I write this in fun and hope that people don't get offended. I also truly mean to be informative, because before recently, I wouldn't have known that saying/doing these things are bad, I mean some are just common sense, but for those people lacking that, I will inform them.
1. I want to start with the old saying..."If you don't know what to say, say nothing at all." I will say that this is very very good, and everyone should abide by it, especially in the situation of death.
2. Do not, I repeat do not...raise the question, "What happened?" " Where did it happen?" and other similar questions the day of the funeral, or at the families home before they all go to the funeral. You are probably questioning why I am saying this, and wondering do I speak from experience. You are very right, I do speak from experience, because someone asked my uncle these questions right before we left to go to my father's funeral. There is a time and a place for everything, and common sense should have told this person now is not the time. You have no idea what it took for me to remain calm and a lady and not let this person (albeit related) have a piece of my mind. They also say you can't choose your extended family!!
3. Don't say I just went through it, if your situation is completely different. You can sympathize, but please don't say that you "went through the exact situation", when your situation is this...You are 45 and your father was present at your wedding, and got to know your children, his grandchildren. I am 27, my father will not walk me down the aisle at my wedding, nor will my children get to be spoiled by their grandfather. So yes, it strikes a bitter cord. Again, you can sympathize with someone who has lost a parent, but please don't say you know exactly how that person feels without reviewing all the facts. Again, I am speaking from unfortunate recent experience.
4. Don't say, "I know how you feel, I just lost my grandparent." I love my grandparents, but it is so different to bury a parent, the person that helped bring you into this world. Just simply say, "I'm sorry"and leave it at that. Don't try to relate, because you can't, nor do you want to. This was discussed amongst other people in the "lost a parent" club and was decidedly the worst!
5. I will end with what I started with, because I feel this is the most important thing, "If you don't know what to say, say nothing at all."
I don't mean to bring offense to anyone, but if offense has been delivered, then most likely you fall in the categories that I mentioned, and should learn from it and not repeat the mistake again. This is supposed to be informative, so call your self - informed about these little life lessons!
I hope this brings humor to those that have lost a parent, because I discussed most of these situations with friends that have also lost parents a lot sooner than we should have, and we have laughed about the lack of common sense in a lot of people.
Laughter has been my biggest comfort through this, and if laughing at stupid people makes my days brighter, I am happy that the world if filled with some dumb ass people!!