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Grieving: What NOT to Say and Do

The loss of a beloved can be challenging without dealing with insensitive comments from others. When someone you know is grieving, it is essential to be supportive and understanding.

You should never say certain things to someone who is dealing with the death of a loved one. In this post, we will share the most common mistakes people make when talking to someone who is grieving. 

1. Don't try to be a fixer-upper.

Right now is not the time for you to be offering solutions. Your loved one needs all of their energy focused on healing and finding peace in this trying period to move forward with dignity without any outside assistance required!

2. Don't explain why you can't attend the funeral

Your loved one will understand if you can’t make it to the funeral. There are many reasons why someone might not be able to attend, and your loved one will know that. You don’t need to explain yourself.

3. Don't talk about your loss

Even though we all have experienced the pain of losing a loved one, it is important to respect someone’s grief. They are experiencing an entirely different type of loss. They may be unable or unwilling to share their memories with you at this time because they feel like what happened in comparison was more traumatic than yours or vice versa.

Here are some things you should never say to someone who is grieving:

“I know how you feel.”

No one can honestly know how another person feels, especially when it comes to such a personal and challenging experience. Even if you have lost a treasured one yourself, everyone grieves differently. It is essential to be respectful that each person deals with grief in their way.

“It was meant to be.”

Comments like this are unhelpful and can make the grieving person feel that their loss is not valid or essential. Losing a beloved is always hard, no matter the circumstances. There is no need to try and rationalize the death or make the griever feel better by telling them that everything happens for a reason.

“At least they’re in a better place now.”

This comment is often said with good intentions, but it can be exceedingly hurtful to someone who is grieving. It invalidates the griever’s feelings and makes it seem like they should be happy that their loved one is no longer suffering. No one deserves to have their grief minimized in this

“You’re strong; you’ll get through this.”

While it is true that many people can eventually move on after losing a loved one, grief is a process that takes time. Telling someone that they need to be strong or that they will get through this can make them feel like they are not allowed to grieve or that they are not doing it correctly. It is essential to let the griever take the time they need to heal.

“Move on”

The grieving process is different for everyone. There is no timeline for grief, and telling someone to move on is not helpful. This statement implies that the person grieving is not doing it correctly, which is not valid. Grief is a complex emotion, and there is no right or wrong way to feel it.

“She/he was so young.”

It is understandable, but it can make the griever feel that their loss is not as significant as someone who has lost an older loved one. Age does not necessarily dictate how strong the bond is between two people, and all losses are brutal.

“It was just a cat/dog.”

This statement is hurtful because it implies that the griever’s pet was not vital to them. Pets are family members, and they can have a significant impact on our lives. The loss of a pet is often just as complex as a human loved one.

Avoid saying anything that could make the circumstances worse or insensitive. Showing your support and understanding can go a long way in helping someone through their grief. 

Sometimes, the most corroborating thing you can do is be there for the person and offer a listening ear. Or expressing yourself can be done non-verbally.

We hope that this information will help you avoid saying and doing something that could hurt someone during a difficult time.

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