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Offering sympathy

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I don't know if it is an uptight british thing or not, I often feel deeply for posters in the rainbow bridge, or when peoples cats are ill, but I never know what to say, or it sounds trite so often I don't post when I really would like to. Any advice?
post #2 of 22
I feel the same way so you are not alone! I just feel like they do need comfort but its like losing a human family member, what do you say?
post #3 of 22
Same here, but you know, any words of comfort are usually really appreciated. Anyone that has lost a loved one needs support, but I know what you mean, it's hard to find the right words.
post #4 of 22
I think the right words are the words that come straight from your hearts.......
post #5 of 22
It's hard sometimes to post in CTB. Sometimes I have words just come to me and I can type out a book, other times I am at a loss. I think that something as simple as "I am sorry for your loss" means a lot. It let's them know that you are thinking about them and care about what they are going through. Don't ever feel like your words aren't good enough, just taking a moment out of your day to express your concern really makes a difference
post #6 of 22
I know what you mean, telling people you know how they feel is like saying "oh you lost your leg to cancer I know how you feel I had a hangnail last week!" No one knows how another person is feeling. I think the best thing is to let people know that if they want to talk you are there to be a sympathetic ear for them and will not judge them for having true emotions whatever they may be.
post #7 of 22
You don't need the "right" words - it's really just about acknowledging grief. If you have a look at any of the theards in Rainbow Bridge with a few responses, you'll see that the tone of each post is usually quite different.

All you have to say is something along the lines of "I'm sorry for your loss" and "Rest in Peace [name]". You can put that whatever way seems best or right to you - it's that you thought to acknowledge their grief with your support that's important.
post #8 of 22
I am glad that you brought this important topic up.

Posting in either of those forums can be difficult...
but if you have ever needed support when your own kitty was ill or passed to the Bridge...
you quickly learn how important support from TCS members can be.

If I am at a loss for words for whatever reason...
I post the name of the kitty bracketed by hearts or hugs.
precious kitty

Just knowing that someone is there who understands can help....
beloved kitty
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anakat View Post
I don't know if it is an uptight british thing or not, I often feel deeply for posters in the rainbow bridge, or when peoples cats are ill, but I never know what to say, or it sounds trite so often I don't post when I really would like to. Any advice?

Anne, I know what you are saying, I want to always be support but it is so hard for me sometimes I cry every time I read those posts, it truly ruins my day, so sometimes I just can't. I look at some from many people here who do Foster care and rescue and then loose the little ones it's Heart Braking. We all know how it feels. I always say I know what it feels like but I have no idea how you are feeling, because there really are no words when people feel that pain. I know that we will still be standing when time passes by but there is no way to explain that to someone who has a recent loss. I know there are alot of people who don't post in that part, I also feel that it's because its to hard on them.
post #10 of 22
Anne, I also feel that whatever I post in those types of threads seems to be trite. However, you do have to remember that in many cases most of the member's real life aquaintances will not understand the deep loss they are feeling, or how worried they are because of a health issue because it is "just a cat". It is comforting for them to be able to come somewhere where they can share their worries, or their pain with people that understand.
post #11 of 22
I never know what to say either because nothing we say will really make the pain go away..but its nice to know people are there for you, so I try to at least give some hugs and prayers..
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbysMom View Post
Anne, I also feel that whatever I post in those types of threads seems to be trite. However, you do have to remember that in many cases most of the member's real life aquaintances will not understand the deep loss they are feeling, or how worried they are because of a health issue because it is "just a cat". It is comforting for them to be able to come somewhere where they can share their worries, or their pain with people that understand.
That is so true Karen, some people act like it's no big deal. To those of us that Love ours so much do know.
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by halfpint View Post
Anne, I know what you are saying, I want to always be support but it is so hard for me sometimes I cry every time I read those posts, it truly ruins my day, so sometimes I just can't.
There are plenty of people who this doesn't happen to. If it is that hard, that painful, you (and anyone like you) shouldn't be doing it. No one is posting in Rainbow Bridge to bring anyone else down.

You have strengths in other areas. As long as you are willing to use those, you can still support your fellow members without going to the Bridge forum.

A lot of people are just squeamish (for lack of a better word), though, and once they figure out a strategy that lets them offer sympathy with out making them feel trite or as though they were intruding, they can deal just fine with reading and posting in the Bridge forum.
post #14 of 22
I'm just always afraid that I'm going to say the wrong thing, and wind up upsetting people more.
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbysMom View Post
However, you do have to remember that in many cases most of the member's real life aquaintances will not understand the deep loss they are feeling, or how worried they are because of a health issue because it is "just a cat". It is comforting for them to be able to come somewhere where they can share their worries, or their pain with people that understand.
Karen has added a very important point to this discussion.
When I was in need of support---
I never felt that even the most limited post was trite.
Just to know that someone cared enough to acknowledged my worry or grief helped.
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by squirtle View Post
Don't ever feel like your words aren't good enough, just taking a moment out of your day to express your concern really makes a difference
Thank you Tanya

Let me give you a description of how i felt when my dad died, because to me when you lose an animal it's like losing a member of the family. A week after he died, my husband and i went back to the flat(apartment) that we had back then to collect some things as we had been staying with my mum. My downstairs neighbour and friend didn't tell me until about a month later that she had locked herself out, saw us driving up the street and hid around the back of the flats because she didn't know what to say. You've no idea how much that hurt me hearing that, because if ever i needed to talk to someone it was then, because my dad was the first close relative to die and it really cut me up

I was upset many times through the loss of the cats my parents had, but Rosie and Sophie have been MY only cats, and i know that their going to be in the bridge one day, and God knows i'll need everyones support

So what i'm trying to say is to put yourself in the shoes of those in the bridge and imagine how lonely you would feel if hardly anyone posted Even if it's just something like " I'm so sorry for your loss "

Until i became a moderator, like most of you i could hardly go in because it upset me so much, but it's one of those things where you make yourself because people need your support
post #17 of 22
I understand what you mean Ann.....I have a hard time even reading anything like that most of the time. I can't sit here in tears at work....and that sort of thing really gets to me..... when poor Helen was going through everything with sweet princess Bella , I had tears streaming down my face at work more than once ....I kept pretending like I had the allergies....

It's hard to know what to say, and really nothing that's said will ease the pain for the person suffering.
post #18 of 22
A lot of times I just write "Im sorry for your loss" because I cant adequately put my thoughts together, especially in CTB. I know what its like to lose a cat and I can understand the deep pain, but I do know how healing it is to have the support here, even if its just acknowledgement.
post #19 of 22
Well, speaking from the experience of having to post a lot in the RB forum lately, even the most simplest message gives me more comfort than you could ever know, like Karen said, in real life, I don't have many "cat people" and they just don't understand what its like to lose, what to me, are my children. I also have this great fear that people think I am a horrible kitty Meowmy because my babies pass away like they do, but most people don't realize that leukemia is fatal, in every single case, and there is no telling how long I'll have them, every day is a gift, and even if I only have them for 2 months, a year, whatever, I love them like I've had them forever. Anywho, now that I've gone off on a tangent, my main point is that it gives me strength when I read everyone's messages of sympathy and support, because without you all, I would surely be lost in this time of major loss, so thank you!
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by katiemae1277 View Post
my main point is that it gives me strength when I read everyone's messages of sympathy and support, because without you all, I would surely be lost in this time of major loss, so thank you!
Katie you said it perfectly!
post #21 of 22
I didn't mind if people didn't say anything important - just knowing they knew was enough. But it can be difficult - sometimes when I read through posts i want to say something different but can't think of the words, and of course right now some days I just can't go there, or I am finished for the day. This is all contradictory, I know, but it is a very hard subject. I can only agree that here was the only place where I knew everyone understood, and still does, what one goes through.
post #22 of 22
When my brother in law died at an early age and left behind his young daughter and pregnant wife, my husband and I were the only family living nearby and by default, became her primary support outlet. I had no clue on how to help this woman thru her grief and a smart relative sent me the book "I Don't Know What to Say". Just the fact that someone wrote a book on this topic tells me that there are a lot of people out there that have difficulties expressing their condolenses.

Even after reading that book, and helping my SIL thru her grief (including the delivery of her child), I still have problems posting on the bridge. Perhaps its because we've lived thru that pain and know that there really aren't words that will ease the pain. You want it to be perfect but it really can never be so. But I also know that whenever I've had to post about losing one of my babies, that it is highly comforting when a lot of people respond, even with a quick *hug*.
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