Fear about what to say to a griever is common. Most people are uncomfortable around someone who is grieving because they’re afraid of saying the wrong thing. Since they have no idea what to say, often they simply choose to avoid the griever.
The most important thing anyone can do is to let the person who is grieving know that you care. Give them a hug, show them your concern for what they’re going through, and tell them you want to help (and mean it)!
Then, depending on the circumstance, you may say:
•I’m not sure exactly what to say, but I want you to know how much I care. Is there something you need that I can do for you?
•I know this is a tough time. How are you doing today? Is there a way I can help?
•If you need someone to talk to, I’ll listen.
•I’d like to help, but I don’t know what you need. Tell me what I can do.
Some things never to say are:
•I know how you feel.
•It’s time to get on with your life.
•He/she is in a better place now.
•You’ll get over this.
Grieving people long to know that you care. Show your love and compassion—and once you get past the initial uneasiness, you’ll be in a position to make a positive difference in someone’s life. Be courageous and take the step.
Words alone are cheap. Actions with words show that you really do care.
© 2012 Judy Brizendine