People telling you how you should be . Platitudes

So many of the friends I have told of my berevment instantly strat to tell you what to do .
“ thick of the happy times “ “keep yourself busy or you will get ill. “ “Be grateful you had this person for such a long time .” “ put a bunch of flowers out on the date he died ever month “ and so on and so on . None of these people have lost their life long partner who was everything in the world to me . They don’t know but they insist almost immediately on realign out these platitudes . It just hurts . I am in such grief I can not hardly get out of bed each day . My whole work is shattered in pieces and will never be the same again after 47 years together .
These friends my be well meaning but it just hurts because they do not understand at all what I am going through . Why do people do this . I know they are well meaning but it actually feels hurtful and just highlights they have never experienced this .
Has any one here had similar experience and how do you deal with it . I don’t want to offend anyone but it is actually hurting me. Please tell me if you’ve experienced this too.


Hi, im sorry for your loss. I had something similar when i lost my husband. I dont think people intend to hurt you. I genuinely think they think what they are saying is comforting. People struggle to think of the right thing to say to someone that is grieving, especially when they havnt experienced it themselves. It will be coming from a place of caring though. I know what it feels like though, nothing anyone can say will stop the hurting. I hope you have lots of support around you x

Thank you for your reply . Sadly I do not have a lot of support at all . My partner was everything I do not have family or children .
Thank you for what you say I know that they must mean well but I never asked for advice and have never liked being told what to do at the best of times lest of all when I am so broken in pieces .
It upsets me because they do not know how it feels . It makes me feel far worse and a lot more alone to hear the things I’m told to do that would not even begin to help the pain I’m in every day is unbearable . I struggle to do one hour at a time .
I don’t recognise myself I’m lost and so alone this grief is unbearable so being told all these platitudes hurts me . Should I tell them ?

Slightly different situation (43 year old husband terminally ill and we have 2 young kids) but I had all the cliche comments: “let me know if you need anything” “take time for yourself” “I’m preying for you” “has he done a bucket list” just to name a few… how did I deal with it? I wrote a blog for everyone to read. It covered what not to say and what to say instead. Probably annoyed a few people but hopefully educated others. :woman_shrugging:


Oh that’s a good idea unfortunately I don’t blog and do not do a lot on social media .
It is really upsetting I don’t want to fall out with these people but it’s hard not to express my upset and tell them please don’t advise me .
Thank you for taking the time to reply to me .
Do you think people mean it when they say “ is there anything I can do “?
That was so insensitive to ask if your husband has done a “ bucket list “ I think it might be hard not to react to such comments .
I’m sorry to hear of your sad situation you sound like a strong person I hope you are managing to pull through .

Hi Nori , thank you so much for your reply . I would very much like to read your blog if it’s possible could you send me a link .
I’m so sorry to hear of your husbands situation it must be so hard for you and your two children .

It’s a hard one and I’m probably not the best one to give you any advice as I’ve got to the stage I’ve distanced myself from people as I can’t be bothered to listen to them.
I suppose at least these people are trying. There’s a lot that simply avoid you.
It really is a case of politely saying how you find certain comments hard or simply smile, nod and ignore. X

Thank you so much Nori . It’s good to know how you’ve delt with it and good to get your messages thank you .
I do tend to cut myself off from it as much as possible . I’m just not so strong as I would normally be since I lost my partner of 47 years so I find things harder to deal with .
I hope your strength will prevail and help you through.

Hi @SCk

I’ve had stuff said to me and people telling me what to do. The majority of people have been very kind, supportive and caring, but you will always get the odd ones, even those who’ve been bereaved themselves in the past, who don’t understand, or will say something insensitive, or try to tell you how to deal with the grief and what to do with your life, as if they are suddenly experts. I’ve gone through several losses and it’s been the same every time. People think they are helping you and I know some people just don’t know what to say and probably mean well, but they don’t realise that by saying the wrong things can make people who are bereaved feel ten times worse. I would rather someone just say ‘thinking of you’ or ‘I am here for you’. It’s very hard to keep your mouth shut when people say stuff you don’t agree with, but I just nod now and try and let it go in one ear and out the other and to be honest, I find myself distancing from one or two who have made me feel that way. You shouldn’t have to justify why you are grieving to anyone.

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Hi Di 678
Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to me . I do appreciate what you have said it’s good to know I’m not the only one experiencing this . You are right these people talk like they are experts all of a sudden . I can’t understand what makes them think they have the right to tell you what to do .
Like you say what is surprising is some of them have experienced grief themselves but it then I believe everyone experiences grief differently.
There are one or two friends who have understood and not said these things and I am so relieved when that has happened but they have been the minority . I have to admit their comments have upset me and made me feel distant from friends , it is a shame because it’s a time when I’d like to keep my friends . I think you are right I try to let it go in one ear and out the other . I try to do this but find myself hurting about it later I can’t understand how insensitive people can be at a time when I am in such unbearable grief for the lose of my beloved partner of 47 years .
I have always been an empathetic person so I have difficulty getting my head round the insensitive things friends have said . You are right they probably do not know they are actually making you feel worse but nobody needs that .
Thank you so much for your message it’s good to know I’m not alone your words resonate with me though I’m sorry you have had to experience this as well .

Hi There. I lost my dad just over 2 months ago. I became physically ill from the loss of my dad. I have my daughter, who is also suffering. She is seeing a counciller, and I am going to give it a try too. I don’t know if it will help me. I hate the thought of a lifetime without my dad, and I am grieving all over again for my mam who passed away 44 yrs ago. I know just how you feel, its a horrible feeling. Take care


Hello Sandancer 66
Thank you for your message . You sound very sad like me . I know how hard it is . Do you have support from a partner or friends ? I hope the Councilling will help in some way for you and your daughter .
I understand how grief can make you ill . I have a number of illness I struggle with and it makes it all the more harder . Many days I can’t find the will to get out of bed and face the day without my partner who I lost 6 months ago .
You have a daughter and that gives you a purpose in life that is a blessing . We never had children .
It was good to get your message . I’m having such a bad day of grief .

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Hi @SCk

Aw you’re very welcome. No, you’re not alone. Think most people grieving will have had to put up with this at some point or another.

Take care

Thanks for your message. I have friends & family. My friend lost her dad 2 weeks after mine. I’m also in ill health as well. Take care of yourself.

Thanks for your message. Take care

Well I think you need to recognise they are trying to be kind My husband died in May 23 I always try to divert these pointless comments by saying it’s normal for people to die and I accept that That really stops all the pointless platitudes I know they are only platitudes however kindly meant Don’t expect anything unless they have experienced it they don’t know your pain

Thanks for replying. I really appreciate it.