Kate Hamilton, co-founder of The Funeral Ladies website, recently wrote an article titled “What to say to a grieving person.” Perhaps this lesson on funeral etiquette would have been better titled, “What NOT to say to a grieving person.”
She listed a number of actual quotes heard at funerals and visitations, the worst and the best, collected from contributors through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Unfortunately, the worst comments far outnumbered the best.
A few of the worst comments:
“You think this is bad, my situation was so much worse, at least you didn’t have to nurse him, he went quickly.”
“It is all a part of God’s plan.” It’s God’s will and you can’t argue with that.”
“I know exactly how you feel, I lost my dog a few months ago.”
“His money and house aren’t much good to him now.”
“You’ll have more children.”
A few of the best comments (which were far fewer in number):
“My deepest sympathy, I am here for you if you want to talk.”
“My condolences to you and your family.”
“I am here for you if you ever need someone to just listen.”
“I’m so sorry for your loss.”
“There are no words, just know we are all thinking and praying for you.”
“Take YOUR time, there is no time limit on grieving.”
Who is saying the worst things and why? Kate explains the people who make insensitive, hurtful and unimaginable remarks fall under three categories: the ignorant, the insensitive and the idiot. She defines each type of person and how we can better deal with the remarks these people make.