Saturday, March 19, 2011
What the? Or Sometimes We just need to be aware of what we are saying!
I honestly debated about writing this post. I didn't want to sound negative or like I was trying to destroy someone. We've all been insensitve! I decided that in spite of these risks, I needed to say something about thoughtless remarks made by those who truly don't know what to say and speak without thinking. The persons involved will remain nameless.
1) This started after my husband died. My son and I went to the company (nameless) where we had our cell phone service. I had to take my husband off of our cell phone plan. We waited in line for our turn to see a young man who could help us. There were people behind us, too.
When we reached the front of the line, I told the young man that I needed to take my husband off of our cell phone plan because he had died. This young man looked me straight in the eye and said, "Well, you do know that he's breaking his contract, don't you?" There were audible gasps from behind and to the side of us. I suggested to this young man, and not very kindly, that perhaps he should figure out a way to make sure he didn't break his contract, and I left the store.
2)A friend of mine and I were talking one day. She said, "Well, there's another widow lady around here." All right, fair is fair, I just had never been called a widow lady before.
3) When I told a friend at church, whom I hadn't seen for a long time, that Jenny had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, she looked at me and said, "My aunt died from that. She had it for so many years. She was 88." I know she was trying to be comforting, but, in truth, I had to remind her that Jenny was only 33. I also decided I had better get into to church for Mass before this woman stuck her foot in her mouth again.
4) On Thursday, I saw a neighbor from down the street and up a ways. I told her about Jenny. Her daughter and Jenny had gone to high school together. The first thing this woman said to me was, "Well, are they treating her so that she'll live?" I was dumb founded. I didn't know what to say. Later in our conversation she said, "You didn't need this again!" (Remember, my husband had the same cancer.) At that point, I could only say, that it was time for me to finish my walk with my dog.
Of course, these were insensitive things to say. The persons involved weren't trying to be cruel. They were simple being stupid and didn't think. Yes, I can say that because it's true. Many times in life, we are confronted with the unexpected and we don't know what to say. I've learned from this. When another neighbor told me, after I asked how her mother was doing, that her mother had died. I didn't know what to say. I wanted to respond with , "Well, she's in a better place now," but I stopped. That wasn't comforting. It was just something to say. I offered her my deepest condolences and hugged her. There was nothing else to say. Sometimes, silence and a hug are enough. There's nothing wrong with only saying, "I'm so sorry." I'm still dumb founded by that last conversation. Oh, well, I know that this person doesn't read my blog. I wish she did. I truly wish she did.