Now you have to be kind to the people you love in this situation because they will have no idea what to say. Nobody does. The socially accepted phrase is;
“I’m sorry for your loss, if there is anything I can do to help please let me know”
That’s a good one, the response is usually “Thank you, I’ll let you know if there is something you can do”
That is a civil and adult conversation to have when you lose a loved one. You will get this a lot. It will become a part of every conversations for at least a month.
But then there are the dumbasses… The ones who think they know what you are going through, the ones who need to up your story with their own and the ones that need a solid brick to their face.
We will go from least annoying to brick worthy shall we?
People that think they know what you are going through, aren’t that bad, slightly annoying and wrong, yes but they do mean well. They will say things like “I lost such and such so I know how you feel” And while I understand the urge to go “YOU LOSING ‘MR PIGGLESWORTH THE THIRD’ IS NOT THE SAME AS LOSING YOUR PARTNER” it is best that you just nod and say mmmhmmm.
Those people that have lost a partner will try and be nice and say that they know how you feel, also don’t know how you feel. Nobody does. They may have lost a partner but that doesn’t mean anything, everyone’s situation is different and everyone deals with it differently. So don’t feel like you have to do the things they do, say the things they say. Just do you. Thank them for their kind words and leave it at that. That being said, some people do know what they are talking about, so listen to what they say and then just put it through a mind sieve and keep what is helpful and toss the rest.
Then there are the people that have to one up you story. You know the people, you say “Oh I’m raising money for cancer research by shaving my head” and they say “Well when I was 5 I raised 20, 000 dollars for dementia patients”. And your like well goodie for you. Now its your turn to one up them and trust me it is delightful. I was at a dinner get together with friends. And ones of these girls was there and she was talking about how she was sad because her grandmother was dying. She looked around the room and was like “I’m just really shocked, shes only 85, she has so much more to give” and that was when I snapped a little in side. So when she said “Have any of you lost your grandparents as such a young age” I looked her right in the eye and said “No, just my partner last week” Now rude as it sounds, there is something oddly satisfying about suddenly making that annoying rich white girl speechless. Cherish it my dears. Go, spread uneasiness at dinner parties to people that need to get a grip.
But then, oh then there are the really stupid, petty, rude people that need a kick in the face.
Now I have some doozys for this.
“At least he didn’t dump you” – Nooooooooo, I would much prefer he had dumped me. Then I would have a) had the chance to get him back and b) at least all his friends and family would still have him. Shut your face.
“Bet you regret letting him get that motorbike” – No, if I had told him he couldn’t, he would have just done it anyways. Strange thing about this man, he is a person. He does whatever the fuck he likes. If I had caused a fussed and acted like a crazy woman he would have just dumped me and gotten the bike anyways. Welcome to the real world where people make their own life decisions
“Would you like to go on a blind date to take your mind off it?” – Also no I do not what to go on a date with a strange man who all he knows about me is that I have coloured hair and I’m a widow. Its also only been 2 weeks, how about you give me time to cry first.
“These things happen” – This is by far the most annoying thing anyone can say to you ever. Try not to go on a complete tirade like I did. “YES I REALISE THESE THINGS DO HAPPEN BUT WHY THE ACTUAL FUCK DID IT HAPPEN TO RILEY?? WHY DO THESE THINGS HAPPEN? WHY AS A SOCIETY DO WE HAVE TO BE SO FUCKING DUMB ON THE ROAD AND END UP KILLING EACH OTHER? HE WASN’T DOING ANYTHING WRONG IT’S SO FUCKING UNFAIR” and then afterwards realising you are in the food court at the mall surrounded by families having a nice Saturday lunch out and that’s when you pinpoint the exact moment when you went insane.
“You can’t blame yourself” – This one is nice if you are already taking about it and have mentioned that you wish you could have done more etc. This is not comforting when you haven’t mentioned it. Then you sit there like. Are you blaming me? Should I be blaming myself? What should I have done? If only I had done this or this or this and then he would still be alive! STOP RIGHT THERE! It is not your fault that your partner died, unless you physically murdered him yourself. Don’t beat yourself up, listing the what ifs and the buts. It won’t help and its not healthy!
Now I am going to tell you the story of the worst woman I met who said the dumbest thing to me and almost ended up getting herself murdered (Not actually, for someone who says fight me a lot I don’t actually believe in violence.)
I went to a party, my friend was getting older. It was a student party and there were all sorts of people there. I went with a couple of my friends, I didn’t really want to go but I had promised and there are a quota of how many social occasions you have to go to or people stay worrying you will become a shut in.
I was actually having a nice time, I sat down on a couch and a young lad started talking to me. He found out what had happened but was happy enough to continue talking to me. (He wasn’t interested in me and I wasn’t interested in him)
But there was this girl. Now this girl I don’t remember her name so we shall call her Emily. Emily was looking for a man that night. I knew this because she had already hit on my friends boyfriend which was a little funny when my friend came into the room and was like no you fucking don’t.
But she came over to the couch and sat on the other side of this gentleman. This gentleman and I were talking but she said very loudly “I like your tattoos” So I indulged her. She asked about them so I told her I had Thor and Harley on my forearms, Beauty and the Beast on my back, Elvish written around my left wrist and a tattoo for my partner that had just died on my right wrist.
They both nodded and looked at them until she turned to my new friend and said “I don’t know but I just think it’s really dumb to get a tattoo for your ex-boyfriend”
Now, I am a calm and collected person at all times so instead of ripping off her face and making her eat it I stood up and I left. Found my friend Bella and moved to the the outside having to slightly restrain Bella from going inside and murdering Emily. We left not long after that.
The Ex vs Late Boyfriend thing is something I feel very strongly about. I’m not a fan of saying ex-boyfriend. Ex implies he left me (which he definitely was not going to do!) So I go for saying “My late partner” Or “I am a widow” Use which ever sentence/title you prefer. Don’t ever feel like you have to say a particular thing. People tried to tell me I couldn’t use widow because I wasn’t married. I told them to fuck right off. People don’t make your choices, you do. And if people don’t like your choices. Tell them to fuck off! If there is one thing you take away from this blog. It’s to use fuck off more in life. You are now a 60+ year old in a under 40 body. Do what you want!
People will always say the wrong things, death (especially of a partner) is not something that is discussed and there is a certain amount of tabooness (Not a real word apparently.) around it. I know its hard but try to remember that for the most part these people are only trying to help, they just want to make you feel better and do not attack them for what they say. (Unless they are stupid and evil, then go nuts)
Riley always had a nap in the afternoon after his niece and nephew’s parties in Oamaru. Such hard work watching his sister look after 12 small children…..