The other night, I had a vivid dream. The only part I remember is the end, when my father was showing me his latest creation. He had always had a knack for crafting amazing things from odd scraps of whatever was around. In this dream, he was showing off what looked like two large tree trunks. But when you looked closer, the tops opened up to reveal compartments for trash cans and recycling bins. Ingenious!
Get over it isn’t eactly what you want to hear when your mother dies. Neither does heading that your loved one looks good dead. Yet the awkward words from the lips of our friends and family often add up to extreme insensitivity and hurt feelings, when it’s the last thing they mean. In the quiet moments after goodbyes have been said, it’s often hard to avoid dwelling on the hackneyed nature of sympathetic wishes. While we’d liek to think of our well wishers in a positive, warm light, those of us who have grieved can’t help but wonder: “What were they thinking? Are they nuts?”