We have all experienced loss in one form or another in our lives, but nothing compares to the devastation of unexpectedly losing a close family member before their time. This happened to my closest friend of 14 years, just over 3 weeks ago. She suddenly lost her father to still unclear health complications. While losing a father is obviously tragic, what is even worse is the closeness of this man to his three daughters. I have never seen a relationship between any father and his children like these girls were lucky enough to have. He even brought me into his fold and was more of a father to me than my own. Needless to say, this loss has been felt most acutely.
I have never been this close to so much devastation. I have learned so much and I feel it necessary to pass on this knowledge to the masses.
There really is only one thing I want people to take from this, and that is how NOT to fucking console someone after a completely unexpected loss.
Yes, it is nice to want to say sorry for your loss, but what the fuck does that do for anyone??? Ok, thanks? Is that the reply you want? Can you imagine how many people come out of the woodwork during a tragedy such as this to say “sorry for your loss”? A lot of fucking people. People you haven’t talked to in 5 years, your old math teacher, people you’ve never met, your mom’s childhood friend that moved away in 4th grade and hasn’t spoken to her since. People that live 3,000 miles away and say “if you need anything, just let me know”, like they could fucking do anything if they were taken up on the offer.
You know why this sucks to these grieving people? Because, after you have offered your “sorry”, you are absolved from any more feelings on the matter and get to return to your life. The lives of these girls and their mother will NEVER be the same. They do not get to go back to normal life. Ever. Period.
Anyway, while I know for a fact that no one wants to sift through and acknowledge all these messages of condolence, without it they would probably feel like the person they lost didn’t matter and so we must continue with this sympathy parade. I am just going to offer a list of things not to say, like ever. Just say sorry and stop trying to make it better, it will not get better. At least not yet.
Ok, here is a list of things to fucking choke on before saying it to a grieving person:
- He’s in a better place. Seriously, fuck you. Pretty sure his home with his family was a pretty good place.
- Everything happens for a reason. Ok, why? What’s the reason? So I can be fucking sad for the rest of my life? Cool, thanks.
- He’ll always be here with you. So much NOPE. Actually, he won’t ever be here again. That’s why I’m crying, and why his life insurance is eligible for disbursement.
- If you need to talk, I’m here. Oh, OK. I’ll just talk to you about the worst moment of my life that you can’t possibly relate to. Oh, and who the fuck are you?
- How are you doing? What possible answer could there be other than, “really fucking bad”?
- Oh, my god! What happened? You see, what happened was he knew you were coming over to ask us this and decided to kill himself to get out of it. How bout ya don’t make me describe the horrible moments I’ve been trying to erase from my memory every second of the day? Your selfish curiosity can fucking wait.
Also, what fucking sadist thought of the idea of the “receiving friends” hour(s) before the funeral??? Ok, let just line up next to a dead body of a beloved family member and receive hugs from 600 people we don’t know. This exact scenario happened to my friend and her family. Her little 15-year-old sister had to stand up there and take this torture, as well. How is that OK??
Anyway, rant over. Don’t talk to me for like 6 weeks, k?