Widowhood Manual: Chapter 1.
What NOT to say to someone who’s partner died.
In a state of grief, there are some things that you should not have to hear, so here is a list of a few of the things you could just stop from leaving your mouth when someone has died. These are all real things that have been said to Widows and Widowers. They are mostly said with the best intentions, yet offer no comfort in the slightest, kind of like using a tissue to mop up a tsunami. Not helpful to anyone.
Read these aloud in your best sympathetic patronising voices, for extra comedy effect.
“I know just how you feel, we had a loss last week that we are struggling to get over. Our cat had to be put down.”
“At least you are young, you have your whole life ahead of you to meet someone new.”
“Time is a great healer.”
“Perhaps if you and Patrick loved each other less, it wouldn’t hurt so much now.”
“You just need a good night out in a gay bar!”
“It’s probably better that John died when Sophie was so young as she probably won’t remember him – better than if she was older when it would really screw her up.”
“You’re so lucky you don’t have a mortgage now!”
“Oh well, at least he died. Mine ran off so I never got closure.”
“I know how hard it is doing it alone. Clive works away a few times a year and I find it so hard!”
“At least he died and doesn’t work away. It’s hard on the children when they come and go.”
“Worse things have happened.”
“At least you don’t have children, it must be so hard for kids to get over the death of their Dad.”
“I am so upset! He was such a good carpenter, who is going to finish my kitchen now?”
“I am afraid I can’t speak to you, I can only speak to the account holder”…”He died, that is why I am calling”…”Well you will need the password to the account”…”I don’t know it”…”Can you ask him for the password?”…
“You’ll never meet another one like Charles!”
“God only takes the good ones.”
“Marriage is hard, who knows if you would have stayed together anyway.”
“He was my Brother for 35 years, you were only his wife for 12.”
“At least you’ve got the house and kids to yourself and you can do everything your way your rules.”
“Now Peter is dead you have all the wardrobes to yourself!”
“It’s always so much worse when the Mother dies.”
“Can I have his car?”
“You can’t say your widowed all the time, look how people react. It’s not fair on them!”
“You’ll be seen as a threat by other Women.”
“We’re you with Dan when he died? What was it like?!”
“If you need sex, just shout!”
And my personal favourite, which resulted in my best electrocution joke being made up…
“Oh no, I bet that was a shock.”….”IT WAS FOR HIM!”
So there you have it. Some funny, some cringeworthy, some misguided kindness, some ignorant and some downright insulting. All need never to be said again!