It was watching Roisin Conaty on Room 101 recently that brought my attention to the regularity of some sayings we use at important times in our lives.
What Roisin wanted axed were greetings cards with writing already inside them – you know the ones, we’ve all had them. Inside are printed words to convey sentiments for special occasions, written in such a lovely, loopy italic pink font (also with too many adjectives). Ah, those cards!
Listening intently, I couldn’t help but think these notions are verbal too. We find ourselves repeating clichés at such times, whether that’s ‘get well soon’ or ‘best wishes on your birthday’. Or, concerning our line of work, ‘I’m sorry for your loss’ or ‘he’s gone to a better place’.
Really? Do we really know that they have? No we don’t.
The question I’m trying to raise is: does the over use of a phrase dilute its sincerity? And how do we avoid hackneyed remarks? In the case of a greetings card I think it’s fairly simple – write it yourself. For a funeral however, it will take more thought.
In theory, it would be lovely for everyone to have their moment with the family to pass on their condolences, but sometimes there are time constraints or the timing doesn't feel right. Everyone has their own way of showing sincerity, and we'd love to hear what poignant moments you've had and what you think about the matter.
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Stories and thoughts from the Leedam camp.
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