One of my favorite TV shows in recent years is “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” I enjoyed the humor and seeing what predicaments would befall Larry in each episode.
Lately I’ve been thinking about what people say to others in times of bereavement. There’s a whole separate language we use during these times, language that tends to be superficial and scripted rather than honest and real.
This made me think of a “Curb” episode in which Larry talks to a widow, but in his usual crass way.
In this scene, Larry and his wife, Cheryl, have been waiting for their friend, Barbara, to frame a picture for them. Barbara’s husband had died several months before, and she has not yet finished the project. Leave it to Larry to actually ask when she is going to finish it.
Her incredulous response: “My husband dropped dead.”
Larry’s reply: “Yeah, that was four months ago.”
It’s funny because we’re appalled—we can’t believe he would say that! But I also believe we laugh at things because they hit home. While we may not have had someone like Larry confront us so bluntly, how many of you can think of something inappropriate or unhelpful that was said in a time of grief?
Here’s the clip: