Today I am writing about “things to say to someone in grief” because I am that someone.
I lost my mom in June, you can read about it here if you missed it. I never envisioned writing about Grief on my happy blog dedicated to sharing juicy ideas but to not write about Grief would be unauthentic because life isn’t always happy.
Losing my mom was my first great Loss, and Grief is new for me. When broken with pain life shifts. Please bear with me as I pave the way through it and navigate this new world.
Because I am my mother’s daughter, and she was the most positive person you ever would meet, I am consistently looking for the blessings and silver linings and I hope this post might help someone at a loss of what to say to someone in grief.
When you have a friend or loved one living with Grief things can get awkward in face-to-face interactions. Especially the first time you see someone post Loss.
I have been that person, wanting to say the right thing, wanting to express myself in a way that is comforting but not really knowing what that is. But unless you have lived through this, you don’t really know. Therefore, lots of times people will not saying anything. So here are some ideas.
Things to Say to Someone in Grief
If you have a feeling you want to say something, PLEASE DO! Worrying about what to say or if you should say something can be sensed and saying something is better than nothing.
If it is the first time seeing the person since their Loss, acknowledge it with a simple hug and “I’m so sorry for your Loss.” You will know quickly if the person wants to talk about it or brushes it off and changes the topic, but at least you acknowledged it and then you can move on.
And instead of a blanket, “How are YOU doing?” or “How is your dad?” get more specific and ask “How are you doing today?” or “How has this week gone for you?” or “How was your dad the last time you saw him?”
A general “how are you?” is hard to answer because there are no words to even describe how I am after losing a Great Love. It’s AWFUL. Horrible. Heart-wrenching. Painful. Lonely. It SUCKS beyond measure.
But not all of the time.
The truth is that some days and some moments are OK, some moments even better than OK.
If you ask how the person is doing today or this week, it allows them the freedom to say, “I am doing actually pretty good today!” Or, “Today is a bad day.” Whatever the case, the question is not as overwhelming as the general “How are you?”
Other comforting things to say to someone in grief or crisis:
“There are no words. I’m so sorry.” Because there are no right words or magic words.
“I’m here for you.” Always nice to hear someone cares about you and is there for you.
“You are so strong.” I had a mom at school look at me, put her hand on her heart, and say, “You are so strong. So strong.” I realized it DOES take strength to carry on “normal life,” so I really appreciated that.
Thanks for being there with me and for me through this. If you have anything to add that have brought you comfort, or any other pieces of advice, PLEASE comment below.
So much love,