This is the beginning of a series on What to say...
We all struggle with this sometime. Truth be told, there's no wrong answer as long as you are kind and thoughtful. It is important to be yourself even though the situation is loaded with emotion. We tend to incorrectly assume that we are not significant enough to interject ourselves into another's time of grief. The truth is that everybody is important at these times. The more notes and contact with a grieving person, the better. It will help to stabilize the situation in the present with comfort coming from different directions. It's great to let yourself be a sounding board for that person.
Here are some messages that are appropriate and will be well received:
- Our thoughts are with you.
- I was so sorry to hear about (name).
- We're sorry for your loss.
- Our prayers are with you.
- These things never make sense.
- If there's anything we can do, let us know.
- Let's get together when things settle down for you.
- If you ever want to talk, I'm here.
- Share a pleasant memory, if you have one. A positive comment works well also.
Be careful to not ask a question that requires a response. This will add unnecessary pressure, and cause guilt if a person doesn't have the time or capacity to respond.