A short true story , would love your thoughts on it

So i was buying something off on offer up ( it's like craigslist, gumtree, Kijiji, ect.)

i go to the ladies house to pick up the item
she opens the door and we say hi and all that real quick and then i say "wow you have a very beautiful home" as she was inviting me in.
she then responds with " oh thanks, ya we just renovated to make all this extra space for our daughter who was wheel chair bound, as soon as we finished she died a month later, this was last month"

I offered my condolences of course but she just kept talking about it, and while i obviously felt terrible for her, I really did have places to be and as she kept going and going the whole thing turned into like a 30 min unescapable discussion about sad things while my intention was to just quickly pick something up.

what do you do with this kind of thing? what would you say and do? it feels slightly awkward because its a little harder to relate to her sadness with just meeting her 10 seconds before she started talking about it and not having known the person who died.

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Comments ( 8 ) Sort: best | oldest
  • I would humor her for maybe 30 seconds, then politely tell her I don't give a fuck, take my thing, and leave.

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  • I would say no and leave, none of my business.

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    • This. So many people here saying, "I would stop and listen to her!" but seriously, this isn't OP's responsibility and their time is more valuable than this. OP isn't there to listen to a stranger's sob story.

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  • Idk I just let them talk, people like that don't seem to care what reaction is given, they just need someone to listen. plus Im always late to everything anyway so that wouldn't bother me. what did you buy?

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  • If something is still very present in their mind.

    In talking about it with a Stranger isn’t that much different than talking about it to someone you don’t know online.

    Which can maybe make it easier to get off your chest.

    So just do what you did, rolling with it. Be sympathetic and then if you’re needing to leave. Gently excuse yourself when the opportunity pops up

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  • I fully understand how that was a very awkward situation.

    It sounds like she's still in the early stages of processing the loss of her daughter, and that's really all that's in her head right now. When you're in a place like that, you can lose your normal social awareness and fail to notice when you're droning on and on. You've probably known people who just couldn't stop talking about their ex after a break-up. That's a different sort of grieving, but the same psychological mechanism.

    As for how you deal with this, I think the only humane thing to do is try to detach yourself as gently as possible. Who knows? Maybe the woman is socially isolated or feels that she can't be truly honest with her friends and family about what she's feeling, and so talking with you (or at you) about this was a major step in her coming to terms with the death of her daughter, because she found herself able to really open up with a complete stranger.

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  • I would probably listen for a while, and express my condolences if I didn't have any place to be.

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  • Have a heart. Just listen to her. One day you may be in that same position and you may just want someone to listen to you.

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