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Hi AC family, haven't been on here in quite a while. Not sure if this is in the right forum -- I thought I could post to the grief forum but that wasn't a topic in the menu, so relationships was the next closest one.)


Some of you remembered me the last time I posted, and I was touched. Since then, my mom has passed away. (Recap: dad passed away from cancer my last semester of college when I was 21 & we were very close; mom passed away this year, before my 26th birthday, & we had a very tumultuous relationship. Neither passing was sudden.)


I've had my ups & downs, but since I had been on my own for quite some time, the physical distance has helped. Sadly, there are many occasions where I wish I could call a parent for advice & I can't do that. (Calling your older brother just isn't the same.)


However, I've never been someone that wants the pity of others. I can't stand when someone learns about either or both passings & says something like, "I'm so sorry for your loss, I wish I had known sooner!", *especially* when they were only acquaintances.


Is there a response you typically use, or something that you preface your news-breaking with? The last time I went home, I thought I was going to implode from the amount of pity from local store owners, neighbors, etc.!!!


(About me: the most comforting & supportive things people said to me that made me feel like I could actually talk to them were ones that empathized. The one that touched me the most actually came from a newer friend that I don't know as well. They're also adopted, and their parents are celebrities, but I never expected us to connect on such a deep level. From across the country, they said to me, "I would ask if you're okay but everyone is and that's a stupid question. You're not alone; if there's something I can do, even if a call or a text, please do so. Let me know if you're out here anytime soon - I would love to have you for a visit." So much applause for not uttering the words "I'm sorry"!!! Somehow, this person understood me & my needs in that moment more than a lot of people.)

Could it be that they had a different relationship with your mom and they are trying to honor her memory by extending a kindness towards you?

I don't think people typically feel pity when they express their condolences for your loss. However, I wish I had known sooner is an odd saying.

Strangers do it all the time on this forum. I think most people here find comfort from others acknowledging their loss.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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I suppose it seems shallow when some people comment on our loss. I'd get angry too if I was reminded of my berevement frequently by people I barely know. In my case, I only got one card (from an 'out-of- state' cousin that I'd informed about mom's passing). But many who knew us locally said nothing to me, & sent no cards. I think cards are nicer, cuz they take effort & also cards don't put you 'on the spot' to talk about it with someone. I agree with how you feel though, sorry it's been so aggravating for you.
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Reply to Tiger55
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I was one of the people upset by friends who hadn't heard, or read the paper or my Facebook announcement of my aunt's death, and said nothing.  Any acknowledgement was appreciated.  When someone did say 'sorry for your loss', I said Thank you. A few who'd been through it themselves understood, and we talked.  A few offered help. Once in awhile someone said sorry for your loss, and I said 'thank you, but it was also a relief.'  That caught them off guard and they were silent.  Yes, people who could empathize understood, especially here on this site.
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Reply to GrannieAnnie
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Some people come on the forum slamming their community for saying nothing, others feel they haven't the right to say anything unless they were there sharing the burden of caregiving, still others quibble about whether or not the sympathy extended is sincere enough - it's often kind of difficult to know what to do or say that won't be taken the wrong way🤔. I think for the most part people just want to acknowledge that yes, they have heard, and that they feel some empathy for the suffering of another human being.
I'm like BarbB, I've learned to keep it to a brief and simple "you have my sympathy" or "I'm sorry for your loss"; it's the truth, and unless I'm a very close friend really all there is to say.
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Reply to cwillie
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I think someone else nailed it.,people don't know what to say, so they say that and other things.

I had someone say to me I am sure it was a blessing. Now, that may be something our family might discuss, but from others, just no. I think a great part of it is that we, as society, are not very comfortable with death. I am not sure that will change either.
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Reply to Segoline
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Dear blackdiamond,

I think people generally mean well and want to be sensitive. We all grieve so differently.  I would try and thank them for their kindness. But I'm with you and if people could show more empathy that would be ideal.

Always know there is no right way or wrong way to grieve. I'm with Barb and I found other websites more helpful in understanding my grief. Here were some that I liked.

What's Your Grief
Grief in Common
Grief Healing Blog
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Reply to cdnreader
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Tiger55 Jul 6, 2019
I checked those out & the first 2 were really nothing.
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Sometimes people feel bad and do not know what to say. I feel most people are sincere.
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Reply to earlybird
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People are well meaning and do the best they can. Grief is so individual, and our response so individual that there is no way of "knowing what to say". Each of us is privately driven "mad" by some of the things said to us (For me it is "God knows the answers" or "he is in a better place". I am an atheist life long, so that hits me on the wrong side of my jaw. But the fact is that people are trying. Some will just not contact people at all because they don't have a clue. Others try. I think that grief brings up such a lot of things for us, our OWN feelings, that we wish we could share and wish people cared about and wish people could understand. Perhaps try a journal to write down the best and worst of it daily. And now I of course feel at a loss of "what to say" to you about your loss. People will soon enough stop saying ANYTHING to you about it, and if you still are struggling with feelings they will want you to move on because they are not comfortable. That's us. We are each imperfect in our own way.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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It is what is said "so sorry for ur loss". What bothers me is "if there is anything I can do". This coming from people you hardly know or those who have not seen u or ur family in years. May have been friends at one time, but not now. I just say thank you. Unless ur a close friend, its really hard to know what to say but you want to say something. We are not all eloquent. I think from you just smile and say thank you.

Its nice that you found someone who "understands".
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Blackdiamond, it's good to see you back!

People are uncomfortable with death and with grievous illness. Most of us mortals don't know what to say. For years, I simply avoided people who were recently bereaved. I grew up in a family that said things like "these things happen for a reason"; " He's in a better place" or "Her suffering is over". I couldn't say those things. When I heard my MIL say "I'm sorry for your loss" it seemed simpler and thoughtful.

When I say that, I'm not expressing pity. I'm telling the person I'm sorry that they've lost a loved one. It expresses empathy at the human experience of loss.

You are certainly not alone here! I've recently come across a site called Modern Loss. It has lots of good articles and blogs. Be well!
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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shad250 Jul 3, 2019
Looked at the sight, they're asking for money, which is understandABLE
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