What Not to Say to Someone in Grief
6 things NOT to say
Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.- Proverbs 18:21
I have attended many meetings, groups, and events for grievers since my granddaughter passed away, and the common topic of conversation is “you wouldn’t believe what they said to me!” While not meaning to harm, many of us have said the Best and Worst of things to grievers. Quite understandably, until you’ve experienced loss you probably wouldn’t realize how hurtful some of these statements can be.
Here are 6 things NOT to say to someone grieving (and responses from grievers):
- They are in a better place – While grieving, as a believer or not, we feel there’s NO better place for our loved one than with us.
- There is a reason for everything – This simple statement can bring overwhelming guilt. When struggling with disbelief over the loss, there is no resolution in this statement.
- You can have another child – “The Job counsel”. Job’s children were not REPLACED, he had more children. Rainbow children, though they bring joy and some healing, can never fill the void of the child that is gone.
- God needed another (fill in the blank) – We refuse to believe that God is needy. To even think that the God of the universe is that wanting is actually disrespectful to our beliefs. This ‘religious’ statement has caused many of grievers to be on the edge of losing their religion and giving a response that would not be friendly.
- I know how you feel – Though we are sensitive to others that have lost, we do not want to compare grief. Everyone’s grief is custom made for them, there is no way to ‘know’ how we feel.
- You have to be strong and move on – This statement is usually given by someone who has moved on and is uncomfortable with our grief. They want the old friend, family member, etc. back that they had before the loss. Well, that person is gone, not completely, but things have definitely changed.
Besides the ones above, I’m sure you have had some not-so-great things said to you. Please share them here to help others learn. #BeBlessedBeFree