It's a common misconception that funeral directors or their wives have a superhuman ability to know exactly what to say to a grieving family. Typically I use a generic response like, "My deepest sympathy" or, "I'm so sorry for your loss."
But sometimes it's a little tougher, when you too are grieving the loss of their loved one. We lost a very special man this week to a very long battle with cancer. In my eyes, he was a true hero. He was a police officer, a volunteer fireman and genuinely a kind soul that wanted to help and protect everyone.
I wanted to go see him during regular visitation hours but I didn't know his parents or family at all. I asked my husband (The LFD) to walk downstairs with me and introduce me to everyone. What came next was nothing I was prepared for. At a time of their tragic loss, they gave ME hugs and thanked me for being in his life. His closest friends expressed their thanks for my support. It was an amazing experience. The problem? I had no idea what to say.
Sometimes, even though it isn't the words, it's the sentiment, a generic response doesn't cut it. I was rendered speechless (something that is very rare). I felt like I had let them down because I didn't have the perfect thing to say. I walked through the viewing room like a zombie and then went home and cried.
I hope I didn't let anyone down or offend anyone, Tony was an amazing man and everyone who knew him should feel blessed by his short time with us. Our small town will never be the same without him.