091 A Death in the Company

公司开会前,经理Jeff说,总裁John Henderson的母亲去世了。

Jeff (manager): Folks...before we begin our workday, I'm afraid I have some sad news. Our CEO John Henderson's mother passed away late last night. As you can imagine, this is a difficult time for the Henderson family.

Frank: Oh, that is sad news. I met his mother once...she was a very nice woman.

Penny: Was she sick?

J: Yes, I believe she was suffering from some illnesses; but she was also 91 years old.

F: Wow! Ninety-one years old! That's a pretty good run.

P: Yeah...very impressive.

Frank说,他见过Henderson的母亲,老太太人很好。She was a very nice woman. Penny问,她是不是病死的。得知老太太91岁高龄后,Frank说,That's a pretty good run,意思是“够长寿的”。

George: You know, I'm from China and in some places in my homeland if you live past 80, they used to celebrate your death instead of mourning.

J: That's kind of a nice tradition. A long, full life is something to celebrate.

G: Um, seeing as I'm not that familiar with Western culture, I'm wondering...what's the protocol here? What can we do for the Henderson family? What should I say?


J: In the West, people usually just say something like, "I'm sorry."

G: Yeah...I've heard people say "sorry" before and I always wondered why.

P: I guess it's because we mean that we feel sorry that they must endure this difficult time of sorrow. Or maybe we mean we are sorry the person died.

J: I think Penny's first guess is right. People mean to say, "I sympathize with or am sorry for, the pain you and your family are feeling." But somehow along the way it just sort of got shortened to, "I'm sorry."


F: But George makes a good point. I think we do struggle to find the right words to say when someone dies. I mean, what can you say that's really going to be helpful?

P: That's true. It's always a bit hard to know what to say. But usually the person understands that we're just trying to offer condolences. I think they still appreciate the effort.

Frank承认,George makes a good point. George的话有道理,面对死者亲属,人们往往不知道说些什么好。但是Penny认为,死者亲属其实明白,别人就是在向他们表示慰问。