Having experienced the grieving process after the death of my second child and then leading a Christian grief recovery support group for many years I have learned there are things that are helpful to say and things not helpful to say to someone in grief. When a family member, friend, co-worker, or neighbor has lost someone close to them, their grieving process can challenge you as you try to support and comfort them. Your heart is in a genuine place so knowing what is the most helpful and least helpful thing to say can guide you as you love them through this painful time. As you walk alongside others who are grieving, here are 7 Things Not Say to Someone Grieving (and 7 things to say instead).
What Not to Say
At least he/she is in a better place.
You can still have another child.
I know how you feel.
There is a reason for everything.
Just be strong.
It is time to stop crying.
You have to move on now.
What to Say Instead
I am sorry for your loss.
You are in my thoughts and prayers.
My favorite memory of your loved one is…
Say nothing, just be with the person.
Give a hug, if appropriate.
I don’t know how you feel but I am here for you.
You can call me day or night.
Grief is a Complicated Journey
At times my words have fallen in both categories and I have prayed for God’s grace and comfort to be with my friend /family member and for me to have wisdom as I navigate the complicated journey of grief. God is the source of our comfort, and He will equip your heart and my heart as we support and comfort others. 2 Corinthians 1: 3-4 “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others, when they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. “
Here are two great resources for your friend/family member to give further support:
Pat is a licensed professional counselor and is passionate to help women, wives, and mothers to know and follow Christ and to experience deeper areas of freedom in their lives. She counsels and teaches classes at Kingsland Baptist Church in Katy, TX.