When someone we love has had a death of someone close to them, we often do not know what to say to them. We want to offer comfort, and love. Our culture does not prepare us for the part of life….that is death. Here is a list of what NOT to say to someone who is healing from the loss of a loved one.
1. I know how you feel.
No, you don’t. No one knows the depth of my grief, but me. What I need from you is the truth. Say, ” I don’t how you are feeling, and I want to support you. Tell me about it.”
2. It will get better. Time heals all wounds.
Right now, in this present moment, I am hurting. Time stopped when he died. Just ask me ” How is it going today?”
3. Call if there is anything I can do.
I do not know what needs to be done. My life is a blur. You need to call me and say ” I want to bring dinner for you on Friday night.” ” We want to mow your grass on Saturday.”
4. It is God’s will.
How can this painful loss be God’s will? Where is He now? Please just remind me that you care, that God cares.” He is here for you and so am I.”
5. I will never forget the day my husband died….
Please…it is not that I do not care, I just can’t handle your grief and mine at this time. In time, I can hear your story. But, now I just need to tell mine. I may need to tell it over and over, that is how I will face the reality of his death.
6. You must get out and do things. Keep Busy.
Grief is hard work. You can not run from grief. You can grieve now, or you can grieve later, but, you are going to grieve. Take the time for it. Offer instead, ” When you want to, I would love to look at your picture albums so we can remember your life together. We can both cry if we need to. ”
7. You’ve got to go through his things…the sooner the better.
A close friend of mine offered this advice to me she said, ” Take your time. Make a list of some of the items that you want others to have, you will know when the time is right…and I will be there to help you.” And, she was right there every step of the way.
8. Oh now, don’t cry.
I am so sad, I do not want to make you uncomfortable, my heart is breaking. Everything makes me cry, a song, a memory, a smell, his favorite food. Just say ” Go ahead and cry. Cry and sob, and beat a pillow, we can go out in a field and you can scream if you need to….I brought a box of kleenex…so we can cry together.”
9. You are attractive, You will find someone else.
WHAT? I don’t want anyone else. I want him. All you need to say is, “It must be so difficult without him.”
10. He is not suffering anymore. He could have lingered longer.
He is gone. Understand that I did not want him to die. This is worse than him lingering. He was still here then.
Just hold my hand, just hold me. Let me tell you how I feel…. Don’t say anything. Just listen, Really listen.
That is what I need to heal my broken heart and soul. Someone to listen ….until I can find the strength to go on…