The 3 I’s; The ignorant, the insensitive and the idiot.
Words can hurt and words and words can heal
Our words and actions communicate, express and transfer our emotions and feelings, they convey our message of sympathy at a time when a family is completely exposed and vulnerable in grief. What we say and do during the wake and funeral has the ability to comfort, devastate, and in some cases traumatize a person/child when they are at their lowest. It seems many people have been hurt or enraged by the ignorant, insensitive and idiotic words from those people who; ‘Have nothing in them.
Below are the responses received when I asked people and posted the question on social media.
‘That’s the way.’
“Don’t worry you will get over it ”
“It was for the best.”
“I know how you are feeling.”
“He looked better in his coffin than he‘s looked for years!
“You’ll be better after the funeral when you can get back to normal.”
“Don’t worry dear, things will get better with time.”
“I’m sorry, but your Mom didn’t have enough faith to live any longer.”
“His money and house aren’t much good to him now.”
“You’ll have more children.”
“At least you have children.”
“Don’t worry, you’ll not be on your own for too long.”
“God takes only the best, God needed him for a job in heaven.”
“You think this is bad, my situation was so much worse, at least you didn’t have to nurse him, he went quickly.”
“A heart attack is the best way to go, that’s the way I want to go.”
“Pull yourself together, you have to been strong.”
“At least she is out of her suffering.”
“You’re young enough to have more children.”
“It was his time to go you will be together again soon.”
“It is all a part of God’s plan.” It’s God’s Will and you can’t argue with that.”
“It’s happy for them.”
“God needed an Angel.”
“Don’t be sad, he gets to be with Jesus on his birthday, how awesome is that?”
“You can still make peanut butter sandwiches at midnight.”
“Sure they lived a long life, what more could you ask for.”
“You’ll meet someone else.”
“I know exactly how you feel, I lost my? a few months ago.”
‘You went from Mrs. Somebody to Mrs. Nobody.’
‘You are in the club now.’
“It will take four long hard years before you will get over this.”
“Best not to dwell on it, that’s life, we live and we die.”
“God only gives you what you can handle”.
“She looks better than she did the last time I saw her”.
Comments made after the funeral some weeks and months later.
“Did I hear your husband died? I can’t remember.”
‘Does that mean your house is paid for, did you get a big payout.’
‘I must call to see you, I never have a minute.’
‘How much did you have him insured for?
“I’m sorry I wasn’t at the wake or funeral, it was our anniversary and we were on holiday, I would die if my husband died”. ‘Wait until you hear about my Cruise.’
“Hi, everything back to normal now?’
‘How could they do that to you.’
“Oh yeah, your daddy died, didn’t he? sorry to hear that.”
In Ireland when death comes to a house, that is trouble, the Irish when they don’t know what else to say, offer a heartfelt handshake with the words;
‘I am sorry for your trouble.’
“There are just no words”. Offer a hug, shake hands where appropriate.
“My deepest sympathy, I am here for you, if you want to talk, I am a good listener.”
“My Condolences to you and your Family.”
“I am so sorry for your loss.”
“There are no words, just know we are all thinking and praying for you”.
“Take YOUR time, there is no time limit on grieving.”
‘I am here for you.’
The impact of our words
We live in a world where common sense, “isn’t very common,” a society where there are so many different beliefs and perspectives about death and grief as a result of; religious affiliations, cultures, and traditions. Our beliefs about death and dying depend on so many factors, how we deal and cope with loss is very personal.
How to forgive and forget?
The people who have no clue
We have to forgive and forget the comments made by people who have never experienced loss, those people who have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. They really try to imagine and they feel that they have to say something, they usually end up putting their foot in their mouth.
Forgive them they know not what they do and say. Their day will come.
I am sure you have met people who are completely devoid of sensitivity, they come out with things that are absolutely inappropriate and look at you as if to say, “what did I say wrong?” They simply have nothing in them. No sensitivity, compassion, empathy, the people who make hurtful and insulting remarks as the tears roll down their face. I have written an article called; There is nothing in them.
Forgive them but know, that they know what they are doing. Bless them but remove those people from your life.
You probably also recognize the idiot, that person who you know is an idiot from the first time they open their mouth. They just don’t think, you know they mean no harm.
Forgive them, they know not what they do.
Coping with the loss of a significant person in your life is hard enough without taking on the burden of carrying the anger and pain associated with comments made from the ignorant, the insensitive and the idiots.
You have to forgive them If you forgive those comments, you will serve yourself well in the knowledge that “they know not what they do.”
If you have any tips and suggestions when dealing with negative comments, please share them and help others who cannot let go of anger and hurt.
A long time ago, a Wise Old Women did say
‘Pass no remarks.’ ‘Sure you know what they are.’ ‘They have nothing in them.’
Mind your heart. If you are grieving, please use the trusted and tested grieving therapies used for centuries; e.g. music, prayer, emotional freedom technique, tapping, you will find more information about the power of each of the therapies mentioned in separate article’s.
Remember me is all I ask,
and yet, if the remembrance proves a task, forget
William Percy French (Irish words of wisdom book)
What has been the best and worst words spoken to you following a loss?
Light and Love Kate and Bono