Why do people say the things they say?

  1. ‘Stay strong’ What makes people think you have started out strong in the first place in order to ‘stay’ strong.?(

  2. ‘If you need anything just let me know’. This is particularly baffling when it comes from someone that you haven’t seen for years!
    It is an empty gesture and I long to give them a very long shopping list!

  3. Are you OK? I am unsure what answer is required here. ‘My husband has died and my life has been torn apart, but dont worry, I’ m OK’?
    I would much prefer the age old ‘thinking of you, than’ ‘are you ok’?

  4. ‘When’s the funeral’? I got this a few times just 2 days after my husband passed away. One neighbour was asking on almost a daily basis.!

  5. Remember the good times… This might help in a few years time, but not when the pain of missing your loved one is so raw.

  6. Hope you have a good day/evening… I have no words for that one.!

I know most people mean well, but I wish they would give a little more thought to what they say when someones life has been turned upside down…


Hi Kathryn, you have made me smile with the comments that people have made to you… I have had … Well Pete wouldn’t want you to feel this way. Really!! well I must stop then.
You could meet someone else. Actually that hadn’t crossed my mind.
Times a great healer . Oh that’s good, any idea to the length of time ?
And the worst one. Well you enjoy your day. Thanks I really must try.
Still smiling,


Yes had most said to me. These were then followed by the Christmas cards - the worst read “have a wonderful Christmas”. First without my husband this sent me into melt down.

I tried no. 2 as there were so many jobs in the house still to be finished. Let’s just say they do not deliver and over 12 months later I am struggling to get tradesmen because the jobs are too small to make it worth their while.

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Hello Kingfisher…
Oh heck. I said the same to my husbands sister about him not wanting to be sad.
I said it to try and make her feel better, but how can it when you have lost the person you love?

I cant believe the other things that have been said to you…especially ‘enjoy your day’…
People can be so incredibly insensitive, and I am so glad that I am not like that.
Maybe I am a bit too sensitive, but there it is.

I even had someone tell me that they had Covid the day after my husbands funeral
Thanks for that!

take care


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I find the “Remember the good times” particularly disorientating… Like there’s something wrong about remembering the bad times, including memories from losing our loved one. Pretty sure most of us remember all of it one way or another x


I know exactly what you mean. I get frustrated with the constant texts “how’s your day?”/“how you doing today?” …. What do they want me to say, nothings changed, I feel the same today as the day before and the day before that etc etc. You know the intent behind it is good so you feel awful wanting to reply truthfully, but seriously, if anything those kind of messages make us confront our feelings and spur on new ones because it reminds us of what we’re having to go through and that it is real.

It just feels like unnecessary added stress. I wish the language around bereavement was common sense.

Sending love


Hello Kingfisher.
Oh heck, all of those things that have been said to you are wrong, but I must confess I have said to my husbands sister that he wouldn’t want her to be sad. In retrospect this is a very temporary platitude. How can she not be? I will stop saying it


Hello Kingfisher… Please see my reply to you unsure whether I replied to your post directly.
Thank you x

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Hello Sheila26
Thank you for your post…
I hope the person who sent that Christmas card is off your Christmas card list?
That must have been so upsetting.
I can only presume that it was someone who was not very close to you, and that your card was written amongst a pile of others…
Nevertheless a thoughtless line like that must have been so damaging and painful.
I am sorry also that you are unable to find anyone to do the jobs that need doing… I hope this gets sorted out… I am lucky that I live in a large town with people available to tackle the ‘no job too small’ jobs.
Thank you for replying to my post.

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Hello Treehugger
Thank you for replying to my post.
Yes… I find this one particularly frustrating.
Maybe it is said to try and ‘fast forward’ the grieving protest, as the people who say this wouldn’t be able to cope if you spoke about the bad times leading up to your loved ones passing…
They don’t realise that how many ‘good times’ there were, there is also a huge feeling of sadness and loss, and you cant just automatically replace these feelings with memories of ‘good times’!
Sending you my regards


Hello Nowhere
Oh how I relate to this!
My close friends just say ‘no need to reply, here for you and thinking of you’… but these ‘hope you are OK?’ people drive me nuts!
I had one or two the day after my husbands funeral!
What reply do they want?
“I am fine thanks. Just put a roast on and singing Dixie”!
I have also noticed with the ‘are you okayers’ that when you tell them that you are not ‘ok’ it is usually not want they want to hear.
Even an “are you as ‘ok’ as you can be?” , is better than a straight ‘are you ok’, because an ‘are you ok’ puts pressure on you to give an answer and it is wearisome.
Thank you for replying to my post and allowing me to rant.
Sending love to you x


Dear Katiemarylucy1

Unfortunately the card was from one of my husband’s so called close friends. I even invited him to the funeral hence the meltdown. As you say just part of a pile to send cards to. Would prefer they had made a charitable donation if being honest.

The roofers have turned up today so this will hopefully be one less worry. Not heard from the other two contractors. It just fills me with despair. I live in a large town but on the flip-side it means there is plenty ‘big pay packets’ versus my little jobs that they can afford to just not bother to turn up.

No doubt I will sit and cry tonight, sending an email to my husband to tell him what has been done in the bungalow. We were nearing the end of getting all the jobs completed in and having it exactly the way we wanted only for my husband not to get the chance to enjoy everything we had worked for.

Sheila x

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Hi Katymarylucy1
Yes, thank you I did get your reply and the he/she wouldn’t want you to be sad phrase I’m sure is meant well and said with the best intention. At the end of the day unless you’ve walked the walk alongside the loss of a loved one it is difficult for people to know what to say. I’m sure I used to say the wrong thing before my sad loss. I was going to end with hope you’re days going well but thought better of it…
Love and light, Jenny (aka Kingfisher)

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Oh Sheila. I am so very sorry to hear about your complete frustration regarding workmen and that your husband is not able to reap the benefits of having your home jobs completed…
I found a list yesterday of all the places my husband wanted to visit in the UK when the Covid restrictions were completely lifted which sent me into a tail spin.
Then my phone’pinged’ with yet another ‘hope you are ok’ message!
Bless em, but they really haven’t got a clue have they?
This is why this message board has been a Godsend to me because we are not ‘ok’ and can we can speak openly about how we are feeling with people who are going through the same life changing experience.
Sending a huge hug to you x


Hello Kingfisher…
Yes… I look back and wonder if I sometimes said the wrong thing. I think I did say to a longstanding friend something like ’ at least you had that wonderful memory of that sunset in Cuba’,
I wil ring her today and profusely apologise.
No amount of ‘at least yous’ can help eliminate the pain you feel.
Your last line made me smile.
The other day I received a long and very sympathetic message from a colleague at work, followed with 'have a good evening:…

Take care

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I tried to explain this to my daughter 17yo as she was getting angry.
People don’t know what to say so the turn to what they think they should say and to them they think they are saying the right thing.
People don’t know you may have heard these works hundreds of time.
Take comfort that they are asking.

The people who frustrate me are the ones who send a message offering support, but will turn and hide in the shop so they don’t have to speak to you face to face

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Sheila is right. It does harden your heart. I haven’t had one bit of help from my husbands family but I have got through over two years and I don’t need any one of them now. I have managed just fine and pleased with myself.
Regarding comments. I accepted that people were trying to be helpful and grateful that they was even bothering with me as there are so many that don’t. There are no rule books of do’s and don’ts. I must have said the wrong thing myself many times. Even recently I saw a friend who had just lost her husband and I automatically said “Hi, how are you”. I immediately apologised and corrected myself to saying “Of course I know exactly how your feeling” She understood.
However although I am now over two years in my loss what is now annoying me is friends that have the need to tell me everything they are doing with their husbands (wives do this), from going for a walk to doing the shopping. I’m really unsure why they need to do this continually, isn’t it rubbing salt into the wounds a bit.


It is 20 months since my darling David died. Like you, I try to remember that people mean well. Over time I have become immune to those words, but I have one ‘friend’ who says , “I’d better go, have to get back to my man”. How insensitive is that?

Time doesn’t really heal because the love we had doesn’t die, therefore the grieving will go on but I have learnt to live with the hole in my heart. I am crying at some of the posts on here because my own pain is still very real, but I try to consider all of you and find comfort in the fact I am not the only one going through this. Thankyou for sharing.


Hi there
I try to remember that people are being kind and no matter what they say I don’t become too touchy about it but yes I do agree with you I also have people constantly mentioning they have their husbands waiting for them and will be worried where they are if they are late etc and of course the run down of their day together. My husband always cared where I was if I was late now there is no one who could care less. I don’t expect they even realise what they are saying though.


I think the worst comment was from the hospital dr who said well, in the height of the pandemic you weren’t allowed in at all (I missed my Mum passing by 10 minutes).

Lucky for him I didn’t deck him!

I’m over it now, but boy, he is lucky I didn’t black his eye at the time!!