Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Open Mouth, Insert Foot



From a young age I debated becoming a bereavement counselor. Attending funerals in my teens I helped console mourners four times my age. At nineteen years old I held the hand of a widow in her early twenties.

That one was tough. She learned of her pregnancy the same day her husband took his life. I will never forget Herb, an amazing person.

Dealing with other types of distress is another story. Recently a friend grew so distraught over something out of her control that I finally told the poor dear to just breathe. The whole group looked at me as if I’d said, “I’m sorry your puppy died. But he tasted delicious.”

Maybe I should stick with my fictional people. What do you think?

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14 comments:

  1. Hehe! I think you are probably right!

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    1. Can I hang with you, Keith? As a fellow committed writer I think you would *get* me. ~grin~ I'll buy you a pint.

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  2. I often use 'Breathe' as a way of getting someone who is distraught to focus. Not sure why that would be considered inappropriate, but I'd love to learn if it is so.

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    1. I didn't mention that this was over a web cam call, Corinne, and wonder if that made a difference. ~sigh~ The way the camera focus works on our computer screens, I sort of had to interrupt to get her attention.

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  3. I don't know that that's bad advice. Sometimes helping someone going through issues means angering them. But, clearly you chose another path.

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    1. Thanks, Liz. ~grin~ I imagine their reactions seemed worse to me than they were.

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  4. I think telling someone to breathe is a good idea.

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    1. Thanks! ~hugs~ I guess the venue was wrong.

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  5. Well, just breathe has its own set of issues. I have asthma and COPD. Breathing is not always easy. And "Relax" is not good. It is the last thing you want someone to say when you are upset. I have had miscarriages; people say the most horrible things then. There are all kinds of pain. Sometimes, all you can do is give them a hug and tell them it is okay to be upset; they have reason. This, too, shall pass. Hugs are always welcome.

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    1. I'm so sorry about your health issues and terrible tragedies, my dear. ~hugs~ I wish it could be for real for you and my friend. She's across the US from me; we were on a conference call. ~sigh~ Be well.

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  6. Just BREATHE is a good. I usually say relax and stay calm. Funny the things we think to say at certain times in our life.

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  7. It's so hard to know what to say, how people might take it. Maybe the intent behind the words is better read, in the end, so a big heart will shine through.

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  8. Thank you for the thoughtful kindness, my dear! It means a lot coming from one so big heated. Be well!

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Thank you for taking time to share your opinion. Hearing from readers adds immensely to my joy of writing!