Friday, July 29, 2016

Death of a loved One - Top 10 worst things to say

Close friends of ours just recently had a child die unexpectedly. It was a shock to everyone. My friends had already been through so much, due to a previous late miscarriage and another close death in the family. I didn't know quite what to say to them except, "I am so sorry and I just want you to know that I love you."

Since we are in a GM1 Gangliosidosis Facebook group, we hear about deaths of other children more frequently now. It's always difficult to know what to say and how to help. I found this article posted on the facebook page of Tucson's Tu Nidito (No Child Grieves Alone).

I thought it was well said and had to share it.

Direct Link to the Article - written by Laurie Burrows who had recently lost her husband.

1. He’s in a better place. (A better place would be beside me now.)
2. Everything happens for a reason.
(There is no rhyme or reason for this kind of loss.)
3. Time heals all wounds.
(Time doesn’t heal all wounds, although healing takes time.)
4. Try not to cry. He wouldn’t want you to cry.
(He’d be bawling his eyes out.)
5. It is time to put this behind you.
(There is no timetable for grief.)
6. At least he lived a long life. If you think this is bad ...
(No comparisons, please.)
7. I know how you feel.
(Do we ever really know how someone feels?)
8. Let me tell you about my own loss, which is similar to yours.
(Please just listen and acknowledge my loss.)
9. Surely you’ll find someone.
(This diminishes the person’s loss and their loved one.)
10. You’ll get through it. Be strong.
(This tells people to hold on to their grief and not let it out.)
Now that we know what NOT to say to people who are grieving,
here is a list of thoughtful remarks that help those who want to know
the kindest thing to say in times of grief.
1. I am sorry for your loss is the tried and true easiest thing to say.
2. The best thing one can say is “I love you.”
Actually a hug is the very best thing, since one losing a spouse 
does not get hugs on a regular basis.
3. I wish I had the right words to comfort you. Just know that I care.
4. I don’t know how you feel, but I am available to help in any way I can.
5. I am always a phone call or email away.
6. It’s ok to cry and it’s ok to hurt.
7. My favorite memory of your loved one is...
8. Please let me know how I can help you.
9. How are you doing this minute?
10. Say nothing. Just be with the person.
"At some of the darkest moments in my life, some people I thought
of as friends deserted me - some because they cared about me
and it hurt them to see me in pain; others because I reminded them of
their own vulnerability, and it was more than they could handle. But
real friends overcame their discomfort and came to sit with me.
If they had not words to make me feel better, they sat in silence
(much better than saying, "You'll get over it," or "It's not so bad;
others have it worse") and I loved them for it."
 - Harold Kushner, Living a Life that Matters