I don’t want to sound mean but, when you are grieving, other people can be absolute hell. It’s not their fault at all; the fact is that people don’t know what to say to you after you have lost someone dear to you. In my experience you have several types:
- Those who roll out the platitudes one after another: time’s a great healer, things will get easier, [fill in name of deceased] wouldn’t want you to be unhappy etc etc Each time I heard one of these I would nod and smile politely but inside I’d be screaming ‘you are talking absolute bollocks!!!! (I make no apology for the occasional profanity that crops up on here)
- Those who try to make you feel better by comparing your loss to something going on in their own life. One friend said “I know how you feel, it’s like when I split up with John” No it bloody isn’t you stupid woman, it’s absolutely nothing like it at all arrrrggghhhhhh!! Obviously this was all going on in my head, in reality I nodded and smiled politely.
- Those who think a nice hug will make it all better. I remember at my husband’s funeral I was wrapped in a bear hug by someone I didn’t actually know that well. Undoubtedly her intentions were good but I stood there like a tailor’s dummy until it was over all the time thinking “Get your hands off me for God’s sake, I can’t breathe”. I couldn’t nod on this occasion because she was hanging on so tightly but I am sure I smiled politely.
- People who cannot think of anything to say and so chatter like a crazed monkey about absolutely anything other than the death of your loved one. It’s embarrassment on their part obviously and the nice and kind side of me feels sorry for them. The not so kind part of me wanted to hit them with something just to make them stop talking. To be honest, in the end, I just stopped listening but I nodded and smiled politely.
- People who’ve actually been through it and know what you’re going through. In the beginning I thought ‘smug bastards, they think they’ve got all the bloody answers’ but I nodded and smiled politely.If it sounds like there was really no pleasing me, you’re right there wasn’t. I didn’t want to be with anyone except my husband and I didn’t want to be alone so I was up a certain creek without a certain paddle. I was other people and I am sure I was hell but it’s ok as everyone nodded and smiled politely………