Knowing what to say to a loved one who is struggling with grief can be essential if you want to offer real comfort. This can be difficult, however, since many times our first instinct is to offer platitudes. To avoid this and to be sure that you are not saying the wrong thing to those grieving, we have some suggestions on what not to say.
It can be very tempting to say that the person your loved one has lost is in a better place. For people who are religious, this may offer comfort, but for those who are not or those who are going through a very difficult period of grief, it can seem like you are invalidating what they feel. You may also make them feel guilty, so be sure to stay away from this common phrase.
Another common thing that people say to those who are grieving is to be strong for others, whether their spouse or their children. This can be harmful to the person who is already struggling with grief. It will make them feel as if they should ignore their emotions to help someone else, which is not a healthy attitude and it can delay the process of healing from the loss. Instead, let them know that they are completely allowed to grieve for as long as they need to. Sometimes people really need to hear that.
Try not to bombard them with your own problems or experiences. Many times, people want to let those who are grieving know that they understand what they are going through. This can hijack the conversation and make it about yourself instead of the person going through the current loss. Only offer your own experiences if the person asks to hear about them, and even then, be sure to not overwhelm them with it.
Do not ask them lots of questions about what happened or what they are planning on doing next. Grief can cause confusion and can make someone feel overwhelmed and out of control. The last thing you want to do is add to that confusion. Instead, let the person know that they can count on you for help if they need it.
Offering your condolences is usually the best thing you can do and say. Let those who are grieving that you are always available if they want to talk or if they need any kind of help. You do not want to burden them with your own problems and you do not want to invalidate their grief, so be cautious about the stories or experiences you share. Most Matoaca, VA funeral home directors will tell you that brevity is the best option. Learn more by reaching out to Morrissett Funeral and Cremation Service. We can provide you with assistance in navigating grief and loss. Stop by our location at 6500 Iron Bridge Rd Richmond, VA 23234 or call us at (804) 275-7828 today. We’re here to help in any way we can.