-because it just might happen!
I don't much like that "It could be worse" platitude. It either sounds like they're devaluing your tragedy, or noting that it might be about to actually GET worse. Like, if you're hanging by a fingernail they'd be saying "You know, human fingernails are not meant to support your body weight, it'll probably tear off any second so not only are you about to fall to your death, it'll be incredibly painful on the way down (what with the fingernail being ripped out and all).
If somebody were in a car accident and stumbled away cut and bruised would you say "It could be worse" to them? Why? Because it could? How does that help them deal with whatever they're going through? What if fate is bored that day and hears that crap and decides to explore the possibilities?
"It could be worse." Well, yes, true, it could be. They could be pinned under the car with broken ribs.
One could go on "It could be worse." True; the car could be dripping gasoline on them.
"It could be worse." True; the gas could ignite.
"It could be worse." True; this could be happening during an earthquake.
"It could be worse." True; the quake could have been triggered by a nuclear attack.
"It could be worse." True; this could all portend the imminent apocalypse.
"It could be worse." True; one of the four horsemen storming by could trample your hand as you reached out for help. So not only do you enter the afterlife with crushed ribs and horrific burns, but now your hand's all fucked up and you can't even self-apply the burn cream. If they had any.
"It could be worse." True; they might charge for the burn cream in the afterlife (it might be a republican afterlife) but you lost your wallet and cash in the car fire that deformed you for eternity. So now you have to sit there steaming (figuratively and literally) while the trust fund babies saunter past you to buy up all the burn cream on the way to their tanning salons. (If it's a republican afterlife all the country clubs there will have tanning salons)
Could it be worse NOW? Yes, dear soul, it could. It could've happen to ME. (and I thank Me that it didn't!)
[Inspiration for this post came from one of Angie's, who's always worth a read]