Saturday, November 25, 2006

Isn't it great

when you say to someone who's just had someone they love die, "I know she's in a better place," and you don't even believe in heaven or an afterlife, it was just the only thing you could think of that was hopeful in the least?
In a better place: In the ground. Not in a bed, breathing.
I guess that's what religion is for. That is the singular best argument for religion. Hope among desperation.
And better to say something? Rather than nothing at all?
I think so.
I hope so.

11 Comments:

Anonymous joe said...

Amen!

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Karaoke Follows said...

With all the perjuries committed daily (“looking good,” “that’s hilarious!” and “show starts at 9”) attesting paradise—or a vague non-mortality—to the grieving is hardly criminal.

4:34 PM  
Blogger rp said...

I always go for the "At least he's not suffering any more."

It works all the time.

Cuz Life = Suffering.

5:36 PM  
Blogger Wednesday T. Guevara said...

It's something to say. How awkward. Probably more comforting than "Better him than you."

I never say the right thing.

9:35 PM  
Blogger rp said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:54 PM  
Blogger rp said...

"At least now we can fist him without all that pesky screaming."

3:55 PM  
Blogger maryk said...

oh man....
well, i guess that makes me feel better about what i said.
a friend and I were talking about this years ago, after my mom died and her brother died, and the one thing that we heard that we thought was unacceptable was a family friend telling her "you know, it's ok to cry." Thanks a lot, asshole. I wasn't going to, but now that you, someone i know peripherally, says it's ok, i think i will. Everything else that people said was taken as heart-felt and appreciated.

4:28 PM  
Blogger Josie said...

I usually just say I'm sorry. Sometimes, depending on how well I know the person, I might add something along the lines of "That really sucks" because that's all I really want to hear.

People talk about "passing" -- which is wierd...what is death? A football game...or maybe basketball...or maybe a relay race where they're handing off that big baton in the sky....

So many of my friends and family members have died that if someone said, "They're in a better place" to me, I'm not sure how I'd react. Laugh? Probably. People are already scared of me, so when someone I love dies, I just hide to avoid the comments.

2:27 PM  
Blogger Overdroid said...

The thing that really got me when my dad died was people just saying "Let me know if you need anything, anything at all." Because, first of all, there's NOTHING they could do to make me feel better, and this response encompasses that sentiment. To me this statement said "I know you feel like shit, and there's nothing that will make you feel better, but I care about you and one day I'll feel like shit for something very similar and that's how life is, which is why it's important that I'm acknowledging it - It proves you are not alone. You've got people who love you." But maybe I'm reading to much into it. Still "Let me know if I can do anything for you." seems like the most empathic response to anyone who is experiencing an inconsoleable tragedy. It's a verbal shrug and hug at the same time.

I personally would avoid any discussion of afterlife. I'm a pretty serious atheist. Even when I'm in a foxhole.

4:29 AM  
Blogger maryk said...

Yeah, re: afterlife, the person kept talking about how much the person was suffering, describing what had been going on, i felt pinned in, and more importantly, like that's what they wanted to hear, that if i just kept quiet, THEY would say it eventually. But i'd been quiet and awkward for too long, and opened my mouth. You know Overdroid, i sent you a card when your dad died, cuz it was not long at all after my mom died, and i think i said just what you said above. I don't even think you knew who i was, but it was all so fresh, and i remembered really appreciating people caring enough to do something, so i thought, what the hell. Think i got your address from peter. you're very right, it is the equivalent of a shrug and a hug. very well put. cuz, really, what ARE ya gonna do?

9:26 AM  
Blogger Overdroid said...

Thanks Mary. In case I didn't say it before. Also, let me know if there's anything I can do for you. :)

12:13 AM  

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