25 Clueless Comments Said to Me as a Widow, and 25 Responses I Wish I Could Have Said

In the just over 4 years that I have been a widow, I have had to sit in silence and bite my tongue through an endless array of insensitive or just plain stupid comments coming from both friends, family, acquaintenances and co-workers, and yes, even total strangers. As the person who is grieving, we are told over and over again by society that “people just don’t know what to say” and they are “only trying to help”, and that they “mean well”, so therefore, we are supposed to just nod politely, smile and get on with things. Okay. I can do that, if that is what the world wants from me. However, I do think that just continuing to brush off people’s hurtful and often rude comments as “not knowing what to say” is unhealthy. The only way that people will ever learn what NOT to say to someone who is grieving the life they had and the person they loved most in this world, is to educate them. And since I’m a comedian, I choose to offer up my education in a comedic tone. So if you are reading this and you have no sense of humor, please go out to Wal-Mart or somewhere and get one. Then come back and have a good laugh.

The following is a list of 25 (in no particular order) actual comments that actual people actually said to me after my husband Don died very suddenly, with zero warning or symptom, in July of 2011, from a massive heart attack, at age 46. Below each actual comment, I have listed what I wish I could have said in response at the time, but of course, didn’t. Some of these comments were said to me right away after the death, and others were said as recently as last month. So, what does this accomplish? Well, for one thing, it’s fun to come up with pretend, smart-ass replies that I could never actually say in real life to these people. And secondly, the next time me or any of my dear brothers and sisters in widowhood have to put up with one of these or other insensitive comments, they can now laugh their asses off, thinking of what they wish they could say in response; as they nod their heads politely like a good widow (er) should. Here is the dialogue that I wish could take place as part of normal and acceptable society:

IT WAS GODS PLAN.

Oh, you mean my husband going to work and then never coming home? Or did you mean the part where he collapsed on a cold hard floor just an hour after getting there? Or the part where Im woken up traumatically by a ringing phone at 6:30am and then rushed to a hospital in a cab to be taken to a private room and told by a bunch of nurses that my husband went into cardiac arrest and didn’t make it? Or all of that? Was that all part of the plan? That’s really good to know, thanks for telling me that. It takes all of the pain and hurt and PTSD and trauma and anxiety and panic away. Really. By the way, what will God be doing next? What is the next part of the plan? I figured I’d ask since you seem to be the spokesperson for God. I didn’t realize. Congratulations on that promotion. Out of everybody on earth, God chose YOU to be in charge of dissecting his thoughts and words and passing them on to the rest of us. Wow! Thats impressive. And I thought you were merely a civilian, like me. Good to know.

YOURE YOUNG. YOULL FIND SOMEONE ELSE AND GET MARRIED AGAIN ONE DAY.

I will? Oh, wow!!! That is such a huge relief, because THAT is, of course, what is on my mind and heart right now, after my husband’s death and all. Im thinking about marrying someone else, as soon as possible, in fact. So Im glad you picked up on that . I didn’t realize you had become a psychic and that you were now able to predict the future. How else could you possibly know that I will remarry? What else will happen to me, oh great one? Do tell!!!

YOURE TOO YOUNG TO BE A WIDOW.

You know what? You’re so right. So they must have made a mistake then. I will make sure to go straight to the widow authorities in the morning and return my black veil and my 6 cats.

GOD NEVER GIVES US MORE THAN WE CAN HANDLE.

You’re so correct. (punches them in the face) Oh my! I am soooo sorry that you are lying face down on the ground after me punching you in the face. Was that more than you could handle? Sorry about that. But please don’t blame me. I had nothing to do with it. It was part of God’s plan.

EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON.

Yes. Exactly. Like, how I punched you in the face just now? The reason was that you’re an asshole.

GOD ONLY TAKES THE BEST.

So, what does that make me? Chopped liver? A horrible person? And you too. And the rest of us walking around on earth. Do we all suck as human beings, since he only takes the best ones? That doesn’t seem logical to me. I think what makes more sense is this – people die. Lets go with that.

WE MAKE PLANS, AND GOD LAUGHS.

Wow, this God that you believe in sure sounds like a prick! I believe in a higher power too. I believe in the concept of a God. But the God I believe in is all about Love and kindness and goodness, not taking people away for fun, and mocking us and getting off on our pain. That is not a God that I believe in. Sorry. But good luck with that.

HE IS IN A BETTER PLACE.

Really? Better than here with me, happily married and looking forward to our long future together? No, I don’t think so. He was very happy here, and he was not suffering, nor was he in pain of any kind, since he was not ill and his death was sudden. I have an idea though. Since you seem to like this “better place” so much, why don’t we bring my husband back here, and YOU can go there instead? How does that sound? Here, I’ll help you pack …..

YOU NEED TO GET OVER THIS.

Get over what? Love? Get over loving the person that I vowed to love forever and spend my life with? I should get over love? No. That’s not a thing. That’s not possible. I don’t think you’ve ever been in love before if you would say something like that to me. This wasn’t a divorce. He DIED. I will always, always love him – until the day I stop breathing, and beyond.

YOU NEED TO MOVE ON.

Again, that’s not a thing. Move on from where? Where should I move to? What does that mean? If it means that you want me to stop talking about him, and just act like he never existed – that’s never going to happen. We keep the people we love alive by carrying them with us and telling their story. If you cant understand that, then I think you’re right. I think I need to move on. From you, and from our relationship.

MY GREAT GRANDMOTHER DIED. WE SAW EACH OTHER ONCE A DECADE, AND SHE WAS 107. I KNOW EXACTLY HOW YOU FEEL.

Yes, of course you do. Because that is EXACTLY the same thing as losing your husband, best friend, the life you knew, your past, your present, your future, your dreams of a family, your rock, your security, your stability, your heart, your soul, your identity, your everything – in the blink of an eye. Its exactly the same.

AT LEAST YOU DIDNT HAVE CHILDREN.

Hey, that was awesome of you to remind me, JUST as I had stopped thinking about it for five seconds, that I will never be a mom and that my husband will never get to be a dad. So nice of you to remind me of that trauma and that intense pain I feel every single day. Its also really kind of you to imply that because we didn’t have kids, that my marriage was somehow not valid enough or that my hurt and grief aren’t as important. Thank you so much!!!

ANYTHING YOU NEED, JUST ASK. ANYTHING AT ALL. CALL ANYTIME. NIGHT OR DAY ….

Okay, relax there, casual Facebook friend whom I barely know. I know youre trying to be nice and you think this is what you should say, but you don’t mean it. I highly doubt you will actually be there for the many, many things I am going to definitely need over the next few weeks, months, and years because of this life-altering loss. But since you offered … Id love some help with my laundry and with the car, and also all my lightbulbs need changing and the ceilings are too high for me to reach them. And then, usually around 4:30 am when I cant sleep and Im sobbing hysterically, you could come over and just sit with me, or I’ll give you a call everytime that happens. You cool with that? Awesome. P.s. Whats your phone number again? I don’t even think I know your full name ….

YOU SHOULD BE GRATEFUL FOR WHAT YOU HAVE.

And you should be grateful that Im not a violent person, and that I don’t particularly like jail cells as places to reside after knocking you over the head with a 2 by 4.

IT COULD BE WORSE.

Could it? Really? I don’t know about that. My husband is dead forever. Im pretty sure this IS the very definition of “worse.” And what is the point of saying that anyway? Is that supposed to make me feel better somehow? Because it doesn’t. At all.

THIS HAPPENED BECAUSE YOU DIDNT PRAY HARD ENOUGH.

Oh, okay. Is that why it happened? I thought it was part of “the Plan.” What happened to the almighty plan? Im confused now. Also, if you could explain to me, oh great one and spokesperson of God, WHEN exactly was I supposed to be doing this praying? You know, considering the fact that I basically woke UP to the reality that my husband had gone to work, and then died. So, having ZERO knowledge of the fact that he was going to die, before he was actually DEAD, when was I to do this praying that you speak of? If I thought that prayer worked, I might pray for you to go out and buy some common sense or a brain.

AT LEAST HE DIED DOING WHAT HE LOVED.

Yes, yes. Because my husband absolutely LOVED being at work and collapsing alone on a hard cold floor while his heart gave out on him. That was his favorite thing.

LIFE IS FOR THE LIVING.

Well, thanks for that pointless little gem of nothing. And being condescending is for the jackass!

NOBODY SAID LIFE WAS FAIR!

That’s true. And nobody said you’re not a douche-bag!

YOU’RE SO LUCKY THAT HE IS DEAD. I HAVE TO SEE MY EX ALL THE TIME.

Yes. “Lucky” is the word that comes to mind immediately when I think of my situation. Also, just FYI, he isn’t my “ex” anything. He was my husband and he died, and I would give just about anything in this world if I could see him again. And thanks for the anxiety attack I’m now having inside, as I try my hardest NOT to kick you into the next galaxy.

I WISH MY HUSBAND WAS DEAD. HAHAHA!!!!

Yes, that’s hilarious. Making stupid jokes about your shitty marriage and your crappy husband to someone who just lost theirs to death is exactly what should be happening here. Awesome.

HE WOULDNT WANT YOU TO CRY.

Yes well, he is dead, so I guess it doesn’t much matter what he would want, now , does it? But if we are going to play it that way, then he probably wouldn’t want people like you saying dumb shit that upsets me and in fact, makes me cry. So go away now.

GOD MUST HAVE NEEDED ANOTHER ANGEL.

This God of yours is very needy, dontcha think? And, not for nothing, but he is GOD. He is the all powerful and mighty, and he lives in Heaven. So, since we have established that you are obviously God’s spokesperson for all things, can you tell him to make his own damn angel? They gotta have at LEAST one aisle of Heaven reserved for Angel-making purposes. There must be an arts and crafts station or something up there. How many angels does this guy need anyway? He’s getting a little selfish.

WELL, LIFE GOES ON!!!

Wow, does it? Well thanks for that useless drivel. I was not aware that life was to continue in it’s natural form. Thank you for pointing that out to me.

YOU ARE LOOKING BETTER. GLAD TO SEE YOU ARE FINALLY ALL BETTER.

Holy shit. What the hell did I look like before??? Im looking “better?” Better than what? And yes, thankfully, I am ALL BETTER NOW. I took my medicine and I rested up, and wouldn’t ya know it, the pain and the grief and the hurt just all went away, just like that!!! It’s a miracle!!! Now if youll kindly excuse me, I need to go take my “GRIEF BE GONE” pills, so that I can remain “all better” from now on.

Now, in the interest of not ending this article on a negative note, I would like to tell you all that there have been plenty of people in the past 4 years who have said things that did NOT make me want to throw them out the nearest window. There have been people who have said some really great things – things that stuck with me. Things that I will list here, so that the next time you run into a person who has just lost everything they knew, maybe you can make the choice not to be a douche-bag by adding to their pain.

In the end, if you knew the person well who has suffered the loss, just be there for them. Don’t judge them or give them advice or tell them how they should be feeling or grieving or coping. If you haven’t been through it, you really don’t know, and your job should be to support them and not disappear from their life. If you didnt know them well, a simple “I’m so sorry” works just fine. Thanks for reading.

Good Things People Have Said to Me:

I’m so sorry. I don’t know what to say.

This is not what I dreamed for you when we were kids. (my best childhood friend)

He would be so proud of you.

He loved you so much, and he always will.

You were the love of his life, and the last person he will ever love.

You will always have his heart. You get to hold onto the love forever.

Love never dies.

Here is a story / memory / picture of your husband Id like to share with you.

I miss him too.

Lets honor him /have a toast / share stories about our friend. Lets say his name and talk about him.

This sucks.

This really fucking sucks.

I can’t believe this happened. This is so unfair.

I wish I had known him better.

I might not do everything right, and I might screw this up, but Im not leaving you, and Im around whenever you want me to be.

If you need someone to talk to , I promise Im a really good listener and I will never judge you.

I love you.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

58 thoughts on “25 Clueless Comments Said to Me as a Widow, and 25 Responses I Wish I Could Have Said

  1. Omfg you hit this on the head I’m so sick of this dumbshit i been hearing for over three years,and then have someone act like my anger from such stupid fuckin comments.like i should feel bad cause they dont know what to say and i got angry.id rather have someone say “i dont know what to say…and then to compare death of a spouse to anyone else is retarded.

    • Thanks for posting this. My husband died in 2005 and i’ve heard all of this stuff.,but the he’s in a better place just kills me. Thanks again

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. I’ve said, or written several of your 25 but more importantly you’ve given us great insight to the things that might truly be helpful in the future. I lost my boss suddenly and his wife (my wife’s best friend) lived with us for several months until she got herself and her two boys settled. I wish I could rewind and use your closing points to better console her. Again, thank you for your honesty. Yes. I’m sure he would be proud of you.

  3. I learned what to say when a friend’s daughter died and after waiting in line for an hour to pay respects, panicking about what one could possibly say at a time like this, I burst into tears, hugged her, and said “I don’t know what to say!” Nine years later, when my husband died at age 58, she was my most stalwart friend and knew exactly what to do.

    It’s funny how we’ve all heard the same idiotic things. I don’t get the God stuff because people know I don’t believe in a Capricious and Sadistic Great White Alpha Male in the Sky, but I’ve got the “If you need anything, call” and the rest of it. The worst one was my OLDEST FRIEND saying, barely two weeks after he died, “I just know you’ll find someone else because you’re such an awesome person.” =Thud!= Like I WANT to try and find some crotchety old man (because most my age are). These cliches are not about comforting us, they are about making the person who says them feel better.

    Thanks for posting this. This needs to be shared everywhere, because everyone who is married and manages to stay together is either going to be the one who dies or the one who has to go through this sooner or later.

  4. My wife died about 6 years ago! People say the same dumb things to men it’s not just a women thing believe me!!! I am still missing her very much

    • Oh I know Mike. Definitely widowers get the same stupid comments. I was just writing from my personal perspective and since Im a female, I used the term widow, but I think I included the term widower at the end or toward the end somewhere in the post. Ive made lots of guy friends since my loss who are widowers, and yeah – the dumb commenters dont discriminate , thats for sure lol. And yes, of course you still miss her. I think you always will. Sending you understanding and compassion xo.

  5. A week after my husband died, a lady came up to me and asked, “honey, are you doing ok?” That simple well meaning question almost got her hurt. I had to walk away. All I could think was NO, I’M NOT OK YOU IDIOT! How about I cut you in half the throw the thinking, feeling half in the desert and see how ok you are! I jyst don’t understand what people are thinking sometimes. :(

  6. Right on point with all of these! The one where people say to call them they are here for you I realized only a week after my husband passed away suddenly at 40 years old of a massive heart attack as he was sleeping beside of me and I tried to save him. I could barely find anyone to come and stay with me once I return to my home and trying to find someone to just listen and not give responses was very difficult. My husband and I had only been married for 8 months, so I feel like I was cheated out of our life together. Thank you for this article I really enjoyed it.

    • Hi Marcia. Of course it was horrible, he was your husband and you love him and always will. I hope I didnt in any way imply that sudden death is somehow “worse” – when I write, I can only write from my personal perspective, and sudden death is what I experienced , so thats where Im coming from. However they died, it is a terrible thing to go through and live with. Sending you love xo.

  7. Thanks for posting this. My husband died Dec. 9,2014 of cardiac arrest. He was 61. When people ask if I’m ok, I really want to say, no, I never will be ok with this, because I won’t. My life has changed for ever. It’s lonely, it feels like I’m adrift, lost my footing, my best friend, our kids don’t have a father to go to & our grandchildren & great grandchildren don’t have a grandpa to talk to.
    I know I’d rather people just said nothing & gave a hug instead of the things you listed, I too have heard them all and wanted to scream.
    Thanks again for your post.

    • Carla, i understand what yoru saying. Daily people will ask me how are you doing? are you ok? i just want to scream at them hell no im not ok. I lost my soulmate a month ago. I cant just pick up the pieces and go on like nothing ever happened. Or he didnt exist. prayers to all of you who have lost your soulmate

  8. God Bless you!! I REALLY needed that laugh!! My love, my William died 10/15/15….10 DAYS ago! It feels like a month. People can be stupid and insensitive but they can also by fabulous and loving. This Widow crap sucks!! I feel like I can’t breathe. Ugh. I miss him so much….love from OK.

    • Wow 10 days ago Cindy, and you are reading and responding to blogs. God bless YOU! I couldnt even form a sentence 10 days after Don died. Youre pretty awesome!!! Keep reading, keep sharing. We will get through this.

  9. I have been widowed for over a year now. I have never had any of these comments directed at me in your 25 list or, the few that were, I did not take any offense to. I understood that they were said with good intention and caring. Death makes people uncomfortable. It terrifies them. What gets me is the “I’m so sorry for your loss” I have practically drowned in everyone’s sympathy and, frankly, have had my fill of it. I don’t want sympathy or attention for being a widow. I just want to live my life. No, it isn’t the life I thought I’d have with my husband. Yes, I miss him every moment of every day. I love him beyond measure and more than mere words could ever describe. I was also blessed with already having some very close friends that were widows. These are women I had admired greatly for their strength. They helped carry me through the darkest first part of it and I will eternally be grateful to them.
    And yes, there is the PTSD from losing your spouse unexpectedly. I’m quite familiar with this. It seems very few people understand that. They don’t understand the small simple tasks we now have to take on that had always been our husband’s things to do. That can feel very overwhelming and it’s a painful reminder of how he isn’t there anymore.
    Here are things I know that I have never needed anyone to tell me: My husband would be very proud of me. My husband loved me very much. My husband wouldn’t have wanted to be the reason I cry but he’d understand every single tear I have and will shed over him. My husband will be there waiting for me when it’s my time.

  10. Thank you for this post… had all the above said to me (more than once) since Gavin died 3 years ago! I did respond to some of them rudely 😀 One lady asked how I’m doing, a few months after his death. I said not too great… still crying a lot. Her reply: Oh no Jesus does’nt like to see you cry. He is hurting for you. My reply: Oh really? Then why take my husband? If he’s hurting too, then he sounds very much like a sado masochist to me! She has never spoken to me again! Another said she knows how I feel, only worse….because her grandmother passed away, and she only found out after the funeral. My reply: Yes I was very lucky that my husband dropped dead with no warning, right in front of my eyes….so at least I could attend his funeral, you poor thing!

  11. I have heard it many times. When my brother died and recently when my mother died was. “I’m sorry for your loss.” I dislike this saying. Why is it only my loss?? It is a loss for all that knew him. If you didn’t know him how can you be sorry?? I know there is no way to know what the right thing to say is. But I do know it is what will comfort those who lost a loved one. We know we can never have them back but we hope either God or those that know, love, and care about us will just be there to cry, laugh, yell with to get us through the times when we are missing them most.

  12. Wow I have heard all of this and then some. Thank you. I lost my husband almost 2 years ago and I still miss him like it was yesterday. No one understands until they have been there. I will love him always and no one can take his place.

  13. I have had all kinds of really stupid comments thrown at me, I hated the how are you feeling one for years, how do you think I am feeling?? The one that really got to me was a neighbor girl that said she knew exactly how I felt, her husband was deployed and would be gone for 6 months!!! What did she miss about my husband will be gone forever? A waitress asked me if I was dating yet, dating yet? are you kidding me? I am not even a whole person anymore, a part of me is broken. I was speechless, never really answered her at all.

  14. I heard almost every one of these.(I have kids so I heard things like “At least you have the children.”) Another one that stuck with me was “You are so strong. I can tell you’re going to be fine.” No, no, and no. I wanted to shout that I wasn’t strong, I was just a fantastic actress. Definitely the most positive one was in a card that said “This sucks.”

    • I completely understand being a great actress as a widow with 2 young children at 30 (29 years ago this month) as a result of my husband’s suicide. One counseling session where he apparently believed my assertions that I was fine but just needed a month or 2 off work to deal with my 5 & 2-1/2 yo daughters’ grief. I look back at all the years & think what a crappy counselor he was to take me at face value after less than an hour. Really??? The bad times in the intervening years could have been so much better with some good professional help at that point!

  15. Kelley Lynn, I’ve been reading your posts on Widow’s Voice since 2013 and just came across this great piece. I laughed loud and hard since, like everyone else here, I have endured these ridiculous, thoughtless “words of comfort” As if grieving weren’t hard enough, we end up losing a lot of friends and have to listen to everyone else’s drivel. Thanks for reminding me I’m so not alone in this.

  16. You are awesome!! So freaking true, every word!! I am so grateful that I just found your blog. I am reading and reading and crying and laughing. I am 35, I lost my husband who was 35, suddenly in April 2014. We had been married for less then 2 years, and had been trying to get pregnant, with no success! Thank you for sharing your story, thoughts and struggles. I can relate to so much of what you say! I get it! Thank you!

  17. Add this to your list… A week or so after my husband died, 8 months ago, a person called me and said, “I’m calling to check up on you. You didn’t look happy at the funeral”. Best one ever, don’t you think?

  18. My husband died 5 years ago, my favorite comment made your list “wow you look great”. I always think, I must have looked terrible before he died! What do they expect? Should I not shower, wash my hair or dress nice?? Thanks for a good read. Nice to see I’m not the only one who gets these comments!

  19. Thank you my husband past July 30,2015 was in a bad wreck on July 23. 3 days after my birthday we was just married June 7 2015 . I have been told so much crazynes even I was nothing but his wife . that I was not nothing to him . that came from a cousin he did not even like. Anyway thank you for this.

  20. I got told “There’s always someone worse off than you”! And “My little dog died so I know how you feel” as well as “Can I have his (possessions) – after all, he’s not using them any more”. Crass and thoughtless people.

  21. I so needed this! Absolutely hysterical!! It’s been 4 years since my husband took his life and I thought I had heard every assanine “condolence” until someone actually said to me “I hear being widowed is better than being divorced…you know financially.” WTF!!! Who even thinks like that, much less lets it come out of their mouth?!!!

  22. Excellent. Just excellent. I can relate to so many of these, and found myself chuckling at first to full fledged laughing out loud….I’m sure some may think I’m losing my marbles over here on my computer. Well done, and thank you for sharing!

  23. I lost my husband 4 years ago. He was a soldier and lost his battle to ptsd and traumatic brain injury and I can honestly say that someone has told me Atleast 90%of what you wrote. I love this blog and all your comments on what you wish you could have said. I know a few times I had comebacks similar when td he was in a better place. Simply put, you rock!

  24. What a great article. I laughed, I cried and I yes, I have heard everyone of these. But now after 3 years I believe I could say something back to these idiots. Most people mean well, but really. Being a widow has made me stronger. I will always love him and I know that he’s proud of me. Live life!

  25. Two and a half years later and I’m still trying to be a functioning member of society. If I hear the bs about God’s plan, another angel, he wouldn’t want me to cry;I may not have to worry about being a member of society.
    And dating,please. Seriously?
    Love your stuff.
    Anyone available for bail if I flip out?

  26. My husband passed seven years ago today and as I sit here reading this I think omg I have heard every one of these comments through the course of time. People think I should be way “over this” by now! As if “this” is something you get over. He was the love of my life and always will be. I have yet to figure out how to live without him after 40 years of marriage. I have friends who I don’t even hear from anymore and I guess I understand that. Our commonality was as couples and I am not part of a couple anymore. We had friends that were involved in my husband’s business, but that no longer exists. The life I knew is over. I don’t feel like I belong anywhere and I am still struggling to find my place in a world that is foreign to me, and as I do, well meaning people continue to make unthinkable and idiotic remarks.

  27. Hi, would love to shake your hand!! My journey is over 13 years now but sometimes feels like 13 days. Yes, the comments I heard………….I could only shake my head. I thought, if I heard, “every thing happens for a reason” one more time, I would be in jail for strangulation and having a smile on my face!! ” ) My mom would tell me, they feel they should say something so that you know they care. So, I would try and remember that when ever it happened. I have come a long way and also in a good place. But the holidays and all those special dates are still hard!! I wish you the best and Thanks again for sharing this story. Hopefully it will circle fb forever and teach those in the dark a lesson or two. I wish for you a Happy and Healthy 2016!!! ” ) Tam

  28. Yes. All of it. And I have a #26.
    I lost my 48-yr-old husband Seth in a motorcycle accident (not his fault) in May 2014, when I was 32 and our daughter was 3.
    I have had several people tell me that not only will I ride on a motorcycle again (I “retired” once we started trying for kids), but that I should learn to ride on my own to “honor” Seth. Um….no. The last time I saw his motorcycle it was in the street where he laid it down to avoid a collision with a car that just couldn’t wait and turned left in front of him. Why on EARTH would I choose that method to honor him???

  29. While I have not lost a spouse, I am the oldest granddaughter and was with my Grandma during the wake for my Grandpa. I also stood with my sister when she buried her son. To this day I can’t say “I’m sorry for your loss” when I attend a visitation. Those words are some of the most horrible words I ever had to hear. I always say I’m sorry – do you need anything. I have cooked meals, hemmed pants, done laundry, cleaned houses, and hauled flowers home from the funeral. I’m also the completely crazy person that packs up my three kids and drives hours just to attend the wake/funeral because I know a friend needs a hug and a good cry. I have also taken grandkids to the river to let them skip rocks after the funeral and let them remember Grandma and Grandpa in their own way.

  30. First time reading your blog and, yes, many of those things were said to me. My husband died 1/24/2012, 2 months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I was fortunate enough to have a sister & a sister-in-law who were very supportive. The rest of my in-law family pretty much deserted our sons and myself. Couple friends pretty much forget you exist and co-workers are uncomfortable around the newly widowed. So I packed up after a year and moved to another state…that was my “moving on.” Not a good decision for everyone but it’s working for me and I’ve made new friends who are also widows.

  31. You missed one that I’m sure we’ve ALL heard!! ‘Well, time heals all wounds!!’ UMM??? Really?? So how much TIME do I have left to go thru this!! Thank God there’s an end to all of this pain!! NO!! Time does NOT heal all wounds DUMB ASS!!! I just have to learn to now live my life without him now, but I will ALWAYS miss him!! Even if I were to remarry, guess what!!!! Yep, I’ll still miss him and love him!! THERE IS NO TIME LIMIT ON GRIEF!!! You will grieve the rest of your life bc your life will never be the same!! Oh, another good one!! ‘Egerything happens for a reason!!’ Really??? Well then since there was a REASON for his death, BAM, I’m over it!! Wow!! Thank you for that!! I don’t know how I would have ever moved on without you!!! Lol!!!

  32. Such stupid comments, from people who have absolutely no idea of the effort it takes to not punch them. God’s plan to take the person that I was going to retire with, this year. I do not think so. He was only 57. No matter what they say about time healing our grief, it does not happen. God bless you for putting into words, the emotions, felt by every widow/widower, at the very lowest time of their life. God is still good, all the time.

  33. Thank you for this post. My little sister lost her husband three years ago. I didn’t know what to say. I did lots of hugging and crying and being there for her. But there are times when I feel like I have to say something and not knowing what to say I have absolutely said the stupid things. It is good to have the things to actually say that help. And I know that different things affect different people at different times. I think the comment that some of the stupid things that are said are to make the commentator feel better. I am trying to take my time and be more thoughtful but it is hard. Again, thanks.

  34. I don’t like all the f words though in your 25 list and the comments from some of the people above. But on to your list of 25 I can definitely relate to quite a few of those. My husband passed 2-14-12 and it will be 4 yrs. Sometimes it feels as if it was just yesterday and other times, it feels like it was so long ago and I am forgetting his voice and laugh He had a few jokes he liked or other stories and he would get to laughing so hard about what he was saying (which most of us heard many times) tears would come to his eyes And we held hands quite a bit just watching tv and I would like to hold that big hand again. I don’t want to forget but I feel like I am. When he died, I lost a big part of me. People that have not lost a mate cannot understand how it feels. It is definitely not the same as losing your parents. I loved my parents but it is not the same. I lived with my parents 20 yrs total and with my husband 50 yrs. The first 20 yrs of my life my parents made most of my choices but when one marry, the choices in life are made together with your mate. There is so much more of a connection to your mate. I think that is maybe the reason losing a mate is so much harder than losing parents. Almost 4yrs ago I lost my best friend, mate, companion and I don’t like it. I wish he could come back like in the movie Heaven Can Wait but I know that is impossible but wouldn’t that be nice.

  35. Love your post, I’ve actually had these things said to me. My husband passed 3-2013, he was ill 4 months shy of our 23 yrs anniversary. I miss him so much, people need to stop and think before they speak.

  36. Thank you! I miss my husband every day, and it’s been 6 years since he died (on Jan 10). I have heard all the dumb-ass things, but also all the loving, wonderful things, that you wrote in your post. My husband was great at forgiving people, and I have tried to emulate him and concentrate on the wonderful things. But I also love to laugh, and I cackled over your fantasy responses…

  37. You got it totally right. Death fucking sucks is what I say to people now. After losing my husband 6 years ago that’s the best and only thing I find appropriate when learning about another’s tragedy. And I’m with you about this whole God’s plan thing…. for those who genuinely find comfort in knowing their God can up and kill off their most beloved, you’re all fucking morons. If God was a person and went and killed your family member you’d be seeking the death penalty, not chalking it up to a master plan. If this is the God ya’ll worship God Bless you. Thanks for writing this I laughed, only because I’ve lived these. (Once had a nurse ask me where my husband was to keep my baby while at the gyno…. I simply replied, “6 feet in the ground, sorry he can’t keep her today”)

  38. Lost my husband seven years ago, and I sometimes think I am talking to him and say why did you leave me. I could not wish him alive the way he was, as he had parkins disease and alzheimers. I took the best care of him that I could. My kids think I should look for someone, but I had the best, don,t want any of the rest.b

  39. I wish I had read this blog earlier , as I have had many of these comments said to me and had to bite my lip in case I really offended someone with a rude answer. It’s been 10 months since my husband took his own life leaving me and our 16 year old daughter baffled …… But reading this today has made me smile 😊

  40. My husband died 4 months ago. Last week I had someone ask if I was “seeing” any one. I am doing good to get out of bed and go to work most days. They were kind enough to remind me that at my age (63) I shouldn’t wait too long to “get back out there”. What the fuck is wrong with people?

    • Bless All of us I just want to hug you all and make the pain go away if only I could. Losing the love of your life hurts like fuck it sucks. Love to you all

  41. Husband died unexpectedly 12/14/14, Mother died 1/23/15. Daughter had 3 miscarriages during that time. My brothers thought I should have everything well in hand – was told by one of them that “6 months is normative!” But my friends and neighbors have been wonderful – one a bit too friendly but got the hint. I don’t feel like dating and being the life of the party. Some days (most days actually) I don’t feel like getting dressed. Some days I just don’t feel. But lately some days I think of things I’d like to do – of course those things are not finding and paying bills, managing the house, figuring out why the furnace didn’t start!. What a wonderful delight to smile – which your post got me to do.

    • Ellen Im so glad you were able to smile. im so sorry for all of your losses, that is a lot for any one person to deal with.
      Keep breathing. Keep reading. and keep good things and good people close by.

  42. Love this ! But I’ve got another for you I was told not to DARE (by people I went to church with ) go back to work my children needed me at home! Well duh I know they did but if they wanted my children fed and with a home could anyone possible explain how I was supposed to do both when suddenly I was supposed to be able to do it all

Leave a Reply