10 Things Not To Say To The Grieving

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Don't tell someone that has lost someone close...

"At least they are not suffering." "They are in a better place." "You will see them again one day." "They are walking with Jesus." "It was the will of God." "Heaven gained an angel." "Everything will be ok." "Time will heal all wounds."

No, just don't...

Recently, a good friend of mine passed away suddenly. It was a total shock and I was devastated. I felt so helpless and sad for his wife. I first heard about his passing on social media, just hours after it happen... Social media! My friends wife hadn't yet released the sad news and already someone posted a RIP status... (I think I will write a separate post about that later.)

Just the thought of sending my condolences to my deer friends spouse made me almost cry. I have experiences a loss of a loved one, a younger brother, and I know what I went through, and It sucked! It still sucks 12+ years later. I remember what made me upset. I remember the dumb things people would say to me thinking they were saying something kind and compassionate. But not realizing that it was causing more turmoil inside of me than anything.

Here is a list of 10 of the most sh*tiest things you can ever say to someone grieving.

  1. “At least they’re not suffering...” Well excuse me, I’m sorry you feel that way. I’d still rather have them here for my own selfish reasons. The pain hurts too much to be ok with your logic! No. they’re not suffering but now I AM!
  2. "They are in a better place..." Really? They are in a better place right now? How about them being here right next to me again?! How about them being here with their kids again?! The best place they could be is back here with us!
  3. "You will see them again one day....(then silence)" Ya, thanks for your input! I realize you think you know how much I am going to miss this person and that a lifetime a suffering can be circumvented by the thought that one day I will be reunited in heaven with my loved one. Have a nice day, I’m gonna go cry now.
  4. "They are walking with Jesus...” First of all, Jesus has probably got more important things to tend to then go galavanting around with my loved one. I’d rather they be back here galavanting with me and driving me nuts than dead?!
  5. "It was god’s will...” This is where I put my foot down... I may not be a theologian but I would bet a pretty penny that God’s will is not for my loved one to be dead and us go through life miserably missing them trying to find a way to cope. I’m pretty sure It’s God’s will for them to live a long healthy life! #dropsthemic
  6. "Heaven gained an angel...” No...just no! Walk away.
  7. "Everything will be ok..." Thank you so much for letting me know everything will be ok. I’m so glad you know that for sure. I can finally sleep at night knowing that YOU know everything will be ok. My grief just suddenly disappeared... :\
  8. "Time will heal all wounds..." As a person who lost his 7 year old brother 12+ years ago. I can tell you first hand that time has yet to heal my wounds... I still feel like it was yesterday that he left us. Time doesn’t heal wounds... As time passes, you learn to adapt to the feelings of loss and separation. The waves are still just as strong, but you learn how to work around them crippling you.
  9. “You will get over it...” No I won’t, I will never truly get over it completely. You may forget about what has happen to us over the next few months as you carry on with your life, but I will never get over the loss of my loved one. And that’s ok!
  10. “Let me know if I can do anything...” This usually comes with a moment of silence as they stare at you waiting for you to rely to their nonsense. As if I really know what I want or need right now in this horrible time of grief. I don’t even know which way is up right now and you want me to think about what I need and let you know? People who say this don’t realize that they are putting more pressure on the grieving then they are relieving them.

Oh, and by the way, it’s even worse when these things are said through social media... there is absolutely no emotional or personal connection at all.

Most if not all of these statement are usually said with love and concern and I’m sure without ill intent. We all have lost someone in our lives at one point or another. Just remember, sometimes not saying anything and just staying by their side can be more powerful than anything you could possible say to someone who just lost a loved one.