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...to think that when someone tells you their LO has died...

(30 Posts)
MrsThierryHenry Sat 13-Sep-08 15:33:09

...you should show some sort of sympathy first, BEFORE changing the subject to talk about yourself?

My colleague told me the other day that her grandmother had just died. Before I could even utter a word of sympathy a guy who was standing with us blurted out 'My grandmother's been ill for ages...' and then proceeded to talk to us for several minutes and in great detail, about his own grandmother's illness, how it affected him and his family, etc. Then he walked off.

Please tell me I am not the only one who thinks this is extraordinarily, interminably, disgustingly rude. At the very least, if this fellow simply had to talk about himself, he could have started off by saying 'I'm really sorry to hear about your gran'. Is this really too much to ask? I know death's a difficult subject to cope with and that some people manage it with more difficulty than others, but (frankly I am boiling so much that I can't find any eloquent words to communicate my disgust so here goes) blardy hell!

HeinzSight Sat 13-Sep-08 15:34:17

WHat a tosser sad

wtfhashappened Sat 13-Sep-08 15:34:59

stupid bugger

Gobbledigook Sat 13-Sep-08 15:36:26

Isn't 'LO' little one? I don't get the title.

expatinscotland Sat 13-Sep-08 15:36:32

it is rude.

but for some reason - and i always keep these thoughts to myself in conversation - i can never work it up to be sad when elderly people die.

blush

Gobbledigook Sat 13-Sep-08 15:36:50

But yes, it's disgusting.

MrsSnape Sat 13-Sep-08 15:36:56

My mum is terrible for this...you could say to her "I've got a lump in my breast" and she'd say "oh I remember when I went for one of those breast scans, really hurt it did...because I had a lump you know...." it really annoys me.

MrsSnape Sat 13-Sep-08 15:37:14

LO - Loved one

wtfhashappened Sat 13-Sep-08 15:37:30

loved One

MrsThierryHenry Sat 13-Sep-08 15:39:47

Heinz - thank you! I feel relieved that you're as eloquent as I am on these matters wink

jojostar Sat 13-Sep-08 15:41:19

maybe he didnt know what else to say and was trying to let you know he understood by talking about his gran's illness then realised you maybe wanted a different reaction and thought shit better go...Maybe he's beating himself up for appearing a right twat...maybe he thinks he handled it just fine, men are funny creatures at the best of times. if it had been a woman i would've been more bothered

expatinscotland Sat 13-Sep-08 15:44:28

maybe inside he was thinking, 'Well, she was really old' but what he said was what came out.

MrsThierryHenry Sat 13-Sep-08 15:45:03

Jojo, I think you've hit the nail on the head. He didn't know what else to say (clearly 'I'm sorry' or 'you poor thing' are far too complex to feature in his limited vocabulary) and so he decided it would be more fitting to talk about himself instead.

What an emotional moron.

Nah, just a moron.

MrsThierryHenry Sat 13-Sep-08 15:45:42

Expat!! shock

(you always make me laugh)

expatinscotland Sat 13-Sep-08 15:47:29

Well, people do think it blush. It's just that he is more obtuse than others and that's what he blurted out, rather than, 'Oh, I'm so sorry (not really because I didn't know her and she was probably really old and we've all got to go sometime) for your loss.'

BitOfFun Sat 13-Sep-08 15:48:12

I think some people are just crap and awkward in situations like this, and aren't really meaning to be rude. Saying "oh, something similar happened to me" is probably their clumsy way of trying to say they sympathise with what you are going through, because they know how it feels.

Of course they DON'T really know, and it comes off as crass and insensitive, but they probably think it was entirely appropriate, IYSWIM.

I witnessed a dreadful example of this during my counselling training, when one group member disclosed her terrible experience of incestuous abuse, with real dignity, only to be responded to by another trainne blurting out through snivelled tears that the school caretaker had sat her on his knee once in primary school hmm

Needless to say, she failed the course...

BitOfFun Sat 13-Sep-08 15:49:19

That's trainee, not tranny...

MrsThierryHenry Sat 13-Sep-08 15:52:02

But expat, when I say sorry for someone's loss I'm expressing sympathy for the person who's grieving - same as if someone had won the pools I'd congratulate them (then steal their ticket). The issue here is not so much about wanting to bring one's LO's back from the dead, but about showing empathy with the living, don't you think?

Oh my God I'm boring myself blush blush and [superblush].

expatinscotland Sat 13-Sep-08 15:53:20

yeah, but maybe he's just not the type to express sympathy when he doesn't feel it.

now, socially, that's not very pleasant.

but, not knowing him, perhaps he just can't express what isn't there.

oldwhingebag Sat 13-Sep-08 15:54:03

perhaps he was trying to demonstrate sympathy/empathy but it just came out wrong?

MrsThierryHenry Sat 13-Sep-08 16:12:15

Yeah, I get the point about people finding these situations awkward, but I don't think that means it's okay.

Bitoffun - am shock at your counselling story (though it's also very funny that she could be so self-absorbed and think she'd make a good counsellor!).

Maybe I should set up a School for the Emotionally Awkward?

debzmb62 Sat 13-Sep-08 16:15:30

i must agree with owb i think he was just trying to demonstrate sympathy and just did,nt know any other way to express it
some men / people are like that

MrsThierryHenry Sat 13-Sep-08 16:26:51

Okay, it sounds like most of you think IABU. Fair enough, that's what this thread is for!

What I forgot to add was that the bloke in question is in his 50s and I believe he's a dad himself - I am amazed that someone could have all that life experience and not manage to squeeze out a single sympathetic word!

Taking all your thoughts into consideration I actually think that if I'm in a similar situation again I might challenge the person in question - not nastily, maybe gently say something like 'can we keep the conversation to X's grandmother?' It might prod them to see that they're being inconsiderate. I live in hope.

melpomene Sat 13-Sep-08 21:00:27

He's in his 50s and his grandmother is still alive? shock Or am I misunderstanding?

mshadowsisfab Sat 13-Sep-08 21:08:20

expat so glad you find it amusing.
I will lol at my "old" sm's funeral on thursday.

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