What to say to grieving friends — and four common comments to avoid
Most of us have been there.
You’re speaking with a heartbroken family or friend and you just want to say the right thing to help them in their grief.
But the words can be hard to find.
Psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg today talked Neil Mitchell through dealing with grief, and the dos and don’ts when it comes to words of comfort.
WHAT TO SAY
- “I am so sorry for your loss.“
- “I wish I had the right words, but just know that I care.“
- “I don’t know how you feel but I’m here to help in any way I can.“
- “My favourite memory of your loved one is…“
- “I’m a phone call away.“
“And sometimes saying nothing and just giving them a hug can help as well,” he said.
WHAT TO AVOID
- “I know how you feel”: No, you don’t. Loss is an incredibly personal experience.
- “They’re in a better place”: You should never assume someone’s religious beliefs.
- “How are you doing?”: That’s not helpful because the grieving person thinks you want them to say ‘I’m OK’, and so that’s what they say whether or not they are OK.
- “You’re handling this much better than I expected”: It implies being stoic is the best way to deal with things.
Click PLAY for the full conversation