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Some Of The Most Insensitive Things That People Have Said

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I went to my gynecologist about 3 weeks after my first husband died.  My husband had a significant disability and had been critically sick the year before.  When I told her he had died a few weeks earlier, she said to me, "You will be better off without him."  (WTF???????)

 

My own father, 3 months after my first husband died:  "You knew he was going to die.  Why are you so sad?"

 

I never went back to that gynecologist, and I see my father about once a year now.

 

 

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MAc, you reminded me of my husband's boss who came to visit in the days between the death and funeral.  y mom was there and she is overweight, out of shape, smoker and frequently eats McDonalds 3 times a day.  Boss says, as I am walking him out to the car, "We use to talk about your mom's health a lot.  Why the fuck is she here and he is dead?"  I was like...  Umm...  excuse me?

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Guest nonesuch

I was lucky. Everyone around me was pretty good. My only moment came actually a couple years in.

 

I'm pretty straightforward. For some months after LH's passing, I would say, "He died." I came to believe that was sort of bashing folks over the head with hard news, so I softened my approach. The irony is rich.

 

So, two years out, I was at the hardware store buying something or other, and the clerk asked for my phone number. I gave it, and he said, "The account registered to X." Me, being all sensitive to passing out bad news, started with, "Unfortunately..." and here I paused, giving the clerk a moment to process..."X is deceased."

 

Immediately he came back with, "It's really hard to change the name on the account."

 

Sarcasm is not my most attractive feature, but I may have rolled my eyes in public.

 

On the plus side, this hardware store keeps my paint purchases on record so I don't have to keep track for matching, and they have a resident cat.

 

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My Tim died in early April 2013.  After almost a half dozen years at our old apartment, we gave them notice at the end of  012 that we'd be out be out by the end of May 2013.  Tim was going to graduate with his teaching degree at the end of April, and then he'd have a full month with no other obligations to get our place packed up, since I work full time.

 

Right after his accident, I asked if I could stay (and pay for, of course!) an extra month so I wasn't grieving his sudden loss AND trying to frantically pack up all of OUR old things without him.  It actually physically hurt for me to be in the apartment for the first few weeks after he died - as soon as I walked through the door, my back would seize up and I'd break down into tears when I was hit with the familiar scent of our home.  They told me at his funeral (verbally, of course...I should have gotten it in writing, those motherfuckers) that of course I could stay.  To take as much time as I needed.  Then they changed their mind when they decided I wasn't going fast enough and starting threatening me with legal action. 

 

Here's an actual quote from one of the emails they sent me:

 

"We have both suffered through the loss of loved ones and certainly have no wish to add to your burden. However, you must recognize the potential financial burden and time line we are facing. You advised us in December that you would be terminating your tenancy and reminded us several times throughout the first quarter of this year and yet it appears that no effort to bring the apartment into compliant cleanliness was made."

 

This was my imagined reply posted to ywbb, a little more than a month after his accident

 

"Yes, we gave you a written notice in December that we'd be out of the apartment at the end of May.

 

That was in December. Tim died at the beginning of April. So guess what, I'm not going to be out of the apartment at the originally scheduled time. Then you told my mother (who passed the message along to me) that as long as I paid the rent, I could stay and move my stuff out at my own pace. So now that I want to stay until the end of June, you email and tell me that today is my 30 day notice - I need to be out by June 11th. That's for the extra fucking week and a half.

 

And yes, the apartment is a mess. I don't care that you can't show it right now, I'm dealing with some shit of my own. I don't give a damn about the money you might be losing, since the apartment is "prime real estate." You are a miserable old husband and wife that - guess what! - still have each other, two children, and grandchildren! So tell me again what parts of my apartment you're "disappointed" in. Tell me again which specific part of the apartment that I may have left in a state of disrepair is "really terrible."

 

We were there for over 5 years. We were never once late with a rent payment. Have a little fucking compassion.

 

Fuck both of you. You'll get your fucking money, just leave me alone. I don't care about grout, or mold, or greasy kitchen appliances."

 

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This one happened to me just today, but I heard it secondhand and it wasn't a personal message, thank goodness: 

 

"We have faith that with all the new technology and social networks, the newbies will find their way, just as we found ours. The site wasn't there when I lost my husband... In fact, there are so many wonderful online resources now, we felt that everyone would find their way and be in good hands. It was a really hard decision and there were many board discussions about how to address our future. Please know we have always had everyone's best intentions in mind...Thank you for reading this and understanding that it was a business decision made based on many factors that not everyone is aware of."  ::)

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Friend to my mil "Be thankful he lived for 39 years." Of course, but we wanted him to live another 50 or so.

 

Friend to my daughter "I know how you feel. My dog just died." Not even close.

 

I overheard my dad say to someone, "my son in-law passed away, but we weren't very close." Very hurtful. I haven't told my dad I overheard him.

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At the funeral home by an employee as I was sitting on the edge of the seat scared senseless bracing myself for having to identify his body and make arrangements,  "Are you ok?"..umm..well..let's see..my husband just died (in front of me) 30 some hours ago so the answer would be "NO".

 

At the memorial service by one of his customers.."You look gooooodddd".well thanks, I'm actually still in a state of shock so I'm lucky to have two matching shoes and clothes on  :)

 

From his mother three days after his death from a heart attack, "YOU should have MADE him go to the cardiologist"..seriously..he was 50 so capable of making his own decisions about his health care and not that long ago he had been to a cardiologist as well as had a stress test.

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My mother knew how close our family was and how happy we were in our marriage. These are things that were said by my mom IMMEDIATELY after my husband died.. Would you rather the insurance policy or have him back? Maybe he did it because your son annoyed him too much and he couldn't take it. You need to get over it, you are ruining your kids by being sad, you are going to screw them up for life. Life is what you make it, and you are choosing to be miserable. How much money did you get, I need to know to see if I should move out there and help you. (She doesn't have a job)

A male friend I knew since the age of 11 - You are beautiful and a great mom, but no way in hell you will ever find a man who wants to be with you because of all the kids you have. If I were you, I would just get over it already. You need to stop being so selfish and dwelling over this and start getting out more.

My uncle asked if he could help with food/finances. My other uncle, oh don't worry about her, she is loaded now. ( didn't even know if i had a policy or my money situation) - Same uncle, hours after death ran upstairs, opened the door when I was telling my dad and said, go get your life insurance policy, I need to see it now.

My cousin - wow, and I used to be jealous of your family.

Everything happens for a reason, in time, you will learn a lesson and good will come of it!!  WHAT? someone ACTUALLY said that to me. Pregnant with 6 small kids, take my husband and kids dad away and tell me something like that?

God knows when you are going to live and die..He took him for a purpose -  oh yeah? because being a dad and supporting your wife and family wasn't a good enough one? Leaving me here alone in hell is okay?

How many times I heard, I understand how you feel, what you are going through..  - I say No, no you don't.

My brothers uncles dads twice removed cousins cat died.. - see? I know, I know how you feel, I have been through it

Unfortunately there are many more. Needless to say.. it is hard trying to keep a relationship with people even though some how they mean the best and have the best intentions?

 

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Reading through these posts, my main thought is just WTF is wrong with some people?? Some of these stories are mildly humorous because the offenders are so obtuse, but some of the offenders in these posts---their comments make me recoil they are that egregious!

 

Just...yuck!

 

Baylee

 

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Really shocking what widows said to eachother. My favorite was about 2 weeks after the funeral by a "friend" of his...."i just cant believe he would have wanted to be cremated "

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"You should be glad you had that kind of a love...lots of people don't even get that. I probably wouldn't expect it again." -guy I supervised who then began a pattern of pestering me socially and trying to get me to go out with him (my husband was a flat stud and he was a dud. As IF.)

 

"Well, now at least she can get married again to someone who can give her children." -one of my staff members (Richard and I had many years of infertility issues and had decided to adopt the day before he died.)

 

And then there was the wid dad who wreaked major havoc in the wids w/o kids section on the old board a while back. Seem to enjoy pounding it into our childless heads that his reality was much worse than ours. Probably one of the only times I wanted to reach through the screen and rip the face off another wid. I'll never forget the awful things he said...damaging.

 

Other than those, just garden variety cluelessness from people who cared, couldn't understand, but tried really hard. Those folks I cut lots of slack towards and listen for intent.

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Guest Kamcho

Well, we all know that on the old board it was ok to treat people like crap as long as there were groupies to back you up.

 

I'm sure he was having a really rough time in his life, so that made it ok to behave that way....

 

I doubt that will fly here.

 

 

 

And then there was the wid dad who wreaked major havoc in the wids w/o kids section on the old board a while back. Seem to enjoy pounding it into our childless heads that his reality was much worse than ours. Probably one of the only times I wanted to reach through the screen and rip the face off another wid. I'll never forget the awful things he said...damaging.

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Guest Munsen

I must confess that I've had my share of tactless comments in this new life. Some have been gut-wrenching and have caused me a lot of anger that I've had to work hard at expunging from my life.

 

So many people that I used to not mind are now anathema to me and that is sad and one of the secondary losses in grief. I can honestly say that I felt visceral hatred towards some when I'd see them after one of those thoughtless comments. And avoiding them until I could rebuild my tough outer shell. But, to this day there are some people I cannot do more than mumble a polite 'hello' when they greet me in the community and then I skedaddle as quickly as possible out of range of their insensitive tongues.

 

Just last week (I'm over 4 years out) a new staff member stopped me at my mom's nursing home to brightly tell me that she was sorry my husband had died but that she used to be so jealous of me that she couldn't hardly stand the sight of me....Umm, how am I supposed to take that? So, now you can talk to me because you feel sorry for me? I mumbled something like 'Umm, ok, gotta go!" then quickly left before I said something bad like 'eff you, bi**h!'  Not because I wasn't willing to but the last thing my mother needs is an aide with an angry attitude towards me. But all I could think afterwards was 'WTF was that about? What purpose did telling me that serve?!'

 

Again and again I've realized its all about other people's feelings. Ours are inconsequential to that type. And, yes, some people really don't use their brains for more than a hat-rack.

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When my dear sister told me the dentist (who is a friend and a widower) asked her how was I. She said she told him I was sad, but she tought I was better off without my LH!!!!!!  >:(

I love my sister she has a good heart and tries to help everyone, but she is very insensitive and it's hard to love her!

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Chopperette, my gynecologist told me that I would be better off without my first husband, too.  Talk about a kick to the gut.

 

Maureen

 

 

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Unfortunately there are many more. Needless to say.. it is hard trying to keep a relationship with people even though some how they mean the best and have the best intentions?

 

 

NO ONE should ever have to hear these things. My heart just broke reading it.  I thought my family was the worst.  My husband's brother told me within like 2 hours of finding out he was dead to "not make this into an Amy pity party".  !!!!  There is just no reason for this. Its one thing that our situations make others uncomfortable , no doubt, and they are at a loss for words ... but these things are just out of the ballpark uncalled for.

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MAc, you reminded me of my husband's boss who came to visit in the days between the death and funeral.  y mom was there and she is overweight, out of shape, smoker and frequently eats McDonalds 3 times a day.  Boss says, as I am walking him out to the car, "We use to talk about your mom's health a lot.  Why the fuck is she here and he is dead?"  I was like...  Umm...  excuse me?

Though not very nice to your mum, when I read this I thought, in a way he is just expressing something that many of us feel. Just not doing it very tactfully...his way of showing shocked sympathy.

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Since I am remarried, I also get comments like "you have your new husband now so you shouldn't be sad" implying that somehow remarrying fixes all the hurt/grief.

 

 

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I had to pipe in on this one. I went to go get my hair done the other day. I sold my house the year before after I was widowed and couldnt afford to keep it. But a very nice young couple had purchased it. My hairdresser introduced me to the young couples parents. They were polite enough, until the mother asked me if I had children. It took me a moment to collect myself and say yes I do but one recently died. I kid you not..the husband piped in and asked do you have other children? I said yes and without missing a beat he says well good, at least you still have two. I wanted to punch him in the throat.

 

Cyndi

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On the day of the funeral, my uncle pipes up "if you had only tried _________  (name of experimental medical " treatment " here), he would have lived. I meant to tell you sooner, but I've been busy "

 

I still have trouble talking with him now, almost 3 years later.

 

My mom, a few months later "you knew he could die. You knew the family you married into". Thanks, mom.

 

Many people, after finding out DD had same genetic condition as DH died from and would need surgery " don't worry, you've seen it before."

 

And my absolute favorite: day of funeral, distant relative "are you going to keep the kid? Really? What about the fetus? That one too? Huh" he deserved a well placed kick in the shins.

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It has been 1 month today that E passed away. 

 

I went to the 12:00 mass and pretty much cried through the whole thing.  After mass I visited the restroom to wash my face prior to heading back to work. 

 

The woman in the bathroom asked if I was ok and I told her why I was crying.  She said "I lost my mother 3 years ago, I know how you feel." 

 

I guess it really wasn't insensitive but I really wanted to slap her. 

 

Sandy - E's wife.

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ADT tech said to me when I declined having them charge me again, in full, to reinstall my security system after a lightning strike that happened during our cancer battle: "Think of the children! Your dead husband would be so disgusted if he knew you put dollars before his children".

 

Owner of the off site storage facility where D has stashed old things like baby furniture etc, following a break-in (coincidence? ONLY D and the storage place knew which unit#. Lock was cut off the day his obit ran), "You might not be the only woman in his life, ya know. Maybe you should ask HER!". He denied that he said that when the sheriff showed up.

 

During this last visit by my mom, who was a god send during cancer and has been highly supportive of me after: "NO one is as busy as you pretend to be. I think you are keeping busy to avoid thinking about D". Yeah, working a very intensive R&D job while trying to raise high schoolers who do not drive is cake. I secretly am bored with nothing to do.

 

Sigh.

 

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