There are lots of words written about what NOT to say in response to grief but not enough about HOW to respond to grief. This is my experience about what could help when in grief. It specifically is my experience in relation to the death of my 3-day-old baby and the suicide of my mother, it may however also be the case for other people’s grief in different circumstances.
Inquire how I’m doing, what I’m feeling. Don’t tell me ‘it must be hard’ or ‘you must feel so awful’. Ask me, don’t tell me. Ask again tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. Be gentle when asking, it needn’t be an interrogation.
I’m So Sorry
This is the simplest and most appropriate sentence. It bridges any ‘I don’t know what to say’ moment, any awkward silence that you might be tempted to fill with a clichés. Don’t. Just say ‘I’m sorry for your loss’.
Show You Care
The little messages ‘I’m thinking of you’ on the anniversary of my daughter’s or my mother’s death mean a lot. It doesn’t even have to be on that day only. Tell me ‘I hear you’, ‘I’ve been thinking of you’ or ‘I read your blog’. Just recently I received a touching message from someone I don’t even know telling me how much my blog touched her. She was a 38-year-old identical twin who had lost her twin sister when she was 10 days old. I never knew who my writings touch if she didn’t tell me.
Continue To Interact [Read more…] about Responding To Grief