I’ve been seeing a lot of discussion lately on religious people wondering how to console a non-religious person when they’re grieving. Obviously, things like “you’re in my prayers” and “they’re looking down on you from heaven” aren’t going to work. By the way, kudos to all religious folk out there who actually care enough to put forth the effort of figuring out what to say instead of using a vulnerable and trying time to try to force your beliefs on other people.
But now I’d like to look at the other side of that. As in, when somebody does say these things to me, how am I supposed to respond? I don’t want to be taking away from the sad, serious moment to call them out on it, but I also feel very uncomfortable saying thank you for something that doesn’t mean anything to me and doesn’t do anything at all. Most of the time, these comments are coming from family members. Recently, my mother was hospitalized, and many of my aunts, uncles, etc. were coming to me saying things like that, and for the most part I just glossed over it, not really saying anything, just moving the conversation along.
So here’s my question, is it rude of me to say “I wish you wouldn’t say things like that, considering I don’t believe any of it,” when I know they’re just trying to help and comfort me? Even in a less stressful and serious situation, I’m not the type to start yelling and bitching about somebody saying something like that, but is there a way to address this in an amicable way where everybody walks away with a smile and their dignity in tact?