Family friend’s parent passed. Significant other calls me to tell me the news and to ask to give the friend another phone number so they could speak. She specifically said, “make sure to say ‘I am sorry for your loss’” and then some other stuff. I call, the friend is crying/whimpering and it was just too much to handle. I said “I heard the news” they continued to cry/whimper. I said “Nobody, wanted me to give you a phone number, do you have a pen?” proceeded to give the number and then said goodbye. I knew I blew it. My wife sensed I blew it and called later to ask what I said. When she got home asked me more than once to again, explain how the conversation went. She questioned my decision to go with “I heard the news” like somebody got a promotion or a new pet. I already knew I was an asshole right after the call. My wife just made it more clear. And as she asked questions like “what were you thinking?” and “why didn’t you just say what I said to say?” And all I had was “well, what am I saying sorry for? It feels like an empty phrase” and “honestly, I googled a bunch of condolences to see if there was something better, seriously, I don’t think they wanted to talk to me anyways” it really sealed it. Also, when she outright called me an asshole. The longer her and I talked about it, the more I felt really dumb.
Anyways, so I eventually get back on the phone with our friend. I say things about thinking of them and suggest things that have helped me when I have grieved, etc. The whole time I am trying not to turn into an emotional mess because I have two modes, detached sarcasm and blubbering teared up idiot. Their response to everything was just pray, just pray, just pray, etc. Oh, I am an atheist. Basically, what I am saying is that I am obviously not an asshole because I resisted all instincts in my brain telling me to tell our friend that I don’t believe in prayer. I haven’t figured out the best way to gloat to my wife though. Ideas?