Last night Teresa and I were in the temple for our regular evening of service. Normally temple workers (at least in our temple) are in groups of three when involved in ordinance work. One of Teresa’s ladies was ill so a sub was brought in to fill the group. She was a pleasant British lady with a cute smile and lots of things to say (which is good for Teresa cause she likes to listen).
In the course of the evening the sister stated that her husband had died a few years ago and she was struggling with being single again. Feeling some sympathy for the sister, Teresa asked her, “was it hard having him die … was it a shock when he left you?”
Cue in a very unusual response!!
This delightful, dedicated temple worker began to laugh.
My poor little wifey was very bamboozled and did not know how to respond. Was this woman so distraught at the mention of her husband’s passing that she had gone insane?
After a moment the lady stopped and cleared up any concerns that might have arisen. She said:
I was very sorry to lose my husband but your question was so fitting. You see, my husband was electrocuted and died from the SHOCK!!
What are the chances of using the exact word that caused the demise of the man she loved? And how do you get out of something like this without making it worse?
If Teresa’s friend was the sensitive type, she might have been offended by a simple question, stated in a polite but unknowingly inappropriate way. And sadly, there are many people in the world that would take you to task for making such a mistake. Political correctness has bred into our society a feeling of entitlement to be free from any uncomfortable circumstances, no matter how innocent they may be.