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Old 08-26-2016, 07:17 PM
 
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,874 posts, read 12,917,566 times
Reputation: 28957

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When I've lost loved ones, I've heard one simple remark that did help me. That remark is, "I'll never forget X." If you want to follow up with a little comment that exemplifies a specific thing you'll never forget — "she had such a great laugh," "he was such a thoughtful neighbor," "she showed such strength in facing her illness" — then as long as it's true that's helpful no matter what a person's thoughts are about deities or afterlives.

I'm with those who have a terrible time with trite expressions such as "everything happens for a reason," "God doesn't give us more than we can handle," "s/he's not suffering anymore," and "s/he's in a better place."

A better place being the ground? An urn? Maybe some people believe their loved ones are in heaven surrounded by singing angels, but not everyone does. I especially hate the "God doesn't give us more than we can handle." Those of us who handle things do it because we have no choice.

But many of us are given things we CANNOT handle. That's why people suffer terrible depression, have nervous breakdowns, commit suicide, etc. Some people have a higher threshold of "handling" than others do. Some people handle loss stoically. Others become alcoholics or drug addicts. Some people handle extreme poverty because they have no options, others abuse their children when they are frustrated. How is someone supposed to handle a four-year-old dying of cancer? How is someone supposed to handle a diagnosis of ALS? Every cloud does NOT have a silver lining.

People who have religious beliefs that offer them these simple solutions are not representing their religions very well by simply assuming that everyone else shares these beliefs.
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Old 08-26-2016, 08:42 PM
 
4,508 posts, read 1,899,777 times
Reputation: 9446
Most things people say at a time of tragedy are just empty words coming from empty heads. The "s/he's in a better place" is just so much BS. And please give the president something new other than "our thoughts and prayers are with you". That's a bigger load of BS than I can handle. There are so many better things one could say. How about just, "I grieve with you and for you."
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Old 08-27-2016, 12:46 AM
 
3,962 posts, read 5,248,587 times
Reputation: 4549
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jukesgrrl View Post

People who have religious beliefs that offer them these simple solutions are not representing their religions very well by simply assuming that everyone else shares these beliefs.
I actually don't believe that most of the people really believe what they were saying. I finally had had it when someone from my church did the "God doesn't give us more than we can handle." I said "Do you really believe that God put his finger down and gave my husband brain cancer just so that he could see if I could handle it?" The person paused, shocked, for a few seconds, then said "no, I don't believe it. I guess I never thought about what that meant. I'm sorry." So after that, I never again accepted any of those trite phrases. I would be kind, but I would always tell them if they said something that was unhelpful. In fact, I mentioned this to my minister, and he gave a sermon on all the unthinking things people say after a death. I don't hold it against people; its what they have been taught to say, and they say it without thinking. But I can tell you that after that, although I had many, many kind people help me after my husband's death, they would mostly just say "I am so sorry. Can I help in any way?" And they meant it.
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Old 08-27-2016, 02:40 AM
 
11,686 posts, read 13,078,672 times
Reputation: 30973
Quote:
Originally Posted by VTsnowbird View Post
Most of the "stupid" things people say when you are grieving are supposed to make you "feel better". He's not suffering anymore, she's in a better place, you can always have more kids, you'll find someone else, everything happens for a reason.

JUST STOP IT. Grieving people are NOT going to feel better until it comes from within. A hug and "I'm sorry" is plenty. Don't be that asinine person spouting unwanted platitudes.
Yes, use the heart instead of the babble. I feel that too often these off-the-walls comments come from people who desperately want what they say to be true, and are not especially about consolation for the grieving person. It is rather like whistling in the dark, but in this case it's being done in the face of death.
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Old 08-27-2016, 03:46 AM
 
12,842 posts, read 24,473,188 times
Reputation: 18835
My sister got into some New Age religion thing and said very earnestly to me, "We believe that everything happens for a reason."
Me: "Really? So what was that mess in Rwanda about?"
Sister: "B*ITCH!"
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Old 08-27-2016, 07:37 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
9,100 posts, read 3,923,269 times
Reputation: 18770
When people say, like was mentioned above about the president, "our thoughts and prayers are with you" it just sounds so trite. When I hear that my first thought is, with my eyes rolled, "sure, you're going to pray for these people tonight".


I had to euthanize my beloved Chihuahua yesterday. My heart is breaking. What is the "reason" this happened other than she was old and at the end of her time here on earth? Does this mean something? Should I run right down to my shelter and adopt another dog to fill the void?


Someone told me after my husband died and I was diagnosed with breast cancer that God doesn't give us more than we can handle. Well then God must think I'm a badasss. And like was mentioned in a previous post sometimes it IS more than people can handle.
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Old 08-27-2016, 07:39 AM
Status: "Even better than okay" (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
51,202 posts, read 50,499,962 times
Reputation: 60095
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jukesgrrl View Post
When I've lost loved ones, I've heard one simple remark that did help me. That remark is, "I'll never forget X." If you want to follow up with a little comment that exemplifies a specific thing you'll never forget — "she had such a great laugh," "he was such a thoughtful neighbor," "she showed such strength in facing her illness" — then as long as it's true that's helpful no matter what a person's thoughts are about deities or afterlives.

I'm with those who have a terrible time with trite expressions such as "everything happens for a reason," "God doesn't give us more than we can handle," "s/he's not suffering anymore," and "s/he's in a better place."

A better place being the ground? An urn? Maybe some people believe their loved ones are in heaven surrounded by singing angels, but not everyone does. I especially hate the "God doesn't give us more than we can handle." Those of us who handle things do it because we have no choice.

But many of us are given things we CANNOT handle. That's why people suffer terrible depression, have nervous breakdowns, commit suicide, etc. Some people have a higher threshold of "handling" than others do. Some people handle loss stoically. Others become alcoholics or drug addicts. Some people handle extreme poverty because they have no options, others abuse their children when they are frustrated. How is someone supposed to handle a four-year-old dying of cancer? How is someone supposed to handle a diagnosis of ALS? Every cloud does NOT have a silver lining.

People who have religious beliefs that offer them these simple solutions are not representing their religions very well by simply assuming that everyone else shares these beliefs.
I'm with you. I can't stand "God doesn't give us more than we can handle", either. Pretty obnoxious and implies that if you are overwhelmed, it's your own weakness.
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Old 08-27-2016, 07:41 AM
Status: "Even better than okay" (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
51,202 posts, read 50,499,962 times
Reputation: 60095
Quote:
Originally Posted by brightdoglover View Post
My sister got into some New Age religion thing and said very earnestly to me, "We believe that everything happens for a reason."
Me: "Really? So what was that mess in Rwanda about?"
Sister: "B*ITCH!"
Lol!
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Old 08-27-2016, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Central IL
13,350 posts, read 7,121,412 times
Reputation: 31048
People NEED reasons, so much that they make them up for themselves. Religion is a big one...finding ways to go on despite terrible things happening naturally provokes rationalizations.

Studies have shown that realists suffer from more depression and that optimists are more delusional than realists. People choose how they want to live.
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Old 08-27-2016, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Billings, MT
8,989 posts, read 7,079,711 times
Reputation: 12447
Quote:
Originally Posted by seain dublin View Post
Let's not count our chickens before they're hatched.

Who are you to tell people how to grieve?
Let's turn that around: Who are YOU, to tell ME (or anybody else) how to grieve?
Personally, I have always been able to put the grief behind me and get on with living!
IF one is able to do that, I highly recommend it.
Of course, many people find that they can not do that.
I find that I am unable to help them cope.
If that makes me "insensitive", so be it. I am not, and do not pretend to be, a grief counselor!
To paraphrase a well known cartoon character, "I am what I am, and that is all that I am!"
If me being me offends you, that is YOUR problem, not mine!
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