A Conversation for Dealing with Other People's Concern Over Your Own Bereavement

Humor (Sort of)

Post 1

SDI Divemaster

When my mother died, my father took it very hard. At the funeral, many people said to him (and to me and my brother) 'Please tell me if there is anything I can do'. It seems that Dad got tired of hearing it, because he started replying "Paint my house.'

Innappropriate? You bet. But no one seemed to mind, and sometimes you need humor even if its awfully grim.

Humor (Sort of)

Post 2


I think that was a good thing he did. When my mother died when I was 12, and it got so annoying after the first 3 days of people askin is they could do anything, or that they were so sorry, so I started saying to the later, "Why are you appogizing? You didn't have anything to do with it." I still use that reply, because people are still saying it 12 years later, and they didn't even know her.

Humor (Sort of)

Post 3


I really used to worry what to say to people when they'd suffered a bereavement. Agonising about the right thing to say sometimes meant that a sympathy card never got sent because I missed the boat.

Then when my mother died, some people just picked up the phone and rang me on the very day. I appreciated each and every message of condolence I got - every single one comforted me.

So now when there's a death my belief is it's better to say something, anything, than nothing. If the bereaved is prickly, which they have every right to be, they won't hold an awkward comment against you as time goes on.

(However, I do take the point that it's better to offer specific help - 'Can I pick the kids up from school this week?' IS more helpful to 'Is there anything I can do'?)

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