work side by side and has said nothing. My work sent me flowers which was very nice cos that's what our firm does when someone at work loses someone and when I got back to work even my boss didn't give me a hug or condolences, but another co workers brother died and she got a big hug and kind words and I didn't get any of that,,upset. but my boss did say to my partner he was sorry to hear about our loss but not to me, I must be a not liked person or something I just don't know

am I being silly??

sorry about your mum to Avalon
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Old 02-01-2014, 12:52 AM
 
234 posts, read 514,861 times
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I think it is basic manners to say something in some way (either verbally, or thru a card or flowers). Someone would probably be pretty socially isolated to not know this. At every company I've worked for, people pass around a card for co-workers to write their condolences whenever someone's family member has passed. If co-workers will do this, then it's pretty rude for a relative (such as your cousin) to not say something, in my opinion. My brother passed away a few months ago, and one of my cousins said something, but my other cousin did not say anything and I am irked by that.

They say that you should treat others how you would want to be treated. What about the reverse? If you would have said something if your cousin's mother passed away, what does it say about her that she didn't say anything when your mother passed away?
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Old 02-01-2014, 08:43 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 65,253,264 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by confusion7 View Post
hello readers my mum has just passed suddenly and I work on reception with another woman who ive known for years and even she or her husband didn't even say anything to me about my loss and it just makes me wonder why,, she is a caring person to others because ive seen her with other people, it blew me away that she hasn't said anything or even so it makes me cross that we work side by side and has said nothing. My work sent me flowers which was very nice cos that's what our firm does when someone at work loses someone and when I got back to work even my boss didn't give me a hug or condolences, but another co workers brother died and she got a big hug and kind words and I didn't get any of that,,upset. but my boss did say to my partner he was sorry to hear about our loss but not to me, I must be a not liked person or something I just don't know

am I being silly??

sorry about your mum to Avalon
There have been times when I have had others in an office ask me if it would be the right thing to say something to a coworker who had lost a family member -- or would it be better to just not say anything. We would all sign a card and send flowers, so folks felt like they had acknowledged the circumstance in a dignified way -- and without causing stress to the bereaved person.

People worry that by saying something at work, it will "remind" the grieving colleague of the loss and get them very upset. It seems the closer the relationship, the more they worry about causing the person more hurt and sorrow.

So it is easier to mention the death if the death is somewhat removed, and if it is a spouse or child (and often, a parent) -- people think it is just best to "not say anything," out of respect that this may cause someone who is feeling emotionally fragile to "come apart" and to actually resent that the death was mentioned.

If you have ever said "I am so sorry for your loss" after a parent's death, and that person bursts into tears and runs out of the room . . . or they say "I would rather just not talk about this at work, if you don't mind" and then clam up and act peeved that you brought the subject up, then maybe you would understand folks being hesitant. I have experienced both situations over the last 45 years of my life and it is awkward and upsetting.

We know that everyone is different. Some folks wear their hearts on their sleeves. Others clam up and put up a wall. It is often difficult for folks to know if mentioning a death is going to be appreciated, be upsetting, be resented or even be responded to with a rebuff.

It is soooo easy to read too much into how others do and don't respond to us. What may appear to be disinterest or lack of caring and concern could be the person's respectful intentions to not upset you or cause you distress.

And finally, some folks won't bring up or acknowledge a death face-to-face unless the grieving person MENTIONS IT FIRST. That way, they feel "safe" in saying something.

Don't be hard on yourself or the others around you when dealing with grief. We are hypersensitive at such times. It is easy to misread or even invent motives . . . and we end up feeling hurt when there really was no reason to add more misery to our lives -- as no one had ill intent at all.

You are not being silly, CONFUSION. I am sorry to hear of your mother's death and I would suspect that the others around you are, as well. Perhaps if you bring it up sometime in conversation, it will give others the go ahead to say something. Just mentioning that "it has been good to get back into a routine since my mother's death. I still find myself thinking about the loss throughout the day, but it helps to know others recognize this has been a difficult time for me." Something along those lines . . . you may find others will then feel it is okay to talk to you about it. In any case, frame this as folks being awkward . .. and give them the benefit of the doubt. ((((hugs))))

Last edited by brokensky; 02-01-2014 at 09:28 AM..
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Old 02-01-2014, 09:24 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 65,253,264 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slcity View Post
I think it is basic manners to say something in some way (either verbally, or thru a card or flowers). Someone would probably be pretty socially isolated to not know this. At every company I've worked for, people pass around a card for co-workers to write their condolences whenever someone's family member has passed. If co-workers will do this, then it's pretty rude for a relative (such as your cousin) to not say something, in my opinion. My brother passed away a few months ago, and one of my cousins said something, but my other cousin did not say anything and I am irked by that.

They say that you should treat others how you would want to be treated. What about the reverse? If you would have said something if your cousin's mother passed away, what does it say about her that she didn't say anything when your mother passed away?
It doesn't "say" anything about the cousin at all.

What is "says" is that the grieving person is way too focused on managing how others respond to them.
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Old 02-24-2014, 05:11 AM
 
1 posts, read 3,424 times
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I think that people have a basic human for such grievous losses to be recognized and acknowledged. The loss itself is hard enough to endure. When a friend or relative doesn't even acknowledge the loss, that adds pain and confusion at an already difficult time.

It's really not so difficult to just be a kind and caring human in such circumstances. A simple, "I'm so sorry for your loss" or a card in the mail are all that is needed.

Avalon, I am sorry for your loss, and additionally for the lack of compassion and acknowledgement you were shown. I think your expectation and hurt feelings are completely understandable. That's why etiquette is so important - it saves humans from being thoughtless, insensitive, or rude when others need their understanding and support.

If people feel uncertain as to how to respond to someone's loss, they could remember that this isn't about them, it's about the grieving person, who usually really needs to hear that, "I'm so sorry." I've never heard anyone complain about receiving too much support at such times; only that they received too little. If people don't know what to say, it's easy enough to look it up online, where there is a wealth of information about how to respond to another person's loss.

There are only a couple of times in life when humans really need the help and emotional support of others - the time right after a birth, and the time right after a death. As humans, we are hardwired to need emotional support and sometimes physical support at such times. Unless someone is gravely ill or incapacitated themselves, it is self-centered to just completely ignore the life-changing nature of another's loss. Someone's feeling of awkwardness is not more important than the grieving person's need for support and acknowledgement.

If none of it matters - if it's okay to just do whatever is easiest and most comfortable, without caring how it affects the grieving person - then why should we treat death as anything out of the ordinary in any way? Why have services? Why should anyone express anything?

I think how people respond to us in times of need is important. It matters.

It's a reasonable expectation you had, Avalon. You've been compassionate and supportive of others in their time of need, and that has made a difference. You were let down, and I'm sorry. You are not alone in having experienced these puzzling and sometimes hurtful absences. All I can offer is the suggestion to remember the people who were kind enough to be there for you, and to accept what you feel about the others, and if those are important relationships, maybe consider letting them know how you feel. Sometimes just talking about things can be a relief and bring clarity. On the other hand, I understand not wanting to bring it up to them at all. I personally subscribe to the dictum of "Never ask for what should be given." Life is filled with revelations about the character of those we know, and ourselves. You've seen the limitations with these people, and now you know you can't expect courteous behavior from them at such times.

And Confusion, I'm so sorry to hear about your mum. I wish the office mates had been more supportive and sensitive to your loss.

Last edited by Mirabai; 02-24-2014 at 05:18 AM.. Reason: spellocity
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Old 02-24-2014, 07:13 AM
 
Location: Glasgow Scotland
14,489 posts, read 11,474,558 times
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Never noticed to be honest... my head was someplace else..
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Southwest Desert
4,166 posts, read 5,172,988 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dizzybint View Post
Never noticed to be honest... my head was someplace else..
This is how I was most of the time too..And if I did notice, it wasn't a big deal...Losing my husband and sons within a short period of time was a big deal and my main focus.
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Old 02-25-2014, 06:47 PM
 
8,440 posts, read 10,712,685 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CArizona View Post
This is how I was most of the time too..And if I did notice, it wasn't a big deal...Losing my husband and sons within a short period of time was a big deal and my main focus.
Yah, I kind of thought of who wasn't around anymore.

MSR
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