I’m Sorry For Your Loss

by Marinka on June 6, 2011

Mama’s friend died a few weeks ago, and she wanted to send his life partner a card.

She bought a card from Hallmark, with an appropriate condolences poem.

“I want you to think of words that I can add,” she said, showing me the card. “I want to say something like this card says everything I want to say, but if I could add more, I would.”

Mama is not going to be recruited by Hallmark any time soon.

“Well,” I tried to be gentle during this difficult time, “if the card already came with the message that you want to send, why not just sign your name?”

“I can’t sign name like I sign a check. This means I don’t care.”

“Ok, we’ll add on a little something.”

“Yes, little something. This is why I come to you. You writer.”

“How about with my deepest condolences,” I suggested. Great American Novel, here I come!

“No, that is card company saying. Real people don’t talk like that.”

“What would you like to say?”

“He brightened my life and I will miss him.”

“That’s perfect, let’s say that.”

“That sounds like I am teenager and a obsessed. I want to say that he was a good person.”

“So, he was a good person.”

“Maybe put great person? No, I don’t like.”

“Hey, why don’t we Google some ideas?”

“This is what bothers me about America. Everything on computer. People don’t think with their own heads anymore.”

“THIS is what bother you about America?”

“Yes. Why can’t we, two intelligent young women come up with something to say when friend dies?”

“Well, we came up with signing your name, deepest condolences, he brightened my life and he was a good to great person. Not bad for a day’s work.”

“You have point.”

Unfortunately, when I Googled, I came up with a website that recommended “with our deepest sympathies” as a message and contained this image:

Mama didn’t approve.

“In America, everyone is drinking.”

“Yes, but one day vodka will be introduced in Russia, and the people there may take to it.”

“In Russia, people are alcoholics. It’s disease. Here, computer page about condolences, and they’re drinking wine.”

“You really think that’s wine?”

“Not wine?”

“They’re drinking martinis. You can tell because it’s in a martini glass and they have olives.”

“This is why we bring you to America, so you can know important things.”

Too bad Hallmark can’t put that on a card.

image source

One year ago ...

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

mommygeek June 6, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Your mama is amazing. Laughed my butt off 😉


Momo Fali
June 6, 2011 at 12:45 pm

I can’t think of anything more important than the difference between a wine glass and a martini glass.

Go America!


DCZia June 6, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Oh dear god. I can’t stop giggling. Thanks!


June 6, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Um, I love this SO much. Awesome.

p.s. I hope you went with “he brightened my life and I will miss him.” I’d love to read that about someone I love.


June 6, 2011 at 1:14 pm

My mom sends THE best cards. Last year for my birthday she sent me a card from Hallmark’s Ebony collection. This year for my son’s First Communion she sent a card meant for someone starting priesthood. My birthday is next month and I can’t wait to see what she picks out at Hallmark.


ShallowGal June 7, 2011 at 1:55 pm

My dad shops the ebony selection exclusively.


Megan June 6, 2011 at 1:44 pm

“He brightened my life and I will miss him.”

I think that’s perfect too. It would mean quite a bit to me if I got a card with that written on it.

Your parents just kill me. In totally good way.


June 6, 2011 at 1:57 pm

People in my family always underline at least 5 or 6 of the words in the card to show that they *really* mean it. Sometimes they even underline a word 2 or 3 times for emphasis. Maybe that’d work for Mama?


Sophie June 6, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Gosh. I never know what to say when people die. At least you Americans can bring cards. We can’t bring cards here. I’m not even sure if it’s kosher to say “shalom” to the mourners. I just stand there and mumble like some idiot. Tell Mama she got it easy!


June 6, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Clearly Mamas and Mums are the same the World over. This used to bug me, when my kids were younger, now they are older it is a GODSEND. I can be as insane as I want and it’s OK because I’m a Mum, I’m meant to be a bit mad and annoying.

What a joy. I wish I’d known before the unreasonable plucking started.


christy June 6, 2011 at 3:27 pm

I have to admit, you and your mama make sympathy card shopping sound funny.


June 6, 2011 at 4:33 pm

I always just sign my name to cards because it’s too hard to think of something good to say. I hope your mama finally found the right words.


ChiTown Girl June 6, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Your mom is too cute. Actually, I thought “he brightened my life and I will miss him” was perfect.


awesome dude June 6, 2011 at 5:23 pm

She hates alcohol in any form or color.

Very surprising as she was raised in Soviet Georgia.


Kara June 6, 2011 at 8:30 pm

I have to agree with your mother. I mean…really! The women are at a bar, in the daytime, drinking Martinis to commiserate! Martinis! Whatever happened to a discrete shot of whiskey in your tea cup?


the mama bird diaries
June 6, 2011 at 11:09 pm

I assume by the time I post this comment you and your mama have already been recruited by Hallmark. Hilarious.


June 7, 2011 at 1:13 am

Those two look like they are mourning the same sugar daddy. Love this post.


June 7, 2011 at 2:03 am

I can write a 2000 word post quicker than I can write three words on a condolence card. That is a skill I do not possess.


Alison@Mama Wants This
June 7, 2011 at 4:05 am

Your Mama had the perfect words. Hallmark should call her already.


From Belgium June 7, 2011 at 7:19 am

I suggest you and Mama start your own card company. You’re way better than Hallmark.


Becky Rice
June 7, 2011 at 7:29 am

That picture is less “condolences on the loss of a loved one”, and more “sorry you didn’t grab that last pair of Jimmy Choo’s in your size”. Or mourning a sugar daddy, as Stasha suggests.

Your mom’s sentiments were perfect. I wish I was that eloquent.


Metropolitan Mum June 7, 2011 at 9:37 am

HAHAHA. Hilarious.

I just realised that’s not a nice thing to say when someone has died. Oh dear.


dusty earth mother June 7, 2011 at 9:53 am

So great. I particularly like Mama referring to the both of you as “two intelligent young women”. Yes, indeed.


Zee June 7, 2011 at 10:05 am

My mom once sent me a birthday card that read “You’re just like a daughter to me.”

Its not the words that matter. Thank God.


June 7, 2011 at 10:28 am

This post makes me greedy. I want a “Marinka and Mama” book, play, film and MERCHANDISE.


Irina June 7, 2011 at 10:36 am

Of course THAT is why they brought you to America, so that you can help them write nice sympathy cards and explain the ingredients of martinis


June 7, 2011 at 11:43 am

I’m sorry for the loss, but I love your Mama.


Amy ~ Eat. Live. Laugh. Shop.
June 7, 2011 at 4:15 pm

I would love to spend a day as a fly on your wall.


June 7, 2011 at 10:19 pm

I needed this laugh tonight. Thank your mama from me.


June 8, 2011 at 10:44 pm

“This is why we bring you to America, so you can know important things.”

Oh man, I busted up with giggle-snorts and wanted to give Mama a virtual high-five.


Lady Jennie June 9, 2011 at 1:17 pm

I need help on appropriate comment. I don’t want to say “this is so funny” because everyone says that.


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