My boss at the place where I am interned recently lost his father and so I had a few days off too. When he got back, I realized that I am supposed to be an adult now and am responsible for paying my own condolences. I asked my parents what I should say, looked up youtube for ‘how to pay condolences’ and even rehearsed. And yet , I screwed up. 😐
Youtube has nothing noteworthy on this subject, btw. There were just news reels about famous people going to pay condolences on the death of other famous people or fans of musicians crying their lungs out.
I don’t know whats wrong with me. Usually I never tend to be able to grasp the gravity of death and mostly I guess, even deny it. I’ve never had anyone super close to me pass away, just my maternal grandfather. I was about 15 then. I did like him a lot but don’t think I cried about it at all. My friend Vidya lost her dad not too long back, and since she was my own age and had known her for many years, I knew how to console her and allow her to accept teh situation and grieve at the same time. But this was my boss. I’ve barely known him a month. So I was talking to another colleague and was already smiling when my boss came up front for the first time since his father’s death.
Me: (smiling)Hello Sir, how are you?
Boss : (pleasant and grim) I’m good.
Me: (still smiling :O :O) I heard about your father. Im so sorry for your loss.
Me: (controlling my smile) Was he unwell?
Boss: Yea, he had been hospiatlized.
Me: (trying to look serious) and you got back…? [I din’t even know if he had gone to home country or nt or where his father had been. Hence, the trailing off of the question.]
You see? It was bloody awkward and I had actually smiled! and that was inspite of the rehearsal at home. I think its a defense mechanism of some sort where I try to allay the sadness of death with a smile and pretend like it does not exist.
So I end up having a pathetic expression thast somewhere between laughing and looking serious.
Like this –
Do you guys know what I can do about this ? How do you guys pay condolences\ to your friend or boss? What are the right things to say?
I have been saved the grief so far, but there is an age after which I suppose one finds oneself in such situations more often. So I’d better be ready, eh?