Tuesday, April 11, 2017


Too many well-intentioned people
offer cliches
in a vain attempt
to ease the pain for friends in grief.
Time heals all wounds
God only gives us much sorrow as we can handle
Your Faith will heal you
or other such over-used cliches
do not help
. . . and even can hurt.

I persist in my attempts
to stop clichés in their flight,
capture and anesthetize them,
splay their dull wings,
pin them to the specimen board,
and make them visible for all to see,
so that they may be revealed
for their true lack of color.

My intention
is to make caregivers more aware of
the occasions when they are using clichés
or when they think that they need to,
for clichés are largely used mindlessly,
given their viral proliferation.

An increased awareness of clichés
and the detriment that they typically represent
for effective communication
should serve as a motive for caregivers
to say instead
what they feel in their hearts.

It takes only a little more time, 
but considerably more effort, 
to speak mindfully than it does mindlessly.

 Speaking mindfully to one grieving
without the use of cliches 
can be developed to become a habit 
with some effort, 
just as using cliches mindlessly
 becomes a habit with no effort.

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