corrvin: bicolor cat, text "I would like an army of killer robots with laserbeams" (Chisa)


So, my second cousin and his wife were expecting a baby this week, and sadly she was stillborn. The services are not really when/where I can attend, so I thought I'd send a card.

So I go to the store and there are 3 aisles of cards, about 5' of one aisle is sympathy cards. And the card reps-- you know, the people who rearrange displays and stuff-- are all there working on the displays, and they are all four of them standing in front of that 5' section of space, having a giggly discussion.

I kind of "excuse-me" elbow my way in and start looking through cards. I am already sniffly, because I am a champion crier on this subject, right? And I am rejecting cards for the following:

a) Your loved one is in heaven which is nice-- Uhm... heaven or no, the reason we are sad is that they aren't here. It's okay to be sad when you miss someone, no matter where they are.
b) Hope you feel better soon-- Uhm...still no. The purpose of the card now is that you are miserable now. Fuck later, just this one day is plenty to overwhelm someone who's grieving.
c) Just think of all the happy memories you have-- this one only works if you do have happy memories. And again, that's a later-in-grief thing.

I want a line of cards called "The Worst Thing That Ever Happened To You." It should have nice, soothing pictures on it like flowers, and clouds, and nice trees, and maybe cake. The inside of the card would say things like:
Sorry about your loss
What happened to you totally stinks
(religious card) Jesus, that was terrible
That is just awful, I expect you're miserable

And it should have an insert that you can mark up and put in the envelope with the card:

Let me know later if I can help with anything I've checked:
[_]minor housework
[_]bringing over food and tissues
[_]walking your dog/taking the kids for an hour or two
[_]running interference while you pick up an everyday task, in case you melt down
[_]telling people who don't know but need to be told what happened


Anyway, I finally locate TWO whole cards that fit my criteria, one for me and one for my parents. The whole time I am sniffling and tears are running down my cheeks. I manage not to seethe or spit acid at the card reps who are still circling in some kind of giggle-flock. I put the cards in my basket and don't even look at them and walk away.

I really hope I made them uncomfortable. I really do.

Date: 2014-04-25 06:45 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] seryn
seryn: flowers (Default)
I generally buy blank cards with good pictures and write that kind of thing in myself. About the "so sorry for your loss, sorry you're hurting".

The insert with the checkboxes would be a great idea. Most everyone told me to ask them if I needed "anything" but I'd already experienced that anything came with conditions and that most people didn't mean it. They expected me to be able to tell from where I was exactly what was "reasonable" to ask them for. I vastly prefer to be told what kinds of things are meant and for them to have been offered rather than me asking.

However, if card reps were there, I'd have turned on the waterworks (instead of sniffling it back) and asked for help finding a card showing sympathy to parents who just lost a child. If people are that insensitive, you might as well try to teach them a lesson about compassion.

Though, honestly, I'm such a horrible person that I'd have described the condition of the dead person's body in graphic detail while explaining why no one who had seen that could concentrate on the good times or imagine the person in heaven like that. I'd make absolutely sure no one came out of that encounter without extra misery added if anyone tried to give me some.

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