I've heard from a few people in the last few days who confess that they wanted to call/write me earlier, but they just didn't know what to say.
I just want to go on the record as saying I totally get it. I, too, am a member of that club. I am unilaterally lousy at expressing my condolences to folks, to the point of sometimes (gulp) not even sending a card because I was so blocked on what to say. Anything I could come up with seemed completely inadequate and trite.
What's worse, even now I am having trouble playing my part in this... whatever it is. As I've been calling around to cancel accounts and such, the well-trained service rep invariably says something suitable like "I'm so sorry for your loss." All I can come up with is "Thanks. Yeah, it really sucks." There's usually a few seconds of silence after that.
I don't think that's quite what they're expecting from me, but it's all I got.
So, fellow members of the "Ummm...." Club, now that I'm on the receiving end, I can state with authority that it really doesn't matter what you say. Even a bald "I'm sorry, I don't know what to say" works just fine. Who knew it could be so simple?
Another thing I've learned is that sometimes, in lieu of flowers, people send delicious FOOD GIFT BASKETS! How cool, right? I had no idea. I've received a few now and they've been such wonderful treats that I'm stealing the idea.
So there's just a few of the valuable life lessons I've learned so far. All I can say is that by the time I get through this particular Personal Growth Opportunity I'd better fucking glow with wisdom. Just sayin'.