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:
[_]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.