When someone is grieving we can feel at a loss for words. Sometimes we speak quickly and unintentionally our words can be very hurtful. On the other hand, we can also be so afraid we will say the wrong thing that we don't say anything at all. Both can cause additional heartache to those grieving.
Below are a few quick tips on what to say, what not to say, and how to be a good friend to someone who is grieving.
It is almost always better to say "I am at a loss of words," or "I wish I knew what to say," then nothing at all.
What to say:
“I’m here if you want to talk.”
“It’s okay to cry in front of me.”
“I’ve been thinking about you. I’m so sorry this happened.”
“I can see you’re sad today, want to talk about it?”
"How is today?"
What NOT to say:
“At least your Dad is still alive.”
“Don’t cry, you have to be strong for your Mom and little sister.”
“I know how you feel.”
“At least he’s not in pain anymore.”
“God needed him in Heaven.”
What to do for your friend:
Just be a friend by being there, it means a lot.
Send a quick text telling them you are thinking of them.
Still invite your friend to do fun things even when he/she is hurting.
Ask your friend about a good memory of the person who died.
Remember the potential hard days for them and make a card, send a note, or call on Birthdays, Christmas, death anniversaries, etc.