Talking The Grief Talk

Grief Talk

What Would You Want To Hear?

When a person is sad or grieving the loss of a loved one, it can be very hard to know the right words to say to them. It is so very easy to say the wrong thing if you don’t stop first and think about what you are planning to say before you speak. It is very important for the sad and grieving person that they hear words of encouragement about their loss from people.

Many times, even complete strangers will come up to someone who is dealing with a tragic loss and only want graphic details about the accident, etc. Their words do not help the sad person or encourage them in any way. Complete strangers will come up to a person in mourning and say terrible things to them not even realizing they are doing so.

For example, if you lost a child in a car accident and she died instantly the last thing you want to hear is “that must have been horrible for you.” Of course it was horrible for you. You may also hear things like, “Well, at least she died instantly and felt no pain.” Even though this is a blessing these are still not words that will help people but only hurt them or even make them angry.

A Touch of Grief People should think very carefully about the words that they say to their family members, friends, neighbors and co-workers. Once you speak your words to someone that needs to be comforted you cannot take them back, and the pain that you cause them will never be forgotten. This does not mean that you should be fearful in saying something to a mourner. Simply be very careful in the words that you choose to say to them.

People in mourning needs encouragement and support from their friends and family. They need to know that you are person they can trust to be with that will only help them and not hurt them. Always think before you speak to anyone that is in mourning. Below are some factors you may want to consider before speaking to someone that is mourning.

  • Make sure what you say to the person in morning is going to comfort, help or encourage the person. Do not say something just to help yourself feel better about the situation. You are there to help the mourner.

  • Put yourself in their shoes for a minute before you speak to them. Make sure what you say to them would comfort you and make you feel better.

  • Do not simply explain away the person’s grief, but make sure what you say to them will help them deal with it in a healthy way. Don’t simply try to rescue the person in mourning. The grief process is a long one, and they need to know that they can trust you to help them through this horrible time in their life.

  • Make sure what you plan to say to the person in mourning makes the person aware that you understand them and truly care for them. What you say to them should bring you much closer to them. Don’t say something that will only cause them pain and come between your friendship.

Grief and What to SayA person in mourning does not care that you have the best words to say, or the most eloquent words to say to them. They only want to have a friend that will be there to encourage them and help them. You should also be willing to listen if they feel like talking about their loss with you. Mourners only want to know that there is someone there for them in their time of need, and someone that will speak the right words to them or simply sit and listen to them. If you have been through a loss in your life, think about what words helped you the most, and what words that people spoke to you hurt you. This can help you know the right words to say to a sad person.

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One Response to Talking The Grief Talk

  1. Marc Oxley says:

    How very true. Platitudes like “I know how you feel ” mean nothing to a person who has lost a loved one as you cannot possibly know how they feel. Everyone reacts differently to grief and as you rightly say we can only help them by listening to them and responding to their needs in a caring and professional way.

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