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Old 10-23-2017, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Fairfax County, VA
1,387 posts, read 603,917 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G Grasshopper View Post
There is nothing anyone can say that will make the situation any better.
But there are things that people can and do say that will make matters worse.
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Old 10-23-2017, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Fairfax County, VA
1,387 posts, read 603,917 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerania View Post
It doesn't flippin' matter.
Yes, it does matter. Having so little empathy as to deny that empathy itself makes any difference is not a good sign. People struck by loss are in a difficult place. If you care for them, you would try to comfort them, not demean them.
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Old 10-23-2017, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Fairfax County, VA
1,387 posts, read 603,917 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe from dayton View Post
They both convey the same message; one is not better or more comforting than the other.
You have missed a lot. I'm sorry for your loss.
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Old 10-23-2017, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Middle Earth
944 posts, read 771,685 times
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In my experience, almost any expression of sympathy was better than nothing at all. It hurt me when those that were near me said nothing to me at all shortly after the loss, like the person I loved never existed. I often had to grieve alone, and even had to hide it. Still do.
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Old 10-23-2017, 01:41 PM
 
21 posts, read 5,816 times
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I could think of much worse things that people have said!
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Old 10-23-2017, 05:13 PM
 
3,967 posts, read 5,257,158 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 17thAndK View Post
But there are things that people can and do say that will make matters worse.
You are right that a person can say really crass, insensitive things to one suffering grief. I knew someone who's son died and someone else actually said to her "You're better off without him." Now that takes the cake for cruelty, I think. But also bad are people who try to "make it better" with things like "He's in a better place," "God never gives us more than we can handle," and "I know just what you are feeling," and "give it a little time and you will feel better." Since you can't make it better, you shouldn't try. So just say what you are feeling. Even "I don't know what to say" is better than giving a platitude aimed at "let me fix that." An honest "I'm really sorry," "I know this must be terrible," "I feel so badly about all this," etc. is fine because it is genuine feeling. Most people who feel they don't know what to say are burdened by the feeling that what they say is supposed to make the person feel better. Once you realize that you can't make it better, and that what you say is only to help the person feel that others care, I think it is easier to feel comfortable talking with people who have experienced loss.

One more thing. Never feel that saying something will "remind them of the loss." Believe me, they have not forgotten. A sweet memory of the lost person is almost never a mistake. We all want to know that our loved ones are remembered fondly.
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Old 10-23-2017, 08:01 PM
 
4,879 posts, read 2,164,669 times
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G grasshopper,so eloquently stated.

I'm more of a gesture person...A gentle hand to let them know I will ease the burden .Human touch ( in appropriate ways) can do so much to the stricken. my one work associate was short on words...He truly didn't know what to say...But he quietly asked if he could give me a hug... We both wept....He had seen me at my rawest and most vulnerable..And gave a gesture of comfort. The 'im sorry'...Just wouldn't have done what that human hug did...I was not so alone...
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Old 10-23-2017, 08:02 PM
 
5,628 posts, read 1,966,904 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by testing_waters View Post
like 10 years. if you tell someone that a relative or loved one passed that long ago, in context of a conversation and they reply with "I'm sorry", isn't that weird?

I never know what to say. it makes no sense. I often think they're just pitying me. it comes off as insincere. I have grown to hate these words so much. If people would say, "that must have been hard for you" that makes more sense. if it had only been a year or two, "I'm sorry" makes more sense. but when people say it YEARS after the fact, I can only perceive it as they're uncomfortable. I get it nearly every time I indulge in sharing the information that it has gotten to the point that in person I'm more mysterious because I just don't want to deal with it.

anyone else despise that response "I'm sorry" ?

What has been your experience with the public, not necessarily close friends or relatives who are most likely grieving with you, but with strangers, what do you think of it ?
I like "I'm sorry." It's very simple and doesn't get into some of the awkward extraneous things that could be said instead. Sometimes less is more, IMO.
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Old 10-24-2017, 03:31 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
22,767 posts, read 21,813,668 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 17thAndK View Post
Yes, it does matter. Having so little empathy as to deny that empathy itself makes any difference is not a good sign. People struck by loss are in a difficult place. If you care for them, you would try to comfort them, not demean them.
It doesn't demean anyone. Some people have no idea how to deal with loss. They really don't understand until they've lost someone.
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Old 10-24-2017, 09:23 AM
 
21 posts, read 5,816 times
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But there are things that people can and do say that will make matters worse.


Absolutely. After a serious loss a while back, someone told me that the experience would help me 'mature'. I didn't thank them for that.
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