I’m always reading through the forums and groups I belong to. Reading other people’s comments and stories and seeing where my fellow sufferers are at on a particular day, and it occurred to me that we often get told a lot of the same useless crap people that have just lost a loved one hear too. All the same stupid platitudes people spout when they think they should say something, but have no idea what to really say.
I first encountered this phenomenon after I lost Angelina nine years ago. People’s hearts were in the right place (I suppose) but their mouths were not. I still hear some of it on rough days, and my poor sweets Ging heard some of it when she lost her furry baby recently.
“It’s all in God’s plan” ~ Really? Seriously? I’m in agony (for fibro sufferers, due to a flare; for those that have just lost a loved one, just dealing with grief) and you’re going to tell me some big, invisible guy in the sky has a grand plan that includes my pain. Even if I bought that, I don’t want to hear it today. Don’t tell me there’s “a plan”. I could care less today. Just tell me your heart is with me (if it really is) or simply “I’m sorry”.
“It could be worse” ~ Yes, I know it could be worse. I have had to learn how to walk again. I have a lot of things I am very, very grateful every day. I’m grateful I have three wonderful, smart , healthy children. I’m grateful for my friends and family. I AM grateful I can walk. But when you’re hurting, sometimes you just want to hurt. There is no going around it, or backing out of it. The only way is to go through it. So, just let me go through it, and offer your love and support.
“Look on the bright side” ~ Ugh. That’s all for this one…just….ugh.
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” ~ Okay, I’ll concede that this one is pretty true. But it also goes along with the idea that “God never gives you more than you can handle, but I just wish he didn’t trust me so much sometimes”. I’m sitting here grinning, knowing every fibromite thinks that.
“Everything happens for a reason” ~ This goes back to the God’s plan thing. Not sure I buy it. I do believe very much in the Buddhist philosophy that there is balance in nature, and maybe there is a bigger reason and plan than any of us know about, but when you’re hurting (mentally, emotionally, physically), you can’t help but wonder what part your hurting could possibly play in all of that. Maybe this one holds a little truth. I’m using my pain and experiences to help reach out to others, raise awareness, and learn how to support and educate. So, maybe….
But really, all it boils down to is that when someone you know or love is hurting, don’t just say something to fill the silence. Just quietly support them, tell them you’re sorry it hurts, and be there.