Losing a loved one is difficult. The experience is more difficult when people come up to you and start saying all the wrong things. If you want to comfort someone who is grieving, here are the four things you should never say to them.
"Everything happens for a reason."
This is a very common phrase that people often tell others during hard times. You may think that it may bring them some sort of comfort, but more often than not, it does exactly the opposite. When someone we love dies, we go through an overwhelming feeling of loss and grief, and we simply do not want to hear that losing someone you love “happens for a reason”, especially when the reason is unknown.
"I know exactly how you feel."
When someone is grieving, the most important thing is to let them know that you are there for them. It may seem like the right thing to say, but don’t tell them you know and understand exactly what they are going through, because you don’t. Yes, you may have lost a loved one too, but you can never know just how deeply someone is feeling a loss.
"What can I do for you?"
Don’t ask a grieving person what you can do for them, or to tell you how you can help. Instead, just do what you see needs to be done. They are already in a difficult place and asking them to reach out for your help only puts more responsibility on their shoulders.
It’s easy to say things like “At least he/she had a peaceful death”, “At least he/she lived a long life”, or “At least they are in a better place now.” Even though your intention is to make them feel better and comfort them, statements like these rarely do the work. No amount of “At least” can take the pain away.
Thanks for reading,