As I first read this prompt, I thought oooh so many to choose from… but now I come to write it, I can’t actually think of many.
I’ve already talked a little bit about people saying that something you’re experiencing in grief is “normal”. That’s a huge platitude, is very well-meaning, but ultimately useless, and can be hurtful. There isn’t anything normal, when the world itself has ceased to be what you recognise.
I had someone once tell me that God works in mysterious ways, and if I’d been that kind I would have punched her in the face. I can’t think of a more useless platitude, and I don’t even know if that one is well-meaning. It is the ultimate in, I feel that I need to say something but also want you to stop talking and kind of want to wash my hands of what you’ve said.
That said though, I genuinely do think that when someone offers you a platitude- while they may be useless and I don’t think I believe any of them- they remain well meaning. I think that is the main thing I try to remember when someone attempts to placate my grief- they are meaning well, but simply our of their depth and don’t know what to say. And we all know, that when humans don;t know what to say we get clumsy with our words.
That’s why I get on my grief soapbox so often, because I want us to do death -and that includes the talking about it- better. So that we stop hurting each other, especially children and young people, with well-meaning platitudes.