21 September 2016

On My Mind

So that you know from the get-go, this post has nothing to do with knitting, reading, or our vacation, and mentions belief systems.  So you have been warned.  It's just something that has been on my mind for a few days, and I want some opinions if you care to share.

We have a neighbor who lives down the street who is truly a nice and lovely person.  I mean, genuine.  Not someone who grates on you.  She is kind to every person and creature in the neighborhood, and truly caring.

This past Monday, I ran into her on my way home from work.  I hadn't seen her for most of the summer, and she expressed sorrow at hearing that our Doodle Dog had died.  She said how he always seemed so happy, and was so friendly, and that she missed seeing him.  I said that we were heartbroken and still missed him terribly.

Then she said, "I'd like to tell you that there is something to believe in, and that you will see him again.  But there isn't, so he is just gone."

WHY WOULD YOU SAY THIS TO SOMEONE?  Even if I agreed with her (and frankly, I don't, but that is neither here nor there), I still found this extremely insensitive and rude.  I felt like I'd been slapped in the face.  I think I murmured something about having to get home and walked away, but I have been feeling so hurt since then.

Whether or not you believe in God, Goddess, gods, clouds, flowers, or nothing at all, I don't think it would ever be appropriate to say something like she did.  If I had asked her, maybe that would be different, but I didn't and I had said nothing beyond what I already mentioned here.

Then I also wondered, would she say the same thing to someone who had lost a human family member?  I hope not.  I do know that a few years back, her husband died, and perhaps she got tired of people telling her they would see each other again.  That is her business not mine.

The whole thing still upsets me.  Do you think I'm being oversensitive?  If I am, I can't really help it, it's how I am feeling, but I am curious to know if anyone else would feel hurt by this kind of comment.

I promise not to keep harping on this, but I just wanted to throw it out there for your consideration, if you are still reading this post.

Thanks.

15 comments:

Kim in Oregon said...

I've experienced this before, although it is more in the 'well, it's just a dog, you can get another one' area. You're not being oversensitive. I'm sorry that happened. Lesson learned: "I'm sorry" is enough.

Dee said...

Her comment was EXTREMELY insensitive and really, she could have just left it at "I'm sorry to hear about Dug. I always liked seeing him".

That said --------let it go. It says more about HER sorry state of mind than anything else.

I don't believe in an afterlife (for humans or animals), but I know deep down in my soul that EVERY animal that touches our lives never really leaves us. We have their sweet memory with us every single moment. And while the hurt will eventually ease, the memory still remains strong and get SWEETER with time.

Hugs my friend ---- You can't change ignorant people, you just have to disregard their rude and hurtful ways and be glad that words like that would never pass YOUR lips.

Kym said...

Very insensitive. Rude. Bordering on nasty. I'm so sorry you had to deal with a comment like that. XO

sprite said...

I'll go along with insensitive, and if those were my beliefs, I'd keep them to myself unless specifically asked, since I know many people disagree. That said, I suspect she didn't mean to be unkind, since you say it's out of character with the rest of her actions, so maybe just chalk it up to a crappy day on her part.

Vera said...

Oh Bridget - what an awful, insensitive, unkind, rude, nasty, etc., etc. comment. Perhaps even more surprising because she is a "kind" person? Wow! I don't know what I would have done (perhaps slapped her?). I don't think you are being overly sensitive I think she was extremely insensitive. So sorry you had that conversation. Sending hugs your way.

Wanderingcatstudio said...

I'd be upset too. And I more or less agree with what she said (some days anyway, other days, not so much.)
But regardless, that was an incredibly insensitive thing to say.

But try not to be too upset about it. I find some people, no matter how nice they are, just have no filter. They just spew out whatever comes into their brain.

Araignee said...

Wow......I do understand that it is hard to express your feelings to someone that is grieving. Daughter just had a friend who lost one of her twins after 2 difficult months in the NICU. We went back and forth on the appropriate way to acknowledge the loss and nothing seemed to feel right. BUT to say something like that is really out there. I hate to say it but Daddio started losing empathy and saying weird things like that in his early Alzheimer's years. I thought he was being a jerk but the disease causes you to slowly lose your social filters. You should hear the things he says to me now. Ouch.
I totally get your feelings though as this is the 3rd anniversary of the loss of Dear Old Doggie and it still hurts. I've been mopey all day and keep calling Pup by her name.

Bonny said...

You are absolutely not being oversensitive; I think it truly was a rude and incredibly insensitive comment. She is perfectly entitled to her beliefs, but not at your expense. I read something a while ago that the way to express condolences to someone grieving over a loss was to remember that it was solely about them, the person grieving. Her goal should have been to offer some words of kindness and support to you, without her beliefs entering into it in any way. Since you said she does seem like a genuine person, maybe you can chalk it up to talking without thinking, and she didn't mean to say something so callous? Whatever her reason, it still doesn't negate the fact that it was a terrible thing to say.

WendyKnits said...

It's such a shock when someone you think is a nice person all round comes out with something like that. Huge insensitivity and totally uncalled for. I don't believe in offering unsolicited opinions on religion or afterlife. Heck, I don't talk about stuff like that when asked. It just leads to bad feelings and disagreement most of the time.

AsKatKnits said...

You are not being sensitive - at all! That is an incredibly cruel thing to say. And, while I do not think there is ever an excuse to be so rude, perhaps being her kindness is only in perception.

And, for what it's worth - I do not believe she is right on any level. XO

Lorraine said...

Bridget- The thing is- no one KNOWS for sure. And I would NEVER tell anyone what to believe, that is the height of arrogance. I think that anything that gives someone comfort is valid, and it's no one's place to say otherwise.

Maybe she is in a bad place herself, and that came across on you. Sorry that even had to happen.

karen said...

wow. that was insensitive and just plain RUDE. Her religious beliefs have nothing to do with your grief. How awful...

Just put it out of your mind and keep her at arms length as a friend who might be trusted to uplift you!

Mereknits said...

First off all that remark was completely insensitive and not necessary. Maybe she is depressed or not spiritual or who knows. The thing is I truly believe that we are reunited with our loved ones, including our pets but that is my belief system only. If she is right or if I am who knows at this point but I'd surely like to believe I am. Give her a little positive thought that she is okay and then move on from her negative comment Bridget, she is not worth your energy.,
Meredith

kathy b said...

Oh dear. That is horrible. Why on Earth??
Is she losing it? Sometimes older people who are losing it begin to say insensitive things. They get impulsive.
The speak before thinking.....
You will see your animals again. They come to us in dreams and in memories. I just told huck good boy this morning in the car. I talk to him all the time still

Lydia said...

oh dear-that is incredibly insensitive, and perhaps she wasn't thinking. Still it'll be hard to be in her presence after what she said unless she manages to explain herself. Losing a pet is the same as losing a member of your family-the loss is felt very deeply. I know I'll see all my doggies [and kitties] again. So sorry this has happened.