For years, I received a weekly feed from those funny folks at the Darwin Awards, ‘A Chronicle of Enterprising Demises honoring those who improve the species…by accidentally removing themselves from it!’
I removed myself from their list when the eighteen -year-old son of a dear friend ‘won’. I’d gone to his funeral. I saw the anguish he left behind. That was eleven years ago. For his parents and his friends, the pain remains acute.
What do you say to the parent of a teenager who accidentally kills himself in a pointless, embarrassing – to his survivors – manner? Didi Lorillard’s June 13 column, ‘Modern Manners + Etiquette: Talking About Death and Loss’ on GoLocalProv.com, suggests the best thing you can do is listen, be present – precisely what you don’t want to do.
As always, dear friend Didi offers practical dos and don’ts, what to say and not. I never expected to need this type of advice. I wish I’d read it eleven years ago.