It is truly a difficult time for anyone who just lost a close person due to the pandemic. Grief is a natural response following such a loss. The bereaved battles with painful emotions like depression, anger, guilt, and intense sadness, so it’s essential that one chooses words that will not provoke but give a feeling of support, care, and consolation in order to cope with the pain.
Here are words to avoid saying to someone who’s grieving.
It’s part of God’s plan
This statement can lead to anger. Don’t be shocked when you receive a cryptic response saying, “What plan? Nobody told me about any plans.”
Be thankful and grateful for everything
The bereaved know they have to be thankful for many things but now is the wrong time to be reminded of being thankful.
He’s in a better place now
Such a revelation may do no good because of the sense of void created by the loss. In addition, the bereaved may or may not believe in this and it surely does not ease the pain.
Pull yourself together, it’s now in the past so get on with your life
Sometimes the bereaved don’t necessarily have to ‘move on’ because this may mean “forgetting” their loved one. Grieving is a necessary process to get over a loss. Some people don’t get over it. While people’s recovery rate may differ, moving on is easier said than done.
I know how you feel
It’s not possible to know exactly how the bereaved feel because the loss of a close person is a very personal experience. Saying it may make you sound like a liar.
You’re handling this better than I expected
This statement may evoke a sense of guilt in the bereaved because they may be struggling to put up a normal disposition and may relapse into a moody expression in order to keep up with a sad impression.
These are also no-nos. Avoid them:
You have an angel in Heaven. He/she is no longer suffering. You can find new love, have another baby. You don’t have to be sad; he/she is with God now. Everyone goes through this. Time heals all wounds. You’ll get over it.
What to say in order to show support for the bereaved
I wish I had the right words to say. Just know I care.
I am sorry you have to go through this. Let’s go have some coffee, or let me make you a cup of beverage.
I will keep you and your loved one in my thoughts and prayers. I am just a phone call away. I will be bringing dinner over. My condolences.
The bottom line is that it’s not easy comforting someone whose friend or family just died, but it’s important you acknowledge the loss as soon as possible. If you aren’t able to send a sympathy card, a quick phone call or an email is ok. Remember, a form of condolence showing genuine support and care will mean the world to the bereaved.