The Things People Say . . .

February 2, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Posted in Grief, life lessons | 12 Comments
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After Jake died people did not know what to say.   There would be a lot of awkward conversations which would start like this:

“He is in a better place.” 


“He would have had a difficult life.”

Followed by me either not responding at all or starting to cry.

After the twins were born one of the conversations I can recall started with, “Oh how great, you got your boy back.”  

More silence and crying from me.

After Sawyer died there were more statements similar to these –  most of which are not worth repeating, writing down or remembering.  At first, the comments would make me even sadder (which I did not think was possible).  Then the comments made me mad.  Somewhere along the way I decided that people did not mean to hurt me.  They just have no idea what to say.  Sometimes they just say whatever comes to mind first.  Or, they try to relate to Jake and/or Sawyer’s deaths with an experience of their own – or something that happened to their neighbor’s 2nd cousin.

I try to believe that people always have the best intentions no matter what actually comes out of their mouths.

I will confess, at times I have wished for a taser to silence people before they say stupid things. 

Thank you to Tiffany and Mary for posting this video because it pretty much says it all.


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  1. May i never utter any of those things to a grieving parent. Thinking of you Lanie. xo

  2. Oh Lanie, thank you for continuing to educate us. I appreciate your honesty about the taser.

  3. I loved that video. It was so realistic. I cannot count the number of times some clueless person has said something insane to me along the lines of “You are so strong…I mean I just wouldn’t be able to get out of bed in the morning if I lost little JackJack.” And it does make you angry sometimes. On good days, I am able to remind myself that their intentions were probably sincere. On other days…I just don’t get why I have to deal with other people’s ignorance on top of what I’ve been through.” And the “replacement” theory. What?! Yes, a taser would be handy sometimes.

  4. I am 100% sure I have said something totally inappropriate but I do that on a daily basis. Most of us are shocked and also grieving with you. But yes, we are clueless to the pain. Thanks for sharing the video.. I especially love their monotone voices! I will, going forward, try to say ‘i am sorry for your loss’ and then zip it.

  5. Thanks for sharing the video. I’m sure we have all said inappropriate things at times…but, when a bereaved parent is dealing with so much and so raw, the “secondary wounds” go deep.

  6. Going shopping for that taser for you right now. I know you’ll use it wisely!

  7. Thanks for another incredible post Lanie.

  8. I am truly embarrassed to think I, too, said some horribly inappropriate and insensitive things like this. Though I am quite sure I never out grieved anyone (shew). But, looking forward I will simple stop at “I’m sorry”.

    Great post.

  9. I wanted a taser before too ;). I really hope people do mean well.

  10. I’m sure that I’m guilty of saying something inappropriate–and I could probably use a good tase every once in a while. But I am sure that in most cases, people do mean well–they too are likely at a loss of words to help comfort those who need it most. Thanks for reminding folks that perhaps sometimes no words are better.

  11. Reblogged this on alexandrammdotcom.

  12. […] a few different posts I have written about what people have said to Evan and I after Jake and then Sawyer‘s deaths.  There seem to be endless opportunities in life to say the wrong […]

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