Wednesday, February 06, 2008

for your reference: a list of things not to say to someone whose grandma* has just died.

1. "YOUR GRANDMA DIED?"
2. "WAS IT EXPECTED?"
3. "HOW OLD WAS SHE?"
4. "WHERE DID SHE LIVE?"
5. "WERE YOU CLOSE?"
6. "IS THERE GOING TO BE A FUNERAL?"
7. "WHY DID SHE DIE?"
8. (and my anti-favorite) "WAS SHE IN A LOT OF PAIN?"

*this list may also be applicable in the case of a recently-deceased grandfather, mother, father, brother, sister, husband, wife, son, daughter, friend, beloved pet, etc.

update: excellent friends, please don't feel like this is directed at you. if we know each other, #1-#7 are acceptable questions (if we're friends, i don't think you'd ask #8.) brother bear and i get into this in the comments to this post, but this is really about people who i don't know very well and to whom i'm not particularly close getting super nosy and all up in my business when they hear about my grandma. i love you folks.

2 comments:

brother bear said...

eh, I dunno. 2,3,5 and 6 aren't all that bad. we're empathetic creatures, after all. ok, except for the clinical psychopaths.

sarah said...

i think i should clarify: the problem with most of these is not necessarily the question itself, but the spirit in which it is asked. because if we aren't really friends, and we aren't really close, then you're just being nosy. (and about something that isn't even really all that interesting. somebody old died. this is not a particularly uncommon course of events.)

i guess what i was wishing that people would realize all day at work is that if i'm about to cry or if i've averted my eyes and started offering monosyllabic responses to your questions (or, in the case of #8, if i've already said, "i don't want to talk about it, thank you") you should probably leave me alone.