Widow Bingo came across my Facebook page from a friend that thought I would like it. At first I thought to myself – Who would be so thoughtless to put something together like this. Then, as I read this – I thought, this is pretty good. This was posted on The Widow Hope Facebook page on May 21, 2016 at 1:01 PM.
There were about 25 bingo squares on the bingo chart that were either thoughtless of insensitive because people just do not know what to say to widows or widowers. At this stage of my widowhood, some actually make me laugh but at the time, they sure didn’t. Here are just a few:
- I would die if that happened to me.
- I know how you feel – my dog died.
- It was God’s will.
- They are in a better place.
- Time heals all wounds.
- At least they are no log in pain……
- God never gives you more than you can handle
- And the list goes on…………
It brought back some memories of when my husband passed away in August of 1996. The one comment that just irritated me was – ‘Only the good die young!’ Oh how I detested that comment! There were many times I would say back to who ever said that – Oh you must not be very good if you are still here. I probably shouldn’t have said that but at the time I felt I had the ‘right’ to say that. The weird part about my comment back to the person who said it, was they were appalled that I would same something like that back to them. I mean really – you have to ask? Did I mention how stupid I thought that comment was?
Any of you who are widowed have probably heard many or most of these statements. One could write many blogs from these comments but I will try to keep my blogs to just a few of them. So let me begin with the one that irritated me the most.
Billy Joel wrote a song by this title – Only the Good Die Young and released the song in 1977 (http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/billyjoel/onlythegooddieyoung.html) This song implies that if you live a long life you are bad. Or if you die young you were good.
I’m thinking, does scripture have anything to say about this statement irritates me so much. In doing some digging, I came across Isaiah 57:1 which reads: The righteous man perishes, and no man takes it to heart; And devout men are taken away, while no one understands. For the righteous man is taken away from evil. The New Living Bible translates this into: Good people pass away; the godly often die before their time. But no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come.
Reality for me………
I guess I need to rethink about the statement that only the good die young. I’m not saying that there is necessarily scripture verses to counter act the other comments. But perhaps in reflecting back to the months after Dan died, because of the emotional roller coaster, a lot of the sayings were said and I have come to realize over the years that, people just have no clue unless they have actually buried a spouse.
What to say or not to say…….
Sometimes it is difficult to know what to say or not to say unless you have gone down the journey of becoming single after the death of a spouse. My response to if you do not know what to say, please think first.
- Don’t be afraid to say I don’t know what to say….
- Just give me a hug…..
- Don’t assume I will call you……. Give me a call to check in with me.
- It’s OK to include me when there are get-together’s when couples are included.
- Give me extra grace when the whole world has changed under my feet.
- Keep praying for me…
Perhaps I’m finally understanding God’s grace and mercy. Perhaps, God is softening my heart and thoughts to understand His love and understanding towards me. It’s a lesson I have been learning over the years. Thank goodness I am finally figuring it out. Life is a process isn’t it………..