Tuesday, September 12

Thoughts on "comforting" words

Greetings. Its interesting the kinds of things people say to you after you’ve lost someone close to you, whether it be a friend, family member, person, or animal. Things such as, “I’m sorry for your loss.” The first time I heard this phrase was when my grandmother on my Dad’s side died back in 1995. I had not heard that for someone really, or even somewhat, close to me, and frankly, I didn’t know how to respond. Why were they apologizing to me? When Tony died, I began to understand it though.

Then there are the phrases that really don’t mean much, might even sound cheesy, but are supposed to sound good. Some examples of these are things like, “They’ve crossed the rainbow bridge and are in a better place.” Where is this rainbow bridge? And, is it the rainbow bridge that’s at the end of the alleged pot of gold?

Then there are the phrases that sound good but don’t offer much in the way of comfort, or at least not beneath the surface, such as, “They’re in a better place.” A better place? Ok, I know that Tony’s in Heaven, but how is him being in that better place supposed to make me feel better now when he’s not with me? Granted, picturing him in Heaven brings slight comfort, but here again, not as much when you consider that he died suddenly. If he had had a long drawn out illness and was sick over many months, then perhaps that might bring some comfort. But that wasn’t the case; he died about 80 minutes after I received the call from Geoff that he wasn’t doing so good.

Then there’s the ever popular, “He’s in no more pain.” This brings some degree of comfort, but there’s a certain part of it that still doesn’t seem to acknowledge the loss.

I’m not opposed to acknowledging the loss, but I’d rather do it in an appropriate, and not a cheesy, manner.

I haven’t had occasion to think a lot about these phrases, which is good. However, I have thought about them from time to time over the past week and a half or so. I’ve even told a close friend, something along the lines of, “Don’t even tell me ‘he’s in a better place’, since that doesn’t really offer any comfort to me.” To which my friend said, “Don’t worry, I won’t tell you that. I’ve been through that before, and it sucks.” Those words acknowledged the issue, but didn’t try to sugar coat it to make it sound good. He couldn’t have said it any better.

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