Author Topic: Dumb Things People Say  (Read 8767 times)

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Offline ComingHome

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Dumb Things People Say
« on: September 26, 2007, 05:42:07 PM »
I was talking with a lady the other day whose son died of cancer at age 28.  She said that after his death a person came up to her at the funeral home and tried to comfort her by saying, "Well, at least you have three other boys."  It got me thinking about dumb (though well meaning) things that people say connected with the death of a loved one.

For instance, as most of you know my Grandfather has only a short time to live.  One person said, "He has had such a long life."  Eighty years is a long life but I assure you from the family's point of view it is not long enough.

Or to the young couple that had just lost their ? week old child, the person said, "You two are young and you can always have more children."
 
I'm sure that others have heard such things as well.  I have found that I do better just to be a silent presence rather than a blathering idiot.

Offline Trudy

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Re: Dumb Things People Say
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2007, 08:33:30 PM »
Here's a good one.

At the funeral of my husband who died at the age of 23 (now 25 years ago), the friend of my aunt said to her, "Gee, she must not have loved him very much.  She's not crying."

I, too, have learned to keep my mouth shut and give a hug if I'm able.
He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?  Micah 6:8

Offline Nyssa The Hobbit

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Re: Dumb Things People Say
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2007, 09:01:28 PM »
For instance, as most of you know my Grandfather has only a short time to live.  One person said, "He has had such a long life."  Eighty years is a long life but I assure you from the family's point of view it is not long enough.

Oh, dear, I hope it wasn't me.  I thought I was doing well at not saying "dumb" things, but I guess I still need to work on it.

One thing I always try to keep in mind in such situations is that people are just trying to find something to say.  I've read so many posts, letters to Ann Landers, etc. about "dumb remarks" about death, misfortune, adoption, etc. that I think everybody says something "dumb" at some point.  Just as with driving errors, I try not to be too judgmental about other drivers because everybody does something "dumb" at some point.  Yet everybody thinks he's a good driver.  I think the charitable thing is to take the "dumb" comment for what it's intended to be: People see grief, don't know what to say, think they're supposed to say something, and blurt out what comes first to mind, hoping it will help a person feel a bit better.  There are also comments people make about adoption, for example, which will annoy one person but not bother another.  When we do an "oops," we hope that others will let it go.  What we need is some sort of instruction manual listing all the things to say and all the things not to say, because otherwise this will just keep going on till Doomsday.


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Offline ComingHome

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Re: Dumb Things People Say
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2007, 10:07:51 PM »
I hope I did not sound judgemental because that was not my intention.  I should have mentioned that the only way I learned to keep my mouth shut was by regularly putting my foot in it. Being in pastoral ministry for a number of years  has given me the greatest opportunity to mess up and say some really dumb things.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2007, 11:13:25 PM by ComingHome »

Offline Nyssa The Hobbit

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Re: Dumb Things People Say
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2007, 11:33:50 AM »
Thanks.  That makes me feel better.  :)

I'm not sure if I was the person you meant or not, but if so, I apologize.  I was just trying to help.  :)

Author of "Tojet" (fantasy) and "The Lighthouse" (Gothic), info available at my website URL.

Offline tweety234

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Re: Dumb Things People Say
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2013, 02:03:08 PM »
I was talking with a lady the other day whose son died of cancer at age 28.  She said that after his death a person came up to her at the funeral home and tried to comfort her by saying, "Well, at least you have three other boys."  It got me thinking about dumb (though well meaning) things that people say connected with the death of a loved one.

For instance, as most of you know my Grandfather has only a short time to live.  One person said, "He has had such a long life."  Eighty years is a long life but I assure you from the family's point of view it is not long enough.

Or to the young couple that had just lost their ? week old child, the person said, "You two are young and you can always have more children."
 
I'm sure that others have heard such things as well.  I have found that I do better just to be a silent presence rather than a blathering idiot.




If the above comments are the only comments someone can offer to someone who is grieving, because of a loved one. They are being cynical at the very least. And they can as well tell them to go to hell. No one can replace the uniqueness of anyone else. Yes perhaps I love my nieces more than anyone for instance. But if I lose my best friend. My nieces wont make it any better. And the fact that I have other friends as well, doesn't make it better either. Just as a sheppard doesn't care if he still has 99 sheep, and he wants the 100th as well. I don't care if I have another 9 friends and 5 nieces and nephews. I want my 10th friend as well.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2013, 02:06:52 PM by tweety234 »
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Offline Hiwot

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Re: Dumb Things People Say
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2013, 03:04:19 PM »
I think this is a j/k although it could be a true story..

the man went to the funeral of someone's mother and he heared his friends comfort her grieving son saying' your mom was a mother to us all' so the next time he went to the funeral of his friend's wife and started to comfort his friend ' your wife was a wife to us all'
To God be the Glory in all things! Amen!

Only pray for me, that God would give me both inward and outward strength, that I may not only speak, but truly will; and that I may not merely be called a Christian, but really be found to be one. St.Ignatius of Antioch.Epistle to the Romans.

Offline mike

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Re: Dumb Things People Say
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2013, 06:52:41 PM »
For instance, as most of you know my Grandfather has only a short time to live.  One person said, "He has had such a long life."  Eighty years is a long life but I assure you from the family's point of view it is not long enough.

Depends on the circumstances. I'd like my grandparents to die around 83 in good health and with no suffering, than ie. in 87 after several years with huge health problems. I am sure they prefer that too. My grandmother died after spending several weeks in a hospital with destroyed pancreas. She didn't stand up from the bed even once, all time tied to drip etc. Last 15 or so days in coma. I'm sure she'd prefer to die straight away.