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Grief, things that people said that didn't comfort me.

(253 Posts)
QueenOfIce Fri 18-Jan-19 11:23:00

I know that everyone is different, each person grieves in their own way and that it's normal for that person. I'm coming up to 2 years without my mum and this anniversary looming is far worse than the first.

Someone I know has recently been bereaved and I understand her sense of loss even though her grief is different to mine but when I saw comments people had written to her it made me think about the things people said to me via text or in person.

Perhaps people don't know what to say or are afraid of saying the wrong thing. I never found the following very helpful.

"Stay strong".. I had been strong, I nursed and sat by her bedside I was there when she died. What is there now to be strong for? it made me feel as though I shouldn't grieve.

"Remember all the good times". When I was first bereaved remembering anything but her last few days was hard. I was consumed by feelings of loss and sadness.

"She will always be with you" - I never found this comforting.

I know some will disagree however death isn't a topic openly discussed and of course people want to comfort but I do wonder if we talked more openly then platitudes would be less.

Is there anything you'd rather someone not say?

Fantasisa Fri 18-Jan-19 11:23:58

Anything about God 'choosing' them to go to heaven. Fuck that.

Loopytiles Fri 18-Jan-19 11:25:03

Anything religious. Eg “they are in a better place”.

WeeCheekyBird Fri 18-Jan-19 11:25:42

"They're in a better place" always got me.

As someone who isn't religious that annoyed me and I always felt it was insensitive. The best place was when they were with me here. Not gone.

Drum2018 Fri 18-Jan-19 11:27:19

Loopytiles I heard that one at a funeral this week.

icannotremember Fri 18-Jan-19 11:28:40

"He wouldn't have wanted you to be so upset"

MrMeeseekscando Fri 18-Jan-19 11:29:38

Regarding my Dead Partner
"It's better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all."

ZoeZebra1 Fri 18-Jan-19 11:29:41

Yeah anything religious, about them being too good for this world, in a better place etc.
Also, being told he had a good innings.
I was also told he wouldn't want me sad, which at the time added guilt into the mix of sadness.

Parthenope Fri 18-Jan-19 11:30:16

Yes, don’t presuppose religious belief or belief in an afterlife. In fact, all anyone condoling with someone after a bereavement has to say is how sorry they are, sincerely, and not behave as though death is something terribly embarrassing that only happens to a tiny minority. Cut the platitudes about it being ‘for the best’ and ‘at least she didn’t suffer’, and ‘he had a good innings’, and if it’s a miscarriage or still birth, for God’s sake do not say ‘Ah well, it’s for the best —nature knows these things’, ‘At least you know you can conceive’ or ‘You’ll have others’.

moonlight1705 Fri 18-Jan-19 11:31:07

My DM died two weeks ago and most people have been very sensitive but I really don't get the whole 'She wouldn't have wanted to be in pain'

Actually, knowing my mum she would have wanted the doctors to get their arse in gear, give her pain meds and get her fixed up and continue to be living so she could meet her first grandchild....but at least she wasn't in pain anymore.

scaryteacher Fri 18-Jan-19 11:34:58

She will always be with you Sounds trite, but is true to an extent, as your Mum helped to shape the person you are. My Dad died when he was 60, so 18 years ago this year, and there are times I can hear his voice in my head. I certainly can with his Mum, who died 5 years after dad. When I buy something, I can hear her say 'do you really need that, what a waste of money' or her tutting at the size of the turkey at Christmas.

I am not a prepper, but I can always feed at least 10 people, as I watched Nana replenish her store cupboard when I was a kid, and I have a ginormous store cupboard now.

QueenOfIce Fri 18-Jan-19 11:35:25

Being told 'I'm sorry for your loss' really angered me. She's not fucking lost..I can't go to lost and found and collect her.

Moonlight sympathies that you have been catapulted into this club that none of us wanted to join. I do hope you have good support around you at this time. thanks

bluebellation Fri 18-Jan-19 11:35:34

Definitely anything religious. After my DD died I really didn't want to be told Jesus wanted her. So did I, thanks very much!

Also "You'll get over it" . No, I won't- ever. I'll learn to cope with it, but that's not the same thing. (Still hurts, that comment, 12 years on)

SoleBizzz Fri 18-Jan-19 11:37:20

He could have died. As if I shouldn't be defeated about what happened to him!

2019Dancerz Fri 18-Jan-19 11:37:31

Yeah the pain one. That just makes me reflect on how bad her last months must have been. I found it worse though that many people I know simply didn’t say anything - especially people at work. So I appreciate anyone who does try to comfort me. I also really appreciate anyone who remembers later - like a friend who acknowledges that Christmas would be hard in her card to me.

SoleBizzz Fri 18-Jan-19 11:37:40


Openandshut Fri 18-Jan-19 11:38:54

A friend who lost her very young DC hates it when people talk about how unnatural it is to lose a child, because she says that it's far from unnatural considering how many parents have lost a child, that it's far from uncommon and should be discussed more often, not hidden away. (Friend's brother also died as a child) She also hates the term unnatural because it makes it sound as though it was her fault in some way , that she was defective. and that it's something that could never happen to them.

Bowchicawowow Fri 18-Jan-19 11:39:29

We were told at school that people who grieved at funerals were selfish because the person who had died had gone to heaven and we should be happy for them

Gramgram Fri 18-Jan-19 11:39:33

My DF died in 2013, he fell over and knocked himself out, he wasn't seen or found for possibly a couple of days. The death certificate says hypothermia. The thing I found most upsetting was people telling me " at least he didn't know. ". It didn't comfort me because I can only imagine his fright when he knew he was falling.

I also had someone telling me he didn't die outside, yes he did, the Police showed me the place where it happened.

QueenofIce, it takes time and I've just learnt to live with it.

2019Dancerz Fri 18-Jan-19 11:39:43

OP I’d annoy you then as I would always say sorry for your loss - very traditional way to pass on condolences. A loss is exactly how I feel it - a sense of loss isn’t the same as mislaying something. This does illustrate to me how hard it is to do or say the right thing!

2019Dancerz Fri 18-Jan-19 11:42:00

Scaryteacher in my head I still tell my mum stories about my mil! I know what you mean flowers

ZogTheOrangeDragon Fri 18-Jan-19 11:45:48

When my daughter died I was told I was still young and would go on to have other children. Another child would never replace the one who had died or with the devastation that I went through. I was actually in my late thirties at the time and the woman who said it to me had no idea whether I could or would have more children.

I also hate the expression that a dead person is lost.

Whisky2014 Fri 18-Jan-19 11:48:38

So to turn this on its head...
What are good things to say?

NoArmaniNoPunani Fri 18-Jan-19 11:49:19

When DH died someone told me she knows what it feels like as her DH works away a lot.

Parthenope Fri 18-Jan-19 11:51:11

Just say you’re sorry. Listen if they want to talk. Don’t expect them to have magically recovered within a month or two. Skip the the platitudes.

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