In the just over 4 years that I have been a widow, I have had to sit in silence and bite my tongue through an endless array of insensitive or just plain stupid comments coming from both friends, family, acquaintances and co-workers, and yes, even total strangers. As the person who is grieving, we are told over and over again by society that “people just don’t know what to say” and they are “only trying to help”, and that they “mean well”, so therefore, we are supposed to just nod politely, smile and get on with things. Okay. I can do that, if that is what the world wants from me. However, I do think that just continuing to brush off people’s hurtful and often rude comments as “not knowing what to say” is unhealthy. The only way that people will ever learn what NOT to say to someone who is grieving the life they had and the person they loved most in this world, is to educate them. And since I’m a comedian, I choose to offer up my education in a comedic tone. So if you are reading this and you have no sense of humor, please go out to Wal-Mart or somewhere and get one. Then come back and have a good laugh.
The following is a list of 25 (in no particular order) actual comments that actual people actually said to me after my husband Don died very suddenly, with zero warning or symptom, in July of 2011, from a massive heart attack, at age 46. Below each actual comment, I have listed what I wish I could have said in response at the time, but of course, didn’t. Some of these comments were said to me right away after the death, and others were said as recently as last month. So, what does this accomplish? Well, for one thing, it’s fun to come up with pretend, smart-ass replies that I could never actually say in real life to these people. And secondly, the next time me or any of my dear brothers and sisters in widowhood have to put up with one of these or other insensitive comments, they can now laugh their asses off, thinking of what they wish they could say in response; as they nod their heads politely like a good widow (er) should.