Squeaky Clean

dsci0400

The first post on my India series  was done at 5am in the morning, and many of you have asked `why I was in need of a distraction at such an odd hour of the morning.

Before I explain, I would like to throwback to my first trip to India (2011-2012) , it is relevant, I swear.

From the first night in India, New Delhi to be precise, I knew it was going to be an interesting experience. As I was an extra person in the room, the hotel brought me a little bunk bed to sleep on, but as soon as I sat down on it, it completely folded in on me, just as it happens in the movies. And obviously my sisters watched and laughed.

It was actually one of the better hotels though. Later in the trip, in Mumbai we stayed at hotel on Linking Road. A busy area, well-known for the shopping experience. It was a lovely clean hotel and much better than the previous hotel  on Muhammed Ali Road, which was incredibly dodge, but served the best food and the best chai (at any time of the day or night), but the upgrade was much needed.
I once again shared a room with Rizwana and Ayesha, but this time had a bed, instead of a foldable “bunk”.
We settled into our new space comfortably. A few days later I found packets of nuts and biscuits in the room which appeared to have been ripped open, I was quite annoyed, but as we had many children with us it could be expected that they might have caused this.
The very same night at around 1am, I was rather restless and thought I had heard the slightest “squeak”. My sisters thought I was imagining it and went back to sleep. After a while I was convinced there was a sound coming from behind my head and reached over Ayesha to switch the light on. This is what followed.
Rizwana: “Ayesha! What are you doing ?”
Ayesha : (from a deep sleep)”I am sleeping….”
Fathima: “I think theres a mouse in the room” *switches lights on *
I moved a bag and chaos ensued, a mouse began shuffling around the room and the three of us began screaming and shuffling around an incredibly small space.
Ayesha made a call to reception and explained in broken Gujarati that there was a mouse in our room, the clerk, replied saying “Ma’am, there is no mouse”. An annoyed Ayesha, then went down to call him and came back with a helper, and a soft grass broom. The helper began hitting this poor mouse, which caused us to shriek even more. We asked him not to kill the mouse (again in broken Gujarati), just to remove it. We then lost sight of the mouse.
Ayesha decided she had had enough and locked herself in the bathroom, Rizwana found safety perched on a chair, on the lookout, and I intelligently remained on the bed.
All was silent, as the helper walked around moving things to locate our nemesis.
Silent, that is, until I felt the slightest furriest, softest sensation walking over my leg!
Yes, it was certainly the mouse! I began shrieking once again, and at that point ran out of the room ( still not sure why I had not done that to begin with).
All the noise and commotion had also disturbed our neighbour, a local gentleman who walked into the room, and viewed the situation. Without saying a word, put his hand in a packet he found, reached over, and picked the mouse up!
And then displayed this mouse in a packet for us all to see. Simple, one swift move, as compared to a broom smashing helper and three shrieking, jumping girls.
He was not at all annoyed and seemed not in the least bit phased.

As I am sure you can imagine, nobody got much sleep that night. And I will forever be traumatised at having a mouse run up my leg!

 

dsci0407

Advertisements

Staring is Caring

Most Indians are probably well aware of the Indian tendency to stare. And if an Indian happens to see more of their kind, the staring is even more intense.
In India it is no different. You would think it would be, given the population size, but it is not.

Being here, I have received quite a few comments regarding my Indian features, I have been asked if I have indian heritage, and one time I was mistaken as the Hospital staff by newly arrived foreign guests….. well, surprise surprise, I am Indian.

However explaining to everyone how this is possible, yet I do not speak the language which is Malayalum (not Hindi, which I can’t speak either), I can’t eat intensely spicy food, (here even Mild is spicy, even the Lays are spicy, even the fruit is spiced!!), I do not listen to Indian music, and I dress like a “westerner”.
So why would they believe me?
Explaining that I am fifth generation Indian, does not really help, because all they see is how lost my heritage is and the identity crisis I am apparently experiencing. That is true though, aside from the food much of our culture has been unfortunately lost.

Even the food is debatable, as we South African Indians are very proud of our Indian food. It is nothing like what is consumed here.
While dining at my host family, I was offered a spoon to eat biryani with. I was so offended! I politely declined and continued to eat using my hands. Eating biryani with a spoon…..never!(ok I admit sometimes I do use a spoon to eat biryani with……..).
At the same time they asked if the food is not too spicy for my South African taste buds, to which I replied “ no it’s perfectly fine”. Meanwhile, it was like a volcano erupted in my mouth!! I was dying! I drank the water next to me without thinking twice of it being tap water or filtered, either way, the effects would be the same.

The next morning I had a pre-breakfast meal of deep fried, battered bananas and chai which was absolutely divine. I was later called for an unexpected breakfast, which consisted of: livers and sheep brains. It is not my first encounter with the healthy organ meat, but it is not on my list of favourite foods. They insisted I try some and as I stood my ground, I heard two comments : “She eats like the Europeans…” and “ I think she’s vegetarian”.
Once again an epic Indian fail on my part.
The evening didn’t improve as they served me chopped up crab, and I almost fainted.
Apparently I am a fussy eater.

On a non food related note, the host family had a lot of guests who all came to greet me, due to the language barrier, it involved a lot of staring, being talked about while standing and smiling, and an occasional comment to fill the awkward silence like: “Alhamdulillah” or “I am fine” or”I love Kerala!”
The guests apparently liked this and commented on how polite, well mannered and quiet I am. (Yes,..Me ..quiet! But in all honesty with such a language barrier there isn’t really much to say or anyone to say it to).

A few days back, at the supermarket , I turned around to find a little girl yanking her sisters sleeve and pointing at me , they then both proceeded to stare, point and giggle. I smiled and said hello and they burst into more giggles and went to tell a third girl about me, who then also looked from a distance. I have grown accustomed to this, as puzzling as it is.

I also realised that the number 1 way to stand out as a foreigner is to wear sunglasses. I do not understand how everyone else deals, especially since there’s plenty of stores selling sunglasses, worn by nobody.
If you wear sunglasses, a backpack or crocs, then don’t even bother asking for a discount.

Last weekend after my morning cooking class (keralan cooking 101), I was offered to visit an orphanage. I was really excited. As we got to the venue which appeared to be large school, whereby a concert appeared to be taking place, we were greeted by an entourage of teachers who escorted us to a room with a buffet. We were incredibly confused as we were handed coffee (or sugar garnished with coffee), had our names taken and as nobody understood English just went along with it.

awards-2

View from the stage

We then got ushered downstairs into the school and concert area and walked passed little girls dressed in traditional clothing preparing to perform. We asked if we could watch and they agreed but continued walking, we were then lead onto a stage and were seated in front of an audience. Based on the speeches we were able to make out, we were foreign doctors honouring the school’s prize giving ceremony. My only expression was complete puzzlement. They handed us roses, we had to say a few words and thereafter they placed chairs in the front row of the audience for us to watch the talent show and concert. It was absolutely brilliant, and it fascinated me how such young children remembered every move without a guide showing them what to do.


Now it was my turn to just stare in absolute awe!
There was even a yoga performance done by 8 year olds who were absolutely phenomenal, and it pleased me to see how these activities are integrated into the syllabus of the school. The students were delightful and instructed to take selfies with us as we were honorary guests.They also spoke perfect english.

Aside from being grossly underdressed, (yes I had a backpack and sunglasses with me on stage), the entire event was a lovely surprise. Upon leaving, my colleague still asked where the orphans were……we are still waiting to know.

What I’ve come to learn is this country is just full of surprises and incredibly bizarre.
Till next time……

Note: The next post will be on my two rodent experiences (from 2011 and most recently).
And one of the reasons the food here is so different for me is because we are generally accustomed to Northern Indian cooking, whereas Kerala has it’s own speciality, including the use of Coconut Oil as their main oil.

The South African made Indian

img-20170201-wa0005

view from the school’s rooftop: Back waters of Kerala

Seeing as it is 5am and I will not be getting any more sleep for the night, (I will elaborate on this at a later stage), I thought let’s finally post about this unplanned trip to India and all the experiences which accompanies such a trip.

I am currently in the Northern part of South India, a province called Kerala which is well known for the beautiful beaches, delicious vegetarian cuisine and of course hospitable culture.
My previous visit to India in 2011 was a tour of the North, where I fell in love with this incredible place.

The South is a completely different experience . A very “well run state” (according to locals) extreme poverty appears scarce and the literacy rate is quite high. I landed at a tiny airport in Calicut/Khozikhode, which is so unknown even the travel agent had some difficulty finding it (airport code CCJ, if anyone is planning to visit). The reason I chose this remote part of the country is to enhance my studies with a short course in Ayurvedic Medicine at a training college, as well as a Yoga Teacher Training course.
My parents accompanied me to see that I am settled at a legit institute ( as I found it online and had no references to confirm the existence of this school). And because my sisters discouraged me going by myself in the event that I was kidnapped by a taxi driver, to make their point they used words like “Taken” and “Liam Neeson”. So naturally my Eat, Pray,Yoga journey was facilitated by the rents.

The school/hospital is located on the Backwaters of Kerala, in the quaint town of Kannur (pronounced Kun-nooh). It is about 200kms from Calicut Airport and a three hour “drive”/ Rollercoaster ride/ adrenaline pumping drive from Calicut to Kannur.

During the journey in a comfortable taxi, many thoughts crossed my mind, in between the bouts of whiplash from the erratic braking, the constant hooting and the speed (60-80kms per hour at best); thoughts such as “what have you gotten yourself into?”, “is there such a thing as: overly ambitious?”, “is it too late to go back home?” and of course “what were you thinking?”. These thoughts do come back to haunt me on special days when I interact with creatures residing in crevices in my place of temporary residence.

However, upon arriving at the school : “PVA Multi Speciality Nursing Home/Hospital” I felt a little more at ease. The school/treatment centre is a large open building to allow ventilation from the rare but cool breeze and as it is situated away from the busy traffic, brings a beautiful tranquil and peaceful atmosphere.

My mum had been worried and expressed her concern during the flight by saying (in gujarati):
She won’t cope, it’s India”
“nevermind two weeks is enough”
“ okay, one month is enough, she won’t survive longer”
However seeing the school she felt more at ease and the phrases changed to:
“She loves it, she should just move here”
“ She will have to come back again perhaps for 6 months”
“ she should just register for the Year course”
that is until I encountered a giant cockroach and screamed blue murder for someone to save me. She then said “ I think a month is fine”

Thus so far, India has been warm (climate and friendliness) and pleasant, I haven’t encountered any foul smells, but often I get the scent of fresh spices, chopped coconuts and fresh juices.

I have made a few observations regarding kerala:
– The people appear to have their weight relatively controlled (yes Diabetes is a problem), but obesity and childhood obesity levels do not appear to be high.
-The absence of beggars and alcoholics wandering the streets
-Often the children and younger generations are fluent in English as they are in English schools.
-If India increased the number of bins in an area, wouldnt the litter perhaps decrease….? (just a thought)

Lastly, it amused me to see people in the streets wearing clothing which I would usually wear to a wedding, as their everyday attire. (This explains why you can never be over-dressed at an indian wedding).

Over all the start of my India experience was very positive yet unpredictable.
It isn’t what I expected but I look forward to what awaits

RELATIVELY RUDE RELATIVES

It has come to my attention, the lack of etiquette, politeness and manners prevalent in our society. As I have written a post on rudeness amongst people under the pretence of honesty, do not worry, I am not being redundant. This post is aimed at a more mature crowd. In fact I am speaking about mothers, grandmothers, aunts and middle-aged women who have reached a stage where they feel the rules of etiquette are no longer applicable. (Please refer to the definitions at the end of the post for further clarity)
Many would have started reading and immediately agreed, stating manners and etiquette are certainly lacking in the youth of today. As the youth are not my target for this post, all I will say is that if the youth lack manners, perhaps we should look at their direct role models and elders in the family before blaming them.

Recently, I have encountered many puzzling questions, statements and incidents, and in each case I shook it off as, “it’s okay, that’s just how inquisitive people are”. Until I realised, that I am allowing the rudeness prevalent in society to be seen as “normal”.
I realised that I would never ask such questions possibly because my mum would reprimand me and my dad would be disappointed with my rude character.

download (12)

I would really like to know: when has it become acceptable to be rude or inquisitive? When has it become acceptable to pry into other people’s business? When did tact fall away without any notice from society?
In fact, being offended is more of a social crime, than posing questions of offence.

Below I have listed the common rude questioners we come across in society. Please note these are all true stories.

1. The Cross- Examiner:
This individual basically plays a game of 20 questions with you, that you didn’t even know you had signed up for. Most often experienced in supermarkets, it warrants an occasion where there is a time constraint?. However, recently I visited people and felt interrogated before stepping into the house. The questioning took place immediately after I opened the garden gate before having set foot inside. The questioning is often done so quickly that you barely have time to respond, return the question or to think.
Eg: “Salaam, when you came?
With who you came?
How long you here for?
Where you staying while you here? How you came? You drove or flew? I heard your grandparents are sick, what’s wrong? You aren’t studying anymore, what are you doing? You don’t have a job? What did you study? How long are you here for? when are you leaving?

After I got hit with these questions (which are not rude), I began walking towards the entrance of the house and thought: “Well, now what are we going to spend the evening talking about, I think we covered everything”.

In a supermarket setting the style is the same, especially if the cross-examiner has not seen you in five years, which means more questions to ask. Remember that a conversation comprises of an exchange of information, thoughts and ideas.

2. The “Concerned Fertility Specialist”:
After you get married a common question that is asked is: “so when are you starting a family?”. This is not necessarily a rude question when asked in specific contexts. However, I find this to be a sensitive question because it delves into such a personal entity. Often it is asked as: “So when you having a baby?”
Firstly, the questioner might not know that the woman may have been trying to fall pregnant for years, or has had several miscarriages or cannot have children, or may just not want children. If you are close to the individual then I cannot dictate politeness amongst friends or “BFFs” but like I said, these questions are often posed by women whose business it isn’t. I find it to not just be rude, but insensitive as well. Some go as far as to ask “is the problem with you or your husband?”.
If you have fertility advice to offer then write an article, or perhaps approach the person alone and ask for permission. Sometimes the woman has been offered so much advice from so many “concerned” individuals that she is just frustrated and the whole experience is more exhausting.
It really isn’t okay to ask, but if you do, is your next question going to be on their contraception preference, or advice on more effective positions to enhance conception? NO!
It is not your business unless; however, you are a fertility specialist.

images (5)

I recently attended a Thikr (religious prayer session remembering God). As I was serving the savouries, I saw an older woman who I realised out of respect, I must definitely greet. This is the conversation that ensued:
Me: Assalamualaikom
Aunty: Walaikumsalam, you got one isn’t??
Me: (puzzled expression , one what? samoosa? boyfriend? car?) what ??
Aunty: oh no, that’s Ayesha, you not married.

Obviously, she was talking about a child. I walked away in absolute shock. The elders are the gems in society. These are our gems!
What I would have liked to say is that I just got back from five years at University and I am not married, you be glad I don’t “have one”.

This brings me to the next type; which I am sure many of you can relate to.

3. The Matchmaker: “No life, without wife”
“ so when you getting married?”
“ Why aren’t you married?”
“ Nevermind, shame you’ll find someone”
To be honest, I initially felt that I am at a stage in my life where these questions are normal and so getting offended by them is really silly.
I do feel that however normal they may seem, I wonder if they are in fact just rude or if people are over sensitive. I realised that before I enquired about an individual’s marital status, (which is less abnormal at my age), I search for signs during the course of the conversation, for instance a wedding ring. (Remember that word: “conversation”, the fluff we exchange to be friendly).
I also noticed that when given the chance, women mention their spouse or their in-laws or even their children. For some reason people prefer to skip the small talk and pry about the individual’s marital status, like it is a 911 call: “Do you have someone?? Are you alone??”
Recently I met distant relatives , the lady mentioned that her last born daughter Fatima, was not feeling well. My mum commented that her “baby” is also named Fathima, and it is funny how the babies of the family are often a Fatima. (yes, I am 23 and still the baby).
The lady having not spoken to us the entire evening then asked: “you’re the only one not married?”
I was not phased at first, but later realised that it was tactless especially since she knew absolutely nothing about me, yet the question was somehow relevant. Did she even know my last name?

download (10)
NOTE: A low IQ is no excuse for bad manners. Politeness has nothing to do with your intellect. I know of many intelligent people who are rude and uncouth.

However, on this story, the next day I met other distant family. The Uncle asked me if I was getting married anytime soon, and said he was hoping he would have a reason for a visit. He then proceeded to say that he would make duaa (pray) for me. He then raised his hands and started reciting a prayer for my health, for a spouse, my future, my education and my happiness. I was really touched. He did not pry, he asked sincerely then made an earnest prayer. Amazing!

4. The Disability Privilege
These are people who are given a social pardon and allowed to be rude and not adhere to general manners and rules that apply to the rest of society. This is for no other reason than: because they are consistently rude. I once complained to a friend saying that an individual was rather unexpectedly offensive and my friend replied by saying: “but you know her the longest, you know how she is, she’s always been this way, we should understand”. In that moment I realised, but that doesn’t make it acceptable. That being said, your social stature, pride, wealth or qualification does not excuse you from social etiquette. Although there is no book of law, there is such a thing as common sense.download (11)

 

These are the four main types, in my opinion. However, after speaking to other people, I would like to add some general questions that should be avoided. I noticed people can be rather straightforward when asking about Indian heritage ie, “Are you Memon?”.
Furthermore, do not ask traumatised people “What happened” after a traumatic event or when you go over to sympathise. Instead offer words of comfort and wisdom. if you don’t have any, pray or Google some words to use.
When asking career related questions, do not ask them how much they paid for their seat into medicine (I found this funny because I could not believe this was asked). Then don’t get offended when they say they didn’t pay anything.
Lastly, don’t assume that an individual’s sole purpose is to find a husband. I mentioned to a friend that I was going overseas for a holiday and her response was: “Shame, maybe you’ll find a husband there”. I responded by saying: “Yes, seeing as I have dated every single eligible bachelor in this entire country, my only option now is to find a suitor overseas” (I am not sure if my sarcasm was well received).

download (9)

I would like to end by sharing some important lessons I learnt from a book I am reading (When you hear hoofbeats think of a zebra, by Shems Friedlander).
When the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was asked: “What can I do to improve myself?” he responded by saying: “Hold your tongue”.
Another useful lesson is to remember that the manner in which you carry yourself is reflected on your children and for that you will have to answer to your Lord: “That child is going to imitate not only your actions but the subtlety of your feelings”.
Finally remember that the tongue is the sweetest of objects in this world, it has the ability to give comfort, heal hearts, ease souls, and bring happiness. At the same time it has the ability to create irreparable wounds, break hearts and destroy lives. So be weary of what you choose to say using your most powerful tool

download (7)

Please share with your relatives especially those you know it applies to. However, let us begin by setting a better example.

Note: It was suggested that the post is a reflection of my progressive “millennial” modernised thought processes. However, the essential theme is not based on the insipid questions being asked but on the social etiquette and manners lacking within those insipid questions. If anything, my views are based on out-dated, old-fashioned principles.

download

Definitions:
Etiquette: conventional requirements as to social behaviour; proprieties of conduct as established in any class or community or for any occasion.
Rude: discourteous or impolite, especially in a deliberate way, without culture, learning, or refinement. Rough in manners or behaviour, unmannerly; rough, harsh, or ungentle, harsh to the ear.

Trip to Tanzania – HAKUNA MATATA

I recently traveled  to Tanzania, this may seem like an odd destination, but the country certainly does have a lot to offer. I visited the beautiful island of Zanzibar, and thereafter spent a few days in the capital Dar es Salaam, which is a lot like India, but on mute.

I found myself constantly comparing Tanzania to India, as I visited India a few years back in 2012. Here is an extract ( with some comments) from my travel diary :

1) A collapseable bed closed in on me (Delhi)
– yes this actually happened, it snapped shut with me in it and my sisters laughed at me
2) Twisted my knee (Ajmer, goodbye beautiful heels, looking at surgery ASAP)
– I had knee surgery since then… and dislocated the other knee since ..
3) Got bumped by a motorbike (Mumbai, it was bound to happen)
4) Walked into a taxi door (got a huge blue and purple bruise… it’s pretttyyy)
5) Bumped into a stationery tuk tuk (I was avoiding moving traffic)
6) Got run over by a mouse( Mumbai, soooooooo traumatic)
– Of course there was a mouse in the room, It is India after all
7) Oh and had a minor minor surgery nothing to stress about
– I can see clearly now….
The Journey is very spiritual , I think about death everyday usually when I’m crossing the road because I think “this is it ….I’ma die ….”

Well, this time…in Tanzania

1)I fell of a hammock
2)got kissed by a dog,
3)got clawed by the same dog that kissed me the previous day,
4)Had an octopus sit on me
5)had fish nibble at my arms
6)had a starfish crawl up my arm.
7)held an albino sea-urchin

The roads are not as hazardous as in India, although they are just as busy and the markets are overflowing with either seafood or spices.
I also tasted the best chicken tikka ever in Dar es Salaam!
I am quite tired off seafood at the moment, and I don’t think I want to see another octopus again. The market places often displayed dried octopus which we assumed was their version of biltong. I have never been a fan of fish markets but in order to get to the spice market, I was forced to walk through it.

To get to Zanzibar, we took the ferry from Dar es Salaam to Stonetown. It was a lovely ride, however, on the return journey, the choppy ocean had me experience the worst sea sickness ever. This came as a surprise as I am not generally prone to being sea sick. I spent most of the ride back on the balcony section at the back of the ferry
which seemed to be occupied with passengers I suspect may not have purchased tickets…

As lovely as the island is, a simple walk in the village revealed a striking contrast to the luxurious holiday resorts separated by walls and palm trees. People live simply with the bare minimum and appear contented with what they have. Zanzibar has a large Muslim population and it was lovely to see the spirit in which they practiced Islam.

 

IMG_1864_2

The women were dressed in bright, colourful hijabs, floral skirts and burqas on children of all ages. Often the tourists would also dress modestly, or cover their hair in respect. Although, there are a lot of con-artists and bargaining is essential when shopping, my mum reminded us that the difference in prices is just to feed their families and part of earning a living. Which of course made us feel guilty for  bargaining.

I thought I would share An amusing conversation I had with my mum with regards to my dressing:

Mum: I find your dressing inappropriate! It is a breach of islamic ethics!
Me: *shocked* but its a t-shirt, the neckline is high, it has sleeves, its long, everything is covered.
Mum: those depictions on the t-shirt are terrible!
Me: Oh… right, you don’t like the Nightmare before Christmas…

The highlight of my trip was definitely snorkeling along the reefs, although I would advise you to carry your own snorkeling gear as sharing is not always caring.

 

 

 

I gained most of my knowledge in preparation for Tanzania from two important sources:

1) THE LION KING
2) FINDING NEMO

For instance:
Me: what is “Thank you” in Swahili ?
Ayesha : Asanti
Me: As in .. Asanti sana squash banana ????
Ayesha : yes ! and Rafiki means friend!

Me:
meme

 

 

Ayesha : remember to stay away from the anemones, you know that they sting!
Me: yesss I know!…..wait, how do I know that they sting?
Ayesha: Finding nemo!
My mum knew what she was doing when I was growing up. A time when google was not my primary source of information.
It was also amusing to note how we call every clown fish we see “Nemo”, and every Royal blue Tang fish “Dory” (Yes I googled that).

 

Before returning to Stonetown we made a stop at a spice farm for a tour. I love spices and got to see vanilla, turmeric and cinnamon among other favourites of mine.
The cloves from Zanzibar are said to be the best . I also tasted the best lemongrass tea and the worst ginger tea. I would have loved to bring home a vanilla plant, but airport security is so strict!

One of the main attractions in Stonetown is the Forodhani Gardens which is a food fair that takes place every evening. My parents saw it on the food channel (Reza Mohamed), and so we had to see what the fuss was about. I loved their pizza/pancakes with nutella, coconut and banana,as well as fresh sugar cane juice and amazing pistachio ice cream.
Before purchasing the ice cream the owner had an argument with my sister and after she left he asked: “your sister.. Why she so hungry??” to which I replied:” She isn’t hungry, she just ate.” He looked rather puzzled.
Later, I realised, he meant angry..

Lastly , was our stay in Dar es Salaam, which we used to explore the city and a few more markets.

I got to buy a few more boxes of Kilimanjaro tea and try their chicken “sekela” ( Chicken Tikka).

Overall I had an interesting time and would love to go back and visit a country rich in culture, friendliness, free Wi-fi , hospitality and amazing tea!
I would recommend you all to visit this amazing country, but not during the summer months, as we went in Winter and had warm weather with a fair amount of mosquitos.

IMG_1957

 

The Right Thing to Say When Someone Dies

LifeIsHOTblog

Brad’s mother died a week ago today. Since then, many of our friends have expressed condolences in person or in a short note.

I’ve noticed that some people seem to naturally know what to say to bring comfort. Others struggle. Some resort to platitudes that do not bring comfort and sometimes bring more pain. Wouldn’t it be great if we always knew the right thing to say when someone dies?

The right thing to say is composed of five simple ideas, and two optional statements. Each idea can be expressed in a few words. Here is a step-by-step guide to knowing the right thing to say when someone dies.

View original post 572 more words

12 Thoughtless Things People Say When Someone Dies

LifeIsHOTblog

Somewhere in our upbringing many of us were taught to not talk about death, and when death happens, to not talk about our feelings of loss.

 

As a logical consequence, when someone dies, we have no idea what to say. So in a well-meaning but ignorant effort to provide comfort, or out of our own discomfort with silence or with the emotional pain of the loss, we open our mouth and insert our foot.

Sadly, ignorance is endlessly creative, and so there are far more than a dozen ways to be thoughtless with our words and inflict pain instead of bringing comfort and consolation. I picked these 12 things to not say when someone dies because I think they are the most likely ones we mistakenly believe are actually helpful.

View original post 661 more words

Previous Older Entries