Please, don’t feel the need to say anything.

The blog dam burst today, and I finally posted about my dad’s cancer and my own struggle to process how I feel about it. Predictably, when you tell someone that you’ve had (or are facing) the loss of a loved one, you then brace yourself for the onslaught of well intentioned responses.

I’m often accused of sharing a little too bluntly what I think and feel, and this is probably going to fall into that category, but: you don’t need to say anything.

I know this sounds insensitive and ungrateful, but here goes: please resist the urge to offer condolences. I fully assume that you care, and that I can count on you to be there for me. That’s why we’re friends, right?


Trust me… I know. You don’t have to say it.

But just in case, let me just put a response out here in advance:

  • First, thank you. I absolutely recognize that you’re coming from a place of love and respect, and I appreciate that. Truly.
  • No, there’s almost certainly nothing that you can do.
  • Yes, I absolutely know that you’re here for me if anything does come up that you can do to help.
  • Yes, I know I can call or text you if I want to talk about this. (I probably don’t want to, though.)

And, just to up the ante on the self-indulgent insensitivity: please don’t feel obligated to tell me about your faith or your prayers for me, or for my family. Again, I realize you’re coming from a sincere place, and I appreciate it… But neither my father nor I are religious people, and I don’t know that I’m going to be able to ride the wave of religious well-wishes with the graciousness that I’d like to.

Apologies for seeming ungrateful or unnecessarily brusk here. Again, I appreciate the intention. But let’s just take it for granted that I know you love me and are here for me, m’kay?

Having said all of that: hugs and Jack Daniel’s are both always appreciated.

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