What to say
You can’t fix this. You can’t take away their pain. You can be with them in the midst of their pain, and that might be the greatest gift you can give.
We can’t tell you what to say. We don’t know your person or the situation. But you do, and you know the relationship you have with them.
Words that can be helpful:
- How are you doing today?
- I’m sorry you are going through this.
- I’m here for you.
- I have no idea what to say, but I care about you.
- Do you want to talk?
- Do you want to tell me about them?
We asked people who have lost a loved one to share what they wish people would say:
I, I wish people would just say, take some time. Feel how you need to feel where you need to feel it. Um, sometimes say nothing, but hold space and sit there with you.
Silence is uncomfortable at the best of times, it's, it's painful with a grieving person, but, but maybe they need to say nothing except hold space.
Um, but I think, I think the thing that they could say is- and they could validate for you is, is, give you time and acknowledge that what you need is time and then be willing to spend that time.
And my experience with grief is that, is that sometimes those raw moments that scare people, they don't last long. They really don't. They might last five or ten minutes and then, and then, if, if, as a person trying to support a grieving person, and you can say, "you have the time, you have the space." That would be really, really, really beneficial I think.