I hate that phrase. Sorry for your loss. Why? I want to ask. Did you kill him? It sounds like you’re apologizing for that death. Because when I say I’m sorry, it’s me taking responsibility. And you are not responsible for his death. You were not personally involved.
On the other hand, it sounds so impersonal. Like a robot. Can’t you come up with something better to say? Be a little more original. C’mon. Give it a try. Attempt some actual feeling in there. Not such an automatic response.
My friends tell me I get unreasonably defensive when a death occurs in my life. That the person saying Sorry actually means well. And ok. Maybe it is you feeling for me. And maybe it is irrational on my part. But there has to be something else you can say. That you can come up with.
The other things is ‘your loss.’ It sounds like it was just my loss. And no it wasn’t. It was the world’s loss. It was the family’s loss. It wasn’t just my loss. There were many other people effected. Not just me.
And also that person isn’t lost. It’s not like we can take out our binoculars and if we search for him, we’ll find him. He’s gone. He’s not coming back. So the phrase is actually probably the worst thing you can say to someone who just experienced a close and sudden death in the family.
So maybe say something a little more original. I’m here for you. Sending ten million hugs. A gesture of support. Something positive. Not putting more negative on my shoulders. That’s not what I need right now.
And please in the name of all things good, don’t ask me for the details. Don’t ask me if we were close. Don’t ask me how he died. If I want to tell you, I will.
Also please understand that I’m not in a great place right now. So I’m not actually mad at you. I’m mad at the universe. I’m mad at life. And you just happen to be sitting here.
I’m not me right now. I do appreciate the sentiment. I’m in pain. I’m shattered. And sorry for your loss is doing nothing to make me feel better. Thanks for understanding.