I’ve lost count of the number of people who blurted out, “That’s not good!” or “That sucks!” or my favorite, “That’s fatal!” These thoughts run through my head when that happens:
- No shit, genius.
- You have no tact.
- I bet you suck at poker.
There’s the friend who reminds me to eat whenever I mention I’ve forgotten to do so. She reminds me to take care of myself, because my dad needs me at my best. She prays for him. And for me.
These gestures cancel out all the thoughtless comments and looks of horror and sadness. They remind me that I’m not in this alone.
Next time someone mentions a loved one has cancer, pause before you react. Think about how your words will sound to that person. And work on your poker face.