And this… my most read blog.
This is what you say to a Jewish person who is recently bereaved – either in the days following a death or on the anniversary of the death of their mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter. I don’t think close friends, cousins, aunts or uncles apply, no matter the sense of loss.
The reason I say this is because I have never felt comfortable with the phrase. When my parents died, people expressed these words to me – I guess, it is a useful filler when you don’t know what else to say… potentially more meaningful than, ‘I’m so sorry,’ or, ‘he was too young,’ or other such platitudes.
Interestingly, it is what the very words mean that causes me the greatest challenge – ‘I wish you long life,’ does this suggest, when your relative has died, the other person is wishing that you live a long time, now…
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