What Not to Say to Someone Who is Grieving

What Not to Say to Someone Who is Grieving

NEVER say this to anyone who has lost someone they love:

"I thought you were over it at this point."

Or another version of that, "I thought you’d be over it by now."

And I mean, not one year, not 5 years, or 10 or 20 or FIFTY years later-

Do not say it.

"But Barb, it's been years. And she has a new husband/baby!"

Yeah- I repeat- Do not say it.

It doesn't matter if a grieving mom or dad had five more kids- they still ache for the baby or child they lost. They still imagine their son or daughter growing up, and envision all the moments they should have had. They still feel a piece of their soul... missing.

It doesn't matter if a grieving spouse remarries - the grief remains. And it can be even harder to carry when no one understands this.

Sometimes, when pushed, a grieving person might break down and admit.. "I'm sorry, I just miss them today."

Sometimes this is met with compassion. Other times... not so much. In fact, far too often this admission - this vulnerability- is met with disbelief by those who have begrudged this person any new happiness, or honest surprise by those who just genuinely believed the grief has magically disappeared over the years.

What it really means when you say this to someone, is that YOU need them to be “better.”

To want to go out, to not be depressed, to not ever have a day or a moment where their grief for that person catches up with them again, and they acknowledge that they miss that person.

It says you are either insecure about those feelings, or you are just uncaring - Maybe you never loved someone that deeply. Or maybe you’ve never experienced that kind of loss in your life.. Yet.

Whatever the reason- just don’t say it

Maybe try this instead- Oh, I’m sorry. Sometimes I forget that it’s still hard for you.

And then give that person some grace to move through their grief.

You can't erase the pain for anyone, but you can gift them with your compassion.

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