Handling tactless comments

I was speaking to someone on the phone the other day and at some point I asked how they were doing with the Covid situation and having to be cooped up at home etc. The response was that she and her husband were joined at the hip but she shouldn’t complain because you (me) don’t have a hip to be attached TO. I quickly changed the subject but felt and feel terrible. How do you handle these stupid, tactless comments?

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urgh… Good thread, I need some pre recorded responses I can learn as currently I just don’t say anything and then later cry for hours stewing over it.

will be watching this thread.

That remark is so horrible. I started a thread called Hurtful Comments a while back when a friend of 30 years really knocked me back and verbally attacked me for still grieving after 7 weeks. I posted her letter on the thread. Only recently my neighbour told me I was lucky to have lost my husband as she can’t get rid of hers. She is totally serious too.
These people have no idea about grief and think they sound clever with their remarks. Just piut it down to their ignorance and feel sorry for them - their turn is yet to come. Don’t waste your tears on them, just think of what you had with your lovely husband. Take care of yourself. Thinking of you.

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Oh Jean, I went back and looked at your Hurtful Comments thread. I was appalled and outraged on your behalf. What a truly awful letter. And her followup letter was even more shocking. No remorse at all. I am so sorry that you had to deal with that. Who needs friends like that? Thank you for your reply to me and kind words. I do try to ignore most insensitive comments. Sometimes it is just too hard to do that. And then I wonder if it is just ignorance or there is some mean spiritedness behind them. Getting to vent on this forum is so helpful. Thank you

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Yes, some pre recorded responses would be helpful. I also can think of nothing to say on the spot. I am just too taken aback. It is a shame that we are the ones left crying and stewing.

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Not so much tactless but just something people say well most people really.
How are you doing?
I just want to reply. Well how do you think I am doing. I know they may mean well? But its a silly question I am bareley holding it together 99% of the time and your question just reminds me of this. Please just go away.

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I had to go to the doctors for a b12 injection just 6 weeks after the death of my husband . The nurse asked me how his death came about , she held my hand as i sobbed out my story , Then asked do you miss him ? I was very a taken back at the stupidity of her question .

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Shortly before my partner Ed passed away one of the nurses said to me ’ you should think about putting him in a home . You are still young enough to have a life" I couldn’t believe i’d heard her right . Ed WAS my life i found it really offensive and insulting . Another “professional” after Ed had passed away said " at least you haven’t got the burden anymore " it was so hurtful .Ed was my whole life and i hate it without him i cry every day and the pain of having to go on living my so called life without him is unbearable at times . 1st xmas without him and cards arriving with just my name on just make me cry more wish xmas was over it will never mean anything without him by my side peace and love to everyone xx

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Wow Debbie that is astonishingly not just tactless but revolting coming from people who should know better… We can only imagine how many others have suffered similar comments by these so called professionals. Totally heartless

Don’t know if interesting to anyone but this talk is from a woman whose husband died and about the way people silence you

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Found that talk very interesting and very true . We can’t just forget our loved ones and move on .I t doesn’t work like that they will always be a part of us .How can we lose half of ourselves and be expected to carry on with our lives ? I feel as though the person i was has disappeared i don’t recognise the person i’ve become now struggling through every day and aching all over just longing for bed -time and hoping to sleep for at least 3 or 4 hours so i can forget

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Debbie that is so true, I know I will never be the same again, I don’t have a clue who I am as my personality went with my husband. I don’t do anything the same as I did before except care for our cats. I eat food I wouldn’t have and refuse what used to be my favourites, get up late go to bed early, can’t watch films or our TV programs… My own likes were extinguished and I feel like I am ashes left inside my shell of a body too. I am indecisive, scathing and horribly selfish and self absorbed. I don’t know who I will be if I do ever start to be alive again but “me” has died forever as I was.

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Fleurdelis I also do most things differently now except for my three lovely cats it’s a good job they are there they seem to sense when i’m having a bad day and jump up for cuddles . Their fur has been soaked with my tears at times but they don’t seem to mind . The lovely warm cosy home i shared with Ed is just a building to me now no warmrh or life in it . Shopping is an effort too as we used to shop together now everywhere has momories of the life we had that’s now gone . I can’t even remember what i’m shopping for at times and either come back with hardly anything or items i don’t even want . The future fills me with dread it’s only been five months but seems like a lifetime . I hear couples arguing and i think why don’t they just cherish each other while they can . I don’t know who i am anymore but i’m not the person i was before and don’t think i ever will be again .

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Hi Debbie and Fleur De Lis. How J endorse your comments. I don’t know who I am either. I sometimes think J am having a good day and then it all suddenly ends and I think NOTHING can ever make me feel as I did before Ron passed. It tears my heart out when I think of the happy memories because I know that places we visited could never mean the same. Everything has slipped away and I exist now just to get through the day. I never plan anything because I don’t trust life any more.I send you both my heartfelt thoughts and I hope Christmad is at least bearable. X

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Angiejo we are all suffering in the same way and only we can understand what everyone else on this site is going through .I’ve found such support and kindness from others comments .Like you some days i think i’m doing ok then suddenly a thought or memory will knock me straight back again . I’ve certainly found out who my real friends are and who aren’t . One friend tried to avoid me in the street and others haven’t even bothered to get in touch . Hoping we all manage to get through christmas the best way we can peace and love xx

Thank you for sharing this talk. I wish all of the tactless individuals (well meaning or not) would view this. I could write the book on cruel, ignorant & tactless comments. It hurts more when it comes from those we thought understood, and cared about our feelings. I’ve learned through my losses (Dad, Mum, and recently my younger Sister) that people might appear supportive initially, but then their patience wanes and the comments turn hurtful. Just the other day, I mentioned to someone that during all the idle time from lockdown, I have been crying more and having flashbacks of my Sister’s last moments
Her response was “Oh you are still crying over your sister?” Still? I will always be crying over the loss of my precious Sister (It has been only two years on) This is only one of many such responses.

Debbie13, I can attest to the insensitive comments by some healthcare “professionals.” I work in the field, and my boss said the most vile things to me after I lost my Mum, and then my younger Sister. “Move on” was one of her favourites. However the least caustic,. Another of her comments “we all have losses., everyone has problems, you should not feel sorry for yourself.” When I was telling a co-worker how my younger Sister was so positive and strong as she battled cancer, my boss barged into the conversation, with “but she died anyway.” I am sorry you, and all of us must be subjected to this level of ignorance in our time of such devastating grief and loss. :heavy_heart_exclamation:

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Sister2 it makes me wonder how these professionals can make such hurtful comments when people are grieving for loved ones . How would they feel if they lost a loved one ? Losing a sister is a huge loss to have to bear it’s not a case of feeling sorry for yourself that’s a cruel comment to make . These people should be more compassionate working in healthcare they haven’t a clue how we feel x

My God what a dreadful boss you have. This woman should be reported.
I have been pretty lucky with tactless comments but I did receive one from a friend that did cut me up. She lost her 20 yrs old daughter around the same time as my loss. I didn’t see her for a few months and when I did I said how sorry I was to hear about her daughter. Her reply was. “Your lucky you only lost your husband but I lost my daughter who I gave birth to”. I was gobsmacked and have never spoken to her since.
xxxx

Thank you @Debbie & @Pattidot Working in the Mental Health sector has opened my eyes to how often people are in it for the wrong reasons, Like my boss, who is an angry, bitter, miserable person. She and those like her, do more harm than good, and are a danger to those of us in a vulnerable state . My boss was reported numerous times, but always managed to squirm her way out of it, or get one of her “favourites” to lie for her. We expect more from “professionals.”

I am sorry that “friend” made such a hurtful comment to you @Pattidot. That is what is known as the “one up.” Some people like to compare grief, and make it into a competition. She had a horrendous loss, but so did you. Each person’s loss is monumental to them, and comparing only serves to minimise our pain. Take care Pattidot, I always welcome your posts, Xxx

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