Monday, November 17, 2008


I am terrible at giving condolences. I am verbally clumsy in the face of genuine grief. I don't believe in heaven and hell and I am unsure about the question of God. I believe in doubt, but doubt is not a terribly comforting or considerate thing to express to a person who has just lost a dear friend or family member.  When I am mourning the loss of someone, I am irritated by references to God's Plan and the old standby a better place now.  God is of no comfort to me. Nothing is really. I do understand that for people of faith, God and heaven are of great comfort in times of loss. I appreciate that, but I also think that it would be insulting for me to offer insincere sentiments.  My dearest friend Jeannine lost her mother recently and I am going to the funeral tomorrow.  I only met Shirley a few times, but she always remembered me and she often asked Jeannine about Violet.  I know that I will find it difficult not to burst into tears when I see Jeannine and I'd like to have something simple and kind to say.  I lack vocabulary for moments like these. I wish I could hand out little cards with a perfectly respectful humanist statement of consolation. Instead, I will allow Violet to distract me with questions and hopefully Violet will distract Jeannine from her grief for a little while.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin