Previously we’ve written about “10 Things to Never Say to a Grieving Person.” We’ve discussed the sensitive nature of trying to extend comfort to those who are grieving, and how difficult the task becomes when fumbling with what to say. Grief looks and feels different for every person, so how do you know what to say?
Start by Listening
Listening and responding is the most comforting gesture you could offer. Offering validation for their feelings, and responding directly to their comments is indicative of your attention and care for their situation.
Share a Memory
Now is not the time to bring up bad memories or previous qualms. Share the memories that made you laugh and love the deceased. Highlight the memories that show the good attributes and key personality traits.
Expressions of Love
Be sure to share your love of the deceased, and for those affected by the loss. Sometimes in an effort to create a positive atmosphere, it can diminish the pain felt by those grieving. An atmosphere of love allows room for the ebb and flow of happiness and pain.
Acknowledge that you don’t have the right words
Sometimes the best thing you can say is, “I wish I had the right words to say, but just know that I care.”
The key is to make sure anything you say is genuine and comes from the heart. Generic phrases are just that, generic. There is no comfort in empty words that can be said to anyone.
Grief is a very delicate situation filled with sensitive emotions that are overwhelming for those experiencing them. It’s hard to read a situation and offer words of comfort. We hope the guide above will help as you extend condolences to those who are grieving.