What NOT to say when someone dies

For anyone who is bereaved or no longer providing care.
I reckon there is a lot to be said for not saying anything at all, given how prickly some people are after a death. As proven by the comments above.
Is that what the bereaved want? To be handled with kid gloves or avoided?
Frankly I don't think I care what people say as long as they don't treat me as if I was suffering from Ebola virus.
We are not all possessed of super-sensitivity, and if any of my friends were, they wouldn't be the people I would want to ask me to go down the local for a pint or two.. But those are the real friends. :angry:
With regard to the age thing after a death then yes I would think the fact that they are older should make it easier to bear. Much harder facing the future early loss of my son than it was to lose my 77 year old father and 84 year old in laws. Losing older people is a natural part of life - no parent should be forced to go through the loss of a child.

In generations past people were more accustomed to death. Both my parents suffered losses as they were growing up - siblings, parents, aunts, uncles...and war. It was a part of life. You got with it. I think we are now distanced from death and not so sure how to respond.
So true Juggler. Mum grew up during the war. The school assemblies would always say when ex pupils had signed up with a regiment etc. They would also say when an ex pupil had died. Sadly, for many, no sooner had they joined up than they died, pupil after pupil after pupil. Then there were the families who died of TB, one after another. Mum could still reel them off, not long before she died. I'm sure this had a profound influence on her, and went some way to explain her obsession about keeping things she didn't need any more. M. has always dealt with death better than the rest of us, he has a long list of people he knew who have died, all from memory, including a former class mate. Personally, when my husband died I felt let down by many people I regarded as friends, so shocked by his sudden death that they struggled to deal with it themselves. After a funeral with over 200 people attending, it felt like I'd almost been sent to Coventry, as they avoided me - I even saw someone cross the road to avoid speaking to me. That was a very low moment for me. Better to say anything than that.
I'm not so badly affected by death as some people are, maybe because I don't invest my whole existence in the existence of a few others. I celebrate and enjoy being part of the tide of humanity, not different or special in any way.
Thats how I see it anyway.
I've lost a few pals and colleagues over the years, mainly through motorbike, climbing and caving accidents, some through heart attacks, or cancer, or whatever. I have also lost some elderly relatives, though nobody close to me.
I see all life as a gift and a chance, inherently risky, not as something very important.
There are what, 8 billion of us on this planet and we are all closely related genetically, everyone is special in some way, but also doomed to die. One person's death isn't going to make very much difference to the course of human progress.
Does that sound horribly detached, or just wise?
Don't forget I have lived life in the fast lane, I know what it is to chance my life on a knife edge. Most people don't. Maybe they should. Without freely-undertaken risk and challenge, life is worthless and banal.
Climbing in New Zealand
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not impressed scally,
regret having to say so...
big bear ;)
I think the words 'nobody close to me' say a lot, Scally. I suspect you will have more understanding of comments on this thread when you have shared the experience of losing siblings, parents, children or your partner.
No one knows how a death will affect them until it happens. The circumstances and relationship shape the experience. Each person's reaction is equally valid and what grieving person needs by way of support is very individual and personal.