Taken in

December 15, 2014

Years ago I had a huge personal loss, and someone I was friends with at the time was very unsympathetic:  “You have a husband,” she said, “So you can’t have anything to complain about.”  At the time she was single.  She said it to end a conversation.  And I truly hadn’t thought about my need to talk about the loss in terms of complaining, I thought I was trying to get my mind around the loss, and my need to “tell the story” extended beyond discussing it with my spouse.  I learned later that when a baby dies, many people are apt to say something memorably unhelpful to you, and you just “make a list.”

We ran into each other recently, and I mentioned in the course of explaining something else, in response to a question of hers, that my husband had died.  That stopped that conversation.  I am pretty sure she is currently married.

I used to take people more literally.  I used to think that this person would be sympathetic now that I am not married, but no, I suppose it’s just that the person does not offer sympathy for losses due to death.  That’s about them, not about the details of the situation.



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