● Don’t talk about how someone’s loss affects you (“I could never handle what you’re going through.”)
● Don’t talk about the “bright side” (“At least she didn’t suffer.”)
● Offering your beliefs about God and heaven to a nonreligious person who doesn’t share your beliefs can backfire.
● Don’t tell a grieving person how to feel; whatever they are feeling is okay and they have a right to their emotions.
What should you say instead? “I wish I had the right words;” “I know how much you loved her;” or, simply, “I’m so sorry” are appropriate. If you knew the person well, telling the mourner a story about their loved one can be a great gift—especially at a time when they thought there would be no more stories.
From the Glasers