A letter to friends in time of loss.

I’m guessing, though I may be wrong, that you are getting weary of people asking questions and telling you they are sorry. 

It’s why Nora McInerny’s podcast is called, “Terrible (thanks for asking.)” 

Which is a perfectly acceptable thing to say. Because, of course, we often are asking you questions to make ourselves feel better and because we don’t know what to say. Even me, now. 

And it’s why I say, “This is hard.” Because that sentence acknowledges that this. is. hard. 

  • If you are feeling particularly overwhelmed, tell people to have a nice day and watch them wince as they respond with “you too” and then realize what they just said. 
  • When people ask what they can do, tell them that they can put on their calendar to ask that question again in a month. And then on December 12th. (I just put it on my calendar)
  • When people ask what they can do, tell them to ask Jeff, or ask Helen. Or ask Xavier. Seriously. Deflect to a specific person. 
  • Here’s what I wrote in a book: And then there is this: You can call a time-out. Like in a basketball game or a football game, you can say, “I can’t answer that this minute, I need to catch my breath.”
  • I could be wrong, but you all may feel this sense of needing to be nice and hospitable because of all these people hurting and not knowing what to say and wanting to help. You don’t need to be any more hospitable than is helpful to you. 
  • If anyone has a sentence that includes a “but”, (like “this is hard but you are strong”, you get to smile and nod and put their name on your list of people to never talk to again. 
  • And Jeff, when people ask you what they can do, gather names for the first snowfall. And make a list of what he would answer, and what he did for others

Friends, I’ve got nothing but words. We’re grateful for the very best, most understanding people who will show up. And we love you all. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: