Ep 16 - What Not To Say
In this episode I talk about how when my husband died people seemed to have an awful lot of advice, how there are no perfect words to say in grief and how it helped me to have a safe place to be honest and to have people that would sit with me and just be.
When my husband died, people seemed to have an awful lot of advice, suggestions and guidance they wanted to share with me. I can imagine that it was difficult for people who cared about me to see me hurting. And I like to think that most people come from a good place. They mean well. They just want to help. But some of the words of encouragement offered to me weren’t always well received.
I was recently reconnecting with a friend from junior high who said, “I may not know what to say or do. I definitely cannot say I know how you feel or what you are going through. But I know I can be an ear for you.” This is my absolute favorite thing to hear. I love the honesty and the awkwardness and the bravery. Because there are no perfect words to say in grief. Nothing will make it better or change the course of events. And nothing can take all the pain away.
The truth is, when you’re grieving, there’s almost nothing anyone can say that can help. The only thing that helped me, besides alcohol and paper plates, was having a safe place to be honest. A place to share the shocking, unthinkable things people said to me. A place to be inappropriate and make crude remarks. And a place to say how I really felt. Having people that would just sit with me and just be. Just listen or make me laugh or make me feel less alone.