The Widow’s Handbook

Things NOT to say to a widow/widower:

  1.  It was God’s will.
  2.  He’s in a better place now.
  3. Everything happens for a reason.  (you deserve to be shot for this one)
  4.  You’re lucky to be alive (post-accident).
  5.  God must have a special plan for you.
  6.  What are you doing for fun?
  7.  Do you feel better now? (after several months have passed)
  8.  Have you thought about going to church?
  9.  He (deceased) would like you to do that (fill in the blank).
  10.  Maybe you need a makeover.

I know it’s hard to think of things to say to a widow or widower, and I don’t blame anyone for feeling inept. I know most people do their best not to stay stupid and inappropriate things. But platitudes and suggestions for rejuvenating one’s relationship with their Maker (whomever that might be) are generally unwelcome. Keep in mind that I am a lapsed Catholic, so I do have a religious background and spiritual inclination.

Enough said.

Hope you all have a great day!

16 thoughts on “The Widow’s Handbook

  1. a multitude of variations on “God must have a special plan for you.” and “God has a plan of which we are not to know” when my father died when i was twelve sent me (angirly) to a decade of atheism before finding some flicker of spirituality.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I particularly foam at the mouth over numbers 1, 2, and 3. I will say after 7 years I don’t hear these stupid comments much any more. As for being lucky to be alive, I kept wondering and wishing I had not been left behind. I still do, but I have some responsibilities so I soldier on.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A makeover? Really? Sorry you had to endure that one. People don’t know what to say. All I can say is that I cannot imagine it because I haven’t been through a loss of a spouse, and it just must hurt and suck. My love to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This list makes me feel sad and angry that you have to hear such things. And it also makes me sad because I think sometimes we just don’t know what to say someone who’s experienced loss – or many other really awful things, too, like serious illness.

    What would you say are things you WOULD like to hear, if someone really feels like they need to acknowledge your loss and what you’ve gone through, and try to show they’re being supportive or that they believe things will get better (whether through spiritual means, human nature, etc.)?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Erica, how awful. I hope I haven’t said anything hurtful ever. Sometimes I have a strong emotional reaction to your writing and I feel like I might not make sense in a comment. Please always know that I am truly sorry and I am here for you always. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have also been told that saying something along the lines of “If I can do anything for you, just let me know.” is pretty useless. A lot of the recently (and not so recently) bereaved would like to be included in activities, but shouldn’t have to ask to join in.

    Liked by 1 person

Your Thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.