What to Say
Previously we considered hurtful things that can be said or done following a loss. They are real...usually not intentional, but very real statements that hurt.
Now let's consider things that can be said or done that will be helpful to someone following a loss. Of course we learn from each other, so I invite you to share your personal insight also
"INCLUDE ME": Contact a griever, invite them to activities. They may decline, but they will also know they are not forgotten by friends.
"SAY THEIR NAME": Their name does not die. Hearing others say their name is comforting.
"SHARE A MEMORY": It helps to hear what others remember about them. Let the griever share their memories also, with assurance we are not going to change the subject or walk away.
"REMEMBER THEIR BIRTHDAY" It helps to receive calls or cards on their birthday or on holidays. Even though the physical relationship ended, emotionally and spiritually they are still present.
A griever is reminded every MOMENT that their loved one died...it is helpful for them to be reminded that they also lived. Grief is real pain, mourning is the expression of that pain. How do we help a griever? We should create a safe place for them to mourn, invite them to talk about their loved one.
"Blessed are those who MOURN...for they shall be COMFORTED."
(Jesus, Matthew 5:4)
Bob Willis, author
"A Guide for Grievers"