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What is the most annoying cliché?

They’re in a better place.

No kidding, Captain Obvious!

When my sister died in March, a friend I hadn’t heard from in years texted me that she usually doesn’t say anything when someone dies but wanted me to know she was thinking of me. What a nice expression of concern! Words don’t come easy when expressing sympathy. There’s not a checklist of acceptable words or phrases when I have been on the extending and receiving end of this conversation too many times and recognize the challenge. You’ll get through this or Life will go on or At least they’re is no longer suffering or You need to be strong for someone else. I don’t want to hear it! My head knows all of these things, but I’m human. I’m selfish. I’m in pain. I want that person right here beside me.

Don’t tell me they’re in a better place.

I don’t intend to sound mean or rude. I truly appreciate the attempt to comfort me, but the “better place” condolence does nothing to heal the hole in my heart. Tell me you’re sorry. Tell me you care. Tell me that while you can’t know my pain, you understand. If you knew them, tell me what made them special. Tell me you’re grieving with me. Tell me it’s not fair, tell me it sucks. Tell me you’re here if I need to whine or cry or throw things. Tell me it’s okay to grieve and that there’s no timetable for grieving.

Just don’t tell me they’re in a better place.

Don’t be afraid to mention their name. It is comforting to know that they mattered and are remembered. Whether or not you say anything, I’m thinking of them, missing them. You won’t make me any sadder.

Just don’t tell me they’re in a better place.

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