It's been over a year since my sister died, but I still vividly remember some of the ridiculous things that people said to me at her funeral and soon after her death. I realize that some people just do not know what to say around someone that is mourning the loss of a loved one. It is uncomfortable and people just say whatever they can think of that might help the mourning person feel better. To be honest, if you are feeling that way, it is probably best to not say anything at all.
So here is my list, in no particular order.
1. "She looks good." - Said while looking down at her in the casket.
- Wait ... WHA?? No. She does not look good. She looks dead. How do you think telling me that my sister looks good in death is going to make me feel any better? And, if you truly knew my sister, you would not think that she looked good. If you'd like to say that the funeral parlor did a good job of disguising her injuries, then you would be right. But to tell me she looks good? You're a freaking idiot.
2. "It's all part of God's plan."
- How do you know that? Are you his freaking secretary? Did you pencil her death into his schedule for him when he asked you to? Or perhaps he posted it all up on Google Calendar, and you've been stalking him. That has to be it. I'm going to make sure to go check in on his calendar, too. That way I'll know when to expect the next death he has planned.
3. "How are you doing?" - asked as they hug you at her funeral.
- Pretty damn good, thanks for asking. Hey ... let's blow this snoozefest and go grab some beers, m'kay? Seriously ... what kind of response do you expect from a stupid question like that? No one is doing good when they are a few days out from losing a loved one. Don't ask stupid questions. Ugh.
4. "It will get better with time."
- Lie. What a freaking lie. You know how I know this is a lie? Because she will STILL be dead with time. She won't be there for me to call up and talk to. I won't be able to see her laugh at her kids playing. I won't be able to hug her and smell her still damp hair. Don't try to make me feel better by telling me lies. Does the hurt lesson some with time? Yeah, it does. I don't wake up every day sobbing like I did at first. But "it" is not better. The "it" is the fact that she is still dead, and I still don't get to see her enjoying her son's lives.
5. "I'm sick of you mourning your sister." - said to me exactly one month after my sister died. This jewel was from my husband at the time. He then threw me and the kids out. Yeah ... not much else to say about this one.
I will say, there is one person that really impressed me. Her words have stuck with me since she spoke to me at my sister's funeral. I really have to thank Gena for being so awesome. I don't think that I will ever forget what she did. She came up to me and said "There is nothing that I can say that will make this better. So, can I just give you a hug?" To me, that was the most understanding, supportive, and kind thing that anyone could ever say to someone mourning. So think about Gena's words, and perhaps in the future when you are trying to comfort someone that is grieving, you can use them so you don't sound like an idiot.