Grief is an uncomfortable emotion and not knowing what to say is very common, but there are at least 10 things that a grieving person wishes you would say. Grief can look different depending on the circumstances. The grieving person may be dealing with the major illness of a loved one who is still living, or the sudden loss of a child. How can we best be of help to our loved ones at a time like this?
10 THINGS TO SAY TO A GRIEVING PERSON
Depending on how much time has passed since the sad event that changed their life, it can be difficult to know what a grieving person wishes you would say. Rather than say something that feels awkward to us, we sometimes don’t say anything. That can be the worst thing you could possibly do for a grieving person.
1. I CANNOT POSSIBLY KNOW THE PAIN THAT YOU’RE EXPERIENCING
And you can’t, because each person grieves individually and in different ways. Their experience of the loss is different from your own. Don’t try to compare.
2. CRYING IS PERFECTLY NORMAL AND THIS IS A SAFE PLACE TO DO IT
Make your friend feel comfortable with tears. Often, people feel embarrassed about crying in front of other people so they are hide their tears or ask you to leave so they can cry privately. Let them know that you’re comfortable with tears and there is no judgment.
3. CRYING IS PERFECTLY HEALTHY AND THIS IS A SAFE PLACE TO DO IT
In his book, The Nature of Grief: The Evolution and Psychology of Reactions to Loss, author John Archer says crying is cathartic, and it may serve several healthy purposes for us as we heal. Crying is an emotional release of overwhelming sadness in the body. Crying is an emotional outburst, and it can be seen as a social tool, as in a cry for help from the bereaved. We are rarely processing thoughts as we cry, but are just allowing the emotion to flow out of us in waves like a river flowing to the ocean.
4. YOU DON’T HAVE TO TALK ABOUT YOUR EMOTIONS
The grieving person isn’t always willing or able to talk about the loss. A grieving person wishes you would let them know that you have no expectations for their willingness to talk about it with you. If they do, great, you’ll be there for them, and if not, you’re not going anywhere. Read on…