My dad passed away 14 days ago and it has been hard. Some try to offer their words as a means of comfort but I found some comments rather difficult to take in. I went through this when my mom passed away 6 years ago but I feel compelled to share this time around. Here are 4 things you should never say to someone who is grieving.
Please note that I have written this from my own personal experience and information I have gathered through discussion with my peers. I do not abide by any religious views.
“He is in a better place now.”
Better place than here, on earth, with their family who love him? How does someone who is grieving wrap their mind around that explanation? It’s simple – they can’t so don’t say it.
“He lived a long, happy life.”
How do they know that? Unless you spent good quality time with that person on a regular basis, they do not know. Lots of people suffer in silence.
“He’s with his loved ones now (who are also deceased).”
This does not provide me comfort at all. No one knows where the soul goes after the body dies. Putting my faith into something so obscure is not comforting to me.
“Everything will be ok” // “It’ll get easier” // “This will pass soon”
Absolute worst. Grieving takes time and each person’s journey is different. Some may need a few months and for some, it may never stop hurting. It has been 6 years since my mom has passed away and though Day 1 and Day 2,190 look different, it never gets easier.
What to say instead:
“Let’s go _______.”(do something that the one who is grieving loves to do)
“We don’t have to talk about it.”
“Let’s hang out.”
“Thinking of you.” // “I’m here for you.”
“Want to come over?”
Share your favourite memories of the one they’ve lost.
This is my absolute favourite. It is comforting to hear others’ memories of my mom and dad.
And just show up.