What To Say To Someone Grieving
Knowing how to be there for someone grieving can be hard to work out. Every person deals with death in their own way, so it can be confusing knowing what support they need.
People in mourning will often need a lot of support and care from their loved ones, both in physical and emotional needs. But in order to figure out the best approach for helping them during grief, you’ll want to know the right things to say to them.
Even with the best of intentions, people can sometimes unknowingly say hurtful things. By understanding how mourners feel, you will know how to best support them in their grief.
How to behave around someone grieving
Expressing yourself in words might be challenging, but do your best to show that you care for what the person is going through. Be honest and always make sure to keep the mourner’s feelings a number one priority. Even if you did not get along with the person who passed away, remember that they probably meant a great deal to the person who is grieving.
Express your concern
You don’t need to have the perfect line to say, simply try to be there for them. Expressing your concern comes in many forms. It can be through actions, talking, or just listening- be observant and open to their needs.
Ask how they feel
Emotions will come like a roller coaster, some with more bumps and twists than for others. Even if they don’t know what to say or you can’t understand their feelings, being able to lend your ear to their emotions can give someone a lot of comfort who might feel alone, fearful, and depressed about their loved one dying.
Daily routines will keep going for the person grieving, but that doesn’t mean they won’t forget to make dinner or show up for their child’s soccer game. Try to offer your help in practical ways in order to take some of the stress off the person. If you’re not sure how to help, simply ask them. Someone who is grieving might pull away and not be comfortable at first, but help is appreciated for many.
Best & worst things to say
Just because a person has good intentions, doesn’t mean it’s always expressed in the most constructive way. Some ideas and actions can be downright negative. Here are a few things to avoid saying, along with some recommended things to say. This list was created by grief expert David Kessler titled “List of the 10 best and worst things to say to someone grieving”:
Worst things to say
- At least she lived a long life, many people die young
- He is in a better place
- She brought this on herself
- There is a reason for everything
- Aren’t you over him yet, he has been dead for awhile now
- You can have another child still
- She was such a good person God wanted her to be with him
- I know how you feel
- She did what she came here to do and it was her time to go
- Be strong
Best things to say
- I am so sorry for your loss.
- I wish I had the right words, just know I care.
- I don’t know how you feel, but I am here to help in anyway I can.
- You and your loved one will be in my thoughts and prayers.
- My favourite memory of your loved one is…
- I am always just a phone call away
- Give a hug instead of saying something
- We all need help at times like this, I am here for you
- I am usually up early or late, if you need anything
- Saying nothing, just be with the person