what not to say to someone who's grieving

What Not to Say to Someone Who’s Grieving?

Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    When someone you care about is going through a difficult time, it can be difficult to find the right words to say.

    It's possible that other people won't always comprehend the breadth of your misery or the complexities of your emotions.

    People who are grieving may find it difficult to ask questions because they may fear appearing insensitive or invasive. This can make the situation more difficult. So, without further ado, here is what not to say.

    Going through the stages of grief, which is something that a great number of people are doing at this time, can leave a permanent mark on the brain and cause a wide variety of symptoms.

    People who experience it may feel down, depressed, unable to concentrate, on edge, anxious, or irritable, and it may also make it difficult for them to sleep.

    If you know someone who is grieving the loss of a loved one, you may be unsure of what to say to them or what not to say to them during this difficult time.

    When someone close to us has lost a loved one, we frequently find ourselves worrying about what we should say to comfort them. This could be a member of our family or a close friend.

    We desperately want to make things better, but we don't want to make the person who is grieving sad or angry, and we don't want to make things worse.

    Unfortunately, none of us are walking Hallmark cards, and even when we do know what to say, it's not always the perfect thing to say.

    However, you shouldn't put too much pressure on yourself because there is no easy solution to the problem of dealing with grief. In the beginning, there is absolutely no way to make it even marginally better.

    One piece of good news is that turning to an eloquent phrase is not going to help alleviate your feelings of loss. In the beginning, there is absolutely no way to make it even marginally better.

    Therefore, you should stop worrying about relieving the suffering of the person you care about because it is not going to happen. Instead, you should focus on keeping it simple and saying it with compassion; if you do this, hopefully your loved one will realise that you care about them and appreciate your efforts.

    Now, before we get into the bad news... We have a strong suspicion that the vast majority of people who have been through a loss can think of at least one or two examples of something that another person has said to them that has caused them to feel alone, misunderstood, upset, or angry.

    It's unfortunate to say, but well-meaning people frequently say the wrong thing, and people who are going through a difficult time aren't always in the best position to understand the positive intention that lies behind a comment. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that there is always the possibility of saying the wrong thing.

    Because of this, we have compiled a short list of things that you should try to avoid saying. This list does not contain everything, and not all of us have the same sensitivities because we are all unique individuals. If you tell your friend that the sky is blue, they might become upset with you.

    Or you may have a family member whose feathers are never ruffled. You know the individual, so it's up to you to be the judge. Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals will always manage to find creative ways to pull costs in line with your budget.

    These are merely suggestions based on personal experiences and years of working with grieving individuals who have shared the statements that they find to be the most cringe-worthy. Personal experiences and years of working with grieving individuals

    Funeral FAQs

    When attending a service, be on time and enter the house of worship or location where the funeral will be held as quietly as possible. If there are no ushers, remember that the seats closer to the front should be taken by very close friends, with acquaintances seating themselves in the middle or towards the rear.

    A standard funeral can be up to about 2 weeks after the date of death. If the body is cremated, the family can wait as long as they'd like, but most are done within a month at the latest. If the deceased is already buried or cremated, a memorial service can be held at any later date.

    After the funeral service, the remains of the deceased are usually transported by hearse to a cemetery or mausoleum. In the case of cremation the ashes may be buried in a cemetery but some families may choose not to bury the ashes. They may keep them in an urn, or scatter or bury them on private property.

    DON'T Bring a Date

     

    Unless your partner also knew the deceased, it is generally considered to be in poor taste to bring a date to a funeral. Funerals are not occasions for romance, and unless your date is your long-term partner, it's more respectful to go solo to a funeral.

    “Getting at the beauty of the deceased by telling a story that's sweet or brings a smile or laugh is a lovely thing to do.” Obviously, you'll still want to be sensitive and aware of your boundaries, especially if you're speaking during the service.

     

    He/she Is in a Better Place Now.

    A person who is in mourning may think, Who cares? I would like for him or her to be present.

    Even though many people find solace in the idea that a deceased loved one has moved on to a better life, the period of time immediately following the passing of a loved one is not always the best time to make such a statement.

    It Will Get Easier

    A grieving person may think something along the lines of That just doesn't seem possible or I don't want to forget the person I love.

    Keep in mind that this list does not contain things that are not the case. It concerns things that would be pointless to say in public.

    In all likelihood, things will become less difficult over time. However, when someone is in the depths of unfathomable grief, they want you to acknowledge the suffering that they are going through.

    What's worse is that for many people, this initial pain is deeply connected to the person who passed away, and beginning the healing process will feel like they are forgetting or "moving on" from the deceased person.

    At Least You Have Other Children or You Can Always Have More Children

    A person who is going through grief may think to themselves, I don't want another child. I know I still have my other children, but I lost THIS child.

    Sometimes life just hands you lemons. When we are at our wit's end trying to find a bright side to a difficult situation, we have a tendency to cling to anything we can get our hands on. However, it is often in everyone's best interest to remain silent.

    The significance of the child and the loss can easily be diminished by statements such as these. In addition to this, it may cause the parent to feel guilty for undervaluing the other children in the family.

    Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals is here to assist you in making each funeral and cremation services a unique and moving memorial to your loved one.

    You Can Always Remarry 

    what not to say to someone who's grieving (2)

    A person who is going through the grieving process may think to themselves, I just lost the person I planned to spend the rest of my life with. I am still in love. There is no one else who piques my interest.

    Once more, attempting to predict the future is pointless.

    A person who is going through intense grief may exhibit symptoms that are very similar to those of depression. People who are depressed frequently have a difficult time imagining a future in which their circumstances will be improved.

    They may date again in the future, but I promise you that at this point in time they are unable to even consider this possibility, so there is no point in discussing it.

    At Least She/he Lived a Long Life.

    A person who is grieving may wonder: Is that supposed to make me miss them less?

    One more time, the items on this list are not those that are false; rather, they are those that are ineffective. Even if one is fortunate enough to live a long and happy life, this does not make the loss any less painful.

    It may be impossible to bear the hurt and pain, regardless of how old the deceased person was.

    Share your recollections of them and talk about the good times you had together, but don't imply that doing so will make your loss easier to bear.

    It Was God's Will, God Has a Plan, or everything happens for a reason.

    A person who is suffering asks themselves, Why is this God's plan? Why would God allow us to go through such pain? I don't care if it's part of God's plan; it's a terrible idea.

    Despite the fact that many find solace in a more excellent plan, the experience of death often leads people to question their faith in general as well as God, their understanding of God's omnibenevolence, and their belief that God is good in all situations.

    This is something that can happen even to people who have a deep level of faith. People who don't understand it may experience feelings of estrangement and disconnect as a result. Stay away from it because it's better to be safe than sorry.

    God Never Gives Us More Than We Can Handle

    A person who is grieving thinks, Oh yeah? How do you know? Oh yeah? You can say that with ease. Oh yeah? My son was unable to deal with his addiction, my daughter was unable to deal with her depression, and my husband was unable to deal with his cancer.

    Regarding the statement about God's will, please see the comments made above. Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals offers a full range of funeral services to help make this difficult time a little bit easier for you and your family. 

    Don't Cry or you Need to Be Strong Now.

    A person who is grieving may think, I can't stop. I have the urge to cry. I need to call. I am unable to have strength. You believe that I am a poor example of a mother, father, son, or daughter.

    Everyone expresses their sorrow uniquely; some people may find themselves in tears. A lot. There are some people who won't. There is no one way that is superior to another, and individuals who are grieving in any manner should feel as though they have the support necessary to call as frequently as they desire without fear of being judged for doing so.

    A lot of people are going to already be feeling a lot of anxiety about how to deal with the children in the right way. You do not need to make the situation worse by adding the pressure of stifling their feelings in any way.

    One more vital point to remember is that shedding tears in front of one's kids is not a sign of weakness. When it comes to when and how they should be allowed to grieve the loss, children will look to adults for guidance.

    Children can become confused and may feel as though they need to hide their own emotions if their parents do it.

    It Could Be Worse. I Know This Person Who .

    The mindset of a griever is I don't care! Why are you talking to me about someone else when I am currently experiencing the most excruciating pain imaginable?

    Comparisons are not appropriate at this time. Grief is subjective and can be excruciatingly painful for each individual.

    The fact that another person has it worse does not make the pain any less severe, nor does it lessen the sense of loss experienced by the person who is experiencing it.

    You Can Always Get Another Dog/cat.

    A person who is grieving might think, My cat is not expendable or replaceable.

    Do not underestimate pet loss. They cannot be replaced, and acquiring a new canine or feline companion will not alleviate the suffering caused by this loss. They could get another animal, but it's also possible that they won't. In either case, you should hold off until they make a decision.

    What to say instead: It's tough right now for you.

    Recognize that what they are going through right now is very painful, advises Soffer. Be there for them. Do not minimise their emotions; rather, give them the space to grieve in its entirety and without fear of being judged.

    What Not to Say: They're in a Better Place.

    During such a confusing and personal time, it is better to err on the side of caution rather than assume that the griever subscribes to a belief system that you yourself do not subscribe to. This phrase may also give the impression of downplaying the pain that he or she is experiencing at the present time. The fact that the person is still gone and not with them is the source of the difficulty associated with the loss.

    What Not to Say: Please Let Me Know If There's Anything I Can Do for You.

    Everyone reaching out with offers of support can be overwhelming. It also puts the responsibility on the bereaved to reach out for help. Let Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals help you select the type of funeral service that best fits your needs and your budget.

    What Not to Say: You Can Always…

    If someone loses a partner or a child, and you might tell them that he or she can always get remarried or have another child, thinking that you're helping them to see the silver lining.

    But to the bereaved, it can sound like you're suggesting a loved one is replaceable. This plays on one of the biggest fears: that they will somehow forget that person and that they'll not be as crucial in their future lives.

    What to Say Instead: Tell Me About Your Loved One.

    When one is dealing with the emotional anguish of loss in the here and now, it can be difficult to look forwards into a future that is full of unknowns. By posing questions that are more specific and maintaining an active listening stance, you can assist in bringing the focus back to the memories.

    What Not to Say: I Know How You Feel.

    Loss is a profoundly individual experience, despite the fact that it is inescapable for all people at some point in their lives. It is impossible to know exactly how another person is feeling when they have suffered a loss, and to pretend that you do can make you sound insensitive.

    What to Say Instead: I Can Imagine How You're Feeling.

    Instead of speaking for the other person, you should give them the opportunity to explain how they are feeling to you.

    What Not to Say: This All Happens Eventually

    It's true that death and loss are inevitable parts of life, but looking at it from this angle might make the experience of loss itself seem less significant in the here and now. This idiom is frequently used at times when people are grieving the loss of their parents.

    What to Say Instead: you Must Miss Them.

    It is likely that the pain stems from the loss of a loved one; rather than brushing it off as an unavoidable fact of life, consider putting your attention on the loss itself.

    What Not to Say: She Would Have Wanted It This Way

    There is no way to know what a person's final wishes would have been in the event that they did not make preparations for their own funeral.

    When speaking on behalf of the deceased, you run the risk of inciting fights between friends and family members who may not need to take place because they all have unique relationships with the deceased and unique perspectives on what the deceased would have considered to be appropriate.

    What to Say Instead: I'd Like to Honor Them This Way.

    Connect the memorials you've created to the knowledge base you already have. Utilize your recollections and the information you have acquired about the person, but recognise that it is more of a metaphor for the relationship the two of you had than for the person themselves.

    What Not to Say: You're Handling This Better Than I Expected.

    what not to say to someone who's grieving (3)

    It's possible that they're just putting on a happy face for you. It's possible that your shock will reinforce the idea that he or she shouldn't be going through the pain of losing a loved one.

    What to Say Instead: You Might Not Be Feeling Great, but That's OK.

    Allow the person to feel whatever it is that they want to feel; it is comforting to acknowledge that each moment is difficult without the loved one who has passed away, even if some time has passed since the death of the loved one.

    What Not to Say: Nothing at All.

    You'd be surprised how many people never reach out because they're very uncomfortable.

    What to Say Instead: Remember When?

    Even if you don't feel like you're part of the inner circle, it can be extremely comforting to a grieving person for you to share a memory of their deceased loved one. This is one of the most helpful things you can do for them. You are providing them with an insight into that individual that they would not have had the opportunity to obtain in any other way.

    It's possible that some of you disagree with the items on this list because you've overheard a grieving friend or family member express some of the sentiments included here.

    It's accurate! The expression he is in a better place now or at least she lived a long life is one that a lot of people who are grieving use.

    Take your cues from the person who has experienced the loss; it can be difficult at times to predict how someone will make sense of the loss or where they will find comfort.

    Arranging a funeral in Melbourne can be difficult. That's why Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals is here to help guide you through the process and make sure that the wishes of your loved one are fulfilled.

    Best & Worst Traits of People Just Trying to Help

    When we find ourselves in the position of wanting to comfort a friend or loved one who is going through a difficult time, our initial impulse is frequently to try to fix the situation. However, in all actuality, our well-intended actions can result in nothing but additional heartache for the bereaved person.

    The other half of the responsibility of being an emotionally supportive caregiver is knowing the appropriate things to say to the person you are supporting. We have compiled two lists, one of which examines the positive characteristics of people who are simply trying to help, and the other list examines the negative characteristics of these individuals.

    The Best Traits

    • In a supportive manner, but without offering any solutions,
    • Concerning emotions
    • inactive and not giving anyone instructions what to do
    • Even acknowledging that won't make it any better.
    • avoiding the request that something or someone alter your state of mind
    • Recognise loss
    • Not time-limited

    The Worst Traits

    • They want to make up for the defeat.
    • They are about the unease that we feel.
    • They are directive in nature and attempt to rationalise or explain the loss that has occurred.
    • It's possible that they're judgemental.
    • May reduce the amount of damage.
    • Put a timeline on loss

    Don't Block Your Painful Feelings.

    If you are the one who is going through the grieving process, you should know that there are things you can do to heal. One of them is giving yourself permission to talk about the painful feelings you're having.

    After allowing yourself to be overcome by your emotions, you should cry and scream (but not at other people! ), and then you should examine the thoughts that lie beneath the surface to determine whether or not they are accurate.

    When you try to push upsetting thoughts, feelings, and memories out of your mind, you set yourself up for more problems in the long run than solutions.

    A plethora of studies, one of which was published in the journal Behaviour Research and Therapy, have shown that avoidance raises the risk of a wide range of psychological problems, including but not limited to clinical depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorders, binge eating, chronic pain, and poor academic performance, amongst others.

    When you are feeling grief, it can be helpful to write down your feelings or find a friend or therapist to talk to about how you are feeling. This can help restore perspective, which is something that frequently disappears during times of intense emotion. Peter Tziotzis Orthodox Funerals will always manage to find creative ways to pull costs in line with your budget.

    Blocking your feelings leads to engaging in harmful behaviours to deal with the excess negative emotional energy.

     

    Scroll to Top