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.


kelleysbeads said...

Even though you know they are thoughtless comments with no brain to mouth filter, it doesn't take the sting away. Hugs when you hear such things

Patty said...

A smile and a hug, Best Medicine Ever. ((Hugs)) to you, Mallory, and hope your show is hugely successful!

Maggie said...

Mallory, I don't think our country deals well with death and disease. We want to hide from the pain for ourselves and others. We do ourselves a great injustice in doing so. It is hard to know what to say sometimes. I've heard one of the best things to ask is if there is anything you can do to help.

cindydolezaldesigns said...

God, Mallory. I know. I've been living this for the last 8 months. I am amazed at what people say. And our society does not deal well with death. I have "friends" who so could not deal with my husbands death that they just don't deal with me at all. I feel like saying to them, "You think this is hard for YOU?" But they just wouldn't get it. And they weren't real friends anyway. Some people are fabulous and keep being fabulous. By the way, the best thing people have said to me is they are so sorry and then they say, I just don't know what to say.
If you see someone you know later, after they have gone through a tragedy please say something. They may not know if you know and it's very comforting to have your spouse or loved one acknowledged. Just be kind.

TesoriTrovati said...

Oh honey! People really don't think before they speak, do they? I am sorry that these words stung you. I think that you are a gracious soul who has been through so much, and it is sad to find that people have such insensitivities. I am sending you a cyber hug, Miss Mallory!
Breathe deep. Seek peace.

Enjoy the day.