Never say my condolences again.

3fngrs

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Death, ha! The final slap.

"Sorry about your loss. " That's all I say.

"Get 'em in the ground and move on," may be deemed a little insensitive. I've lost everyone who's older in my life that matters except my mom and she's almost 81. I think about a few of them regularly but for the most part, it seems like they only ever existed in a far away dream these days.
 

Toto'sDad

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My best friend's older brother did that in about the most messy way you can imagine, in his own home while the rest of his family were at Easter services (20 years ago). My friend started out the first few years afterward saying, "It took a lot of guts to do that." It took him several years, but after he got counseling he finally one day told us all, "I was wrong. What my brother did was chickensh*t." Everybody nodded in agreement. Loved the man but despise what he did to himself. The only good thing that came from it was the other family members who had been threatening suicide never spoke of suicide again. Oddly, all the family grudges and disputes silently faded away.

I'm sick of hearing so many characters on tv shows and in movies say "I'm sorry for your loss."
Suicide has touched our family, and circle of friends far too many times during our marriage. We know people who are still suffering more than fifty years after having a family member kill themselves. My wife's uncle killed himself, and left a wife and six kids to fend for themselves. We'll never know what happened, but I do know courage had no part in any of the one's that I knew who went that rout.

My golfing buddy was ten years old when he heard a shot, ran into the house and found his daddy dead on the floor. For my friend the sun rose and set on his daddy, it was cruel to check out and leave him to miss him his entire life. He's an old man now, probably more than twice as old as his dad was when he checked out, my buddy still misses him.
 

Nightclub Dwight

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some times in a moment of unsurmountable shock, just to know some one has your back ,even if nothing is spoken is a comfort, although the world is a horrible place in your heart at that time , most say the obligatory condolences because they cant say or dont know how to say anything else but to let you know they care then get uncomfortable and run away.
I have always kept my family close to me for that purpose and my last words to them will never be in anger , I would rather wrap my arms around those I love, and tell them I love them even if I am seathing in disagreement , time is short for us so , frustration is a waste of time.

I'm here for the party , not the heart break , but tears will come all too soon.

Suicide has touched our family, and circle of friends far too many times during our marriage. We know people who are still suffering more than fifty years after having a family member kill themselves. My wife's uncle killed himself, and left a wife and six kids to fend for themselves. We'll never know what happened, but I do know courage had no part in any of the one's that I knew who went that rout.

My golfing buddy was ten years old when he heard a shot, ran into the house and found his daddy dead on the floor. For my friend the sun rose and set on his daddy, it was cruel to check out and leave him to miss him his entire life. He's an old man now, probably more than twice as old as his dad was when he checked out, my buddy still misses him.
Not only today, but often, I find a lot of wisdom in the words written by @24 track and @Toto'sDad. We all walk our own path through this life, for better or for worse.

I sympathize with the pain that causes some of us to shed this mortal coil through our own direct actions.

But we often forget to sympathize with the pain for those who choose to slowly chip away at their own edifice, resulting in an early death that many don't correlate to one's own intentions.

We are here for a precious short time. This is a great reminder to cherish every minute, and cherish everyone around us. We can either spend our time focusing on the problems, or focusing on the love and other graces.

I don't mean to come across as a know-it-all, because this advice is most important for me to internalize, but I thought it worth sharing with all of you as well.

I know I can do better.
 

57joonya

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Suicide has touched our family, and circle of friends far too many times during our marriage. We know people who are still suffering more than fifty years after having a family member kill themselves. My wife's uncle killed himself, and left a wife and six kids to fend for themselves. We'll never know what happened, but I do know courage had no part in any of the one's that I knew who went that rout.

My golfing buddy was ten years old when he heard a shot, ran into the house and found his daddy dead on the floor. For my friend the sun rose and set on his daddy, it was cruel to check out and leave him to miss him his entire life. He's an old man now, probably more than twice as old as his dad was when he checked out, my buddy still misses him.
That’s so rough when that happens . I would never do that to my kids no matter how tough things got , because of the fact that doing that, makes your kids about ten times more likely to die of the same act. I lost a cousin with a wife kids to that about a year ago.
 

Bob M

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When my wife passed away I was really unsure about how I would feel at the wake and funeral. Despite being in the middle of the pandemic nearly 200 people came. The amount of emotional support that I got was overwhelming. Everyone responds differently but if someone offers you their condolences I take it personally and thank them.
 

Weazel

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Hm.

I think it is a matter of expressing some sort of empathy and respect toward someone who has lost someone. The actual words are not important at all.

That said: When I am gone and on my way to the oven, I would have loved if someone came up to my surviving family and said "Well, it was about time..."

In fact, I want that on my tombstone.
That, or "Finally".

Sorry.
 

Sparky472

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t’s interesting how intolerant we become to parts of language.

Thinking of this thread and another recent one about words we never want to hear used again…I used to be intolerant of certain new turns of phrase or word usage. My brother is an English professor and as such I thought he would be sympathetic to my complaints. Rather, he enlightened me with his point of view that language is fluid - it changes as culture and society changes and it’s neither good nor bad. It took some time but those words had an impact on my point of view.

My kids think the way I speak is old fashioned… “Dad, don’t ever call a pizza a pie again. And a movie is a movie, not a picture.”

When my father in law died, a lot of well meaning and close friends and family members told my wife and her family to “hang in there.” In private moments they complained of what a ridiculous thing it is to say. Which struck me so odd. These people were just trying to express their concern and best wishes, something that we all know can be hard and awkward to do when dealing with death, but instead of recognizing that my wife’s family was criticizing them.

I guess my point (as I think many others have already expressed very well in response to the OP) is that perhaps we need to focus more on the meaning and sentiment behind what people say than the words they use to express it. Don’t get me wrong—I’m not above finding it a bit “cringy” (as my kids say) when I hear someone say they’re “living the dream,” or something similarly trite. But I think intent is really what matters most. Someone expressing condolences is letting you know they are sorry for your loss. That can’t be a bad thing.
 

telemnemonics

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I have missed more funerals than I've attended. You're right, I am not unfeeling. I might be a clod, though.
For some reason that escapes me, Ive been to far more funerals than weddings.
Just as funerals are becoming more dominant in my circle due to every damned person older than me dying off, Ive had enough of the damned things and am damn near willing to die to end all the funerals coming at me like space invaders...

Also, i shut off tje damned spellcheck and ever auto caps now doesnt work because my computer devices are all due fot funerals of their own.

At what age is it OK to go all Archie and Mehitabel?
 

telemnemonics

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t’s interesting how intolerant we become to parts of language.

Thinking of this thread and another recent one about words we never want to hear used again…I used to be intolerant of certain new turns of phrase or word usage. My brother is an English professor and as such I thought he would be sympathetic to my complaints. Rather, he enlightened me with his point of view that language is fluid - it changes as culture and society changes and it’s neither good nor bad. It took some time but those words had an impact on my point of view.

My kids think the way I speak is old fashioned… “Dad, don’t ever call a pizza a pie again. And a movie is a movie, not a picture.”

When my father in law died, a lot of well meaning and close friends and family members told my wife and her family to “hang in there.” In private moments they complained of what a ridiculous thing it is to say. Which struck me so odd. These people were just trying to express their concern and best wishes, something that we all know can be hard and awkward to do when dealing with death, but instead of recognizing that my wife’s family was criticizing them.

I guess my point (as I think many others have already expressed very well in response to the OP) is that perhaps we need to focus more on the meaning and sentiment behind what people say than the words they use to express it. Don’t get me wrong—I’m not above finding it a bit “cringy” (as my kids say) when I hear someone say they’re “living the dream,” or something similarly trite. But I think intent is really what matters most. Someone expressing condolences is letting you know they are sorry for your loss. That can’t be a bad thing.
Trite does not bother me
Glib though makes me homicidal
 

Synchro

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IMO, funerals are about shared support. There are various customs and believe regarding what happens when someone dies, but no matter what, people come together to show support. I’ve been to Catholic, Protestant, Masonic and LDS funerals, and seen much more commonality than difference, between them.

Death is uncontrollable, and can come along without warning. Roughly four weeks ago, I spoke to the son of a friend (who was also a friend in his own right), and two weeks ago I attended his funeral. He was a man in his prime, and was killed in an accident. My attendance at his funeral was an act of support for his surviving family members. I had to be there, because it was very important that I lend support to a family that has lent significant support to me.

Condolences are simply letting one know that we share their grief. Attending that funeral, I felt a sense of loss as I heard family members share their memories. I felt a sense of loss as I thought of the children who had lost their father. I felt a sense of loss when I realized that a friend was no longer available. Every time I spoke to a relative, I was at a loss for words, but my presence was the real statement. Attending a funeral is not a happy thing, but it’s time well spent.

In my recent experience, I was much more grateful to the people who reached out than what words they used. Acknowledgement is what means something. I had a lady who I worked with briefly at an oil company. I was shocked to see her at my wife's funeral. I thanked her for coming and all she said was, you were kind to me and she was glad to be there.
Well stated.
People don’t know what to say, because there is nothing helpful to say, but you’re mad at them for failing to finding the right words to please you when they come to acknowledge the loss?

Classy

Just tell them not to show up, I guess?
Exactly. There’s little that one can say which is helpful, but that is no reason to shy away from engaging with someone that has suffered a loss.
Ten years ago, I found the woman I loved lying dead on my living room floor. I was devastated beyond description. People showed up for visiting and the funeral and I’m sure they said things to me but I don’t know what; nothing they said even registered. Nothing could bring her back. Nothing could ease my grief. Nothing could take away my pain, nothing could diminish my agony. Nothing could repair the hole in my heart (which still hasn’t completely healed after ten years, to be honest). Yet, even though their words perhaps may have been awkward or clumsy or even trite, they cared enough to stop what they were doing and show up. They offered empathy and I am grateful that they cared enough to come.
Once again, exactly. When bad things happen, we learn who our real friends are. Sometimes, we receive support from unexpected sources, and sometimes we find out that people we thought of as friends weren’t so easy to find when the chips were down.
 

johnny k

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People don’t know what to say, because there is nothing helpful to say, but you’re mad at them for failing to finding the right words to please you when they come to acknowledge the loss?

Classy

Just tell them not to show up, I guess?
I just canceled your invitation to my funerals.
 

Sparky2

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I ve buried a bunch, and for the love of god who is still alive, please say i am going to miss him, or i am here with you, or whatever . but please, no condolensces.

It doesn't sound cool or anything. Just come up with something which is heart felt. He was an an==hole but at least he died is better.

Just bring me whiskey when I am in mourning.

Words don't mean much, but a nice bourbon is always a comfort.

🙂
 

ZackyDog

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To me, "my condolences" is perfectly fine for someone that you're merely acquainted with. A close friend gets significantly more than that.

Some people are more special than others.
 

Nightclub Dwight

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So, I spent Sunday at my partner's best friend's memorial gathering. It was a five hour picnic in a park. We had a little bit of rain, so I wore a raincoat. I kept a dough hook from our Kitchen Aid mixer in my pocket. Since I was meeting a lot of people for the first time, I'd reach into my pocket and grab the dough hook to shake hands. It broke the ice and everyone thought it was funny.

But the best part happened at the end of the day, when I was carrying boxes back to the car. One of my partner's old friends, who I just met earlier that day, made a big fuss wanting to help me carry the boxes. I declined, and told her that I had it no problem. When I picked up the box with both hands, she saw that I did not in fact have a dough hook for a hand after all. There were a bunch of old friends gathered at that point, and it was hilarious. Her husband pointed out that she has the same dough hook for her Kitchen Aid mixer, and she said that she thought I had different attachments that snapped on. In between her uncontrollable laughter, the only thing she could say was, "But...but...I shook the hook..."

This was a gathering of 200 old punk rock people, so I knew the joke would go over well. I think the levity was a welcome relief to what was otherwise a sad day. With that being said, it is important to read the room. This might not be an appropriate joke in other situations.
 

archetype

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I have heard it said that the best thing to say to a grieving person is "we love you."

At my age of three-score and ten and then some, I have been to quite a few funerals/celebrations of life in the past several years. They are getting more and more frequent.

My late wife said "When you reach 60 you start going to funerals."
 

archetype

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I've said words of comfort as I am able, when I am able. We've had a bunch of deaths, recently. In the extended family, an in-law a year ago and an uncle a few weeks back. Another uncle died yesterday, unexpectedly, but fortunately my wife and MIL got to see him a few weeks ago. Not a recent death, but a few weeks back there was a bit of closure for an extended family niece who'd been missing in Alaska for two years. They caught the alleged perp, now charged with kidnapping, torture, murder, tampering with evidence. It was random and she just happened to be walking down the sidewalk.

We come. We go. Let's be good to ourselves and each other while we're here.
 

teletail

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People don’t know what to say, because there is nothing helpful to say, but you’re mad at them for failing to finding the right words to please you when they come to acknowledge the loss?

Classy

Just tell them not to show up, I guess?
At the risk of sounding insensitive, I’ve given up trying to guess the proper wording in order to not offend anyone.

I’m not talking about being a passive aggressive jerk and hiding behind, “You’re being to sensitive,” I’m talking about really making an effort and being called on it anyway.

I remember the first time being called out for asking if anyone wanted “Oriental” food. That’s what I called it growing up. Now it’s “Asian” food. Well, India is in Asia and so is China, so which is “Asian” food? At least when you said oriental, everyone knew what you mean. My condolences if this offends you. :)
 




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