Have you ever been in a situation where you were out of sympathetic words to comfort someone who was grieving the loss of a loved one? It can be confusing and difficult to choose the right words in such situations. In this article, we will talk about the correct words of condolence to be used on the occasion of loss of someone’s loved one. This is absolutely one of the saddest times in someone’s life and it is normal for us to be dumbstruck at that moment. There are no best things to say to comfort someone during such distressing times but there are definitely some words and phrases that can be avoided. It’s the basic difference between toxic positivity and positive affirmation that will actually help them feel maybe a little better. As human beings, we need to process and understand the situation before we speak. Such scenarios are often astonishing and shocking because of which we feel at a loss of words. During such a period, the last thing we want to do is to say the wrong words to the person who is grieving.
So, here are some ways in which you can talk to the person who is suffering without creating the wrong impression:
Express care towards them
Tell them that you are sorry for their loss and your prayers and wishes will always be there with them. Express your remorse and how you feel for their loss. Tell them how you wish that you could take away their pain and that they will always remain in your thoughts. Pray for their comfort and ask if there is anything that you could do to make them feel better in order to ease their pain and extend a helping hand.
Share some good memories of their loved one:
Tell them that you miss them too and you had some great memories with them (if you did.) Just say some good things about their loved one and admit that you can’t make it any better. Try to talk in a positive yet empathetic manner. Tell them that you wish these memories can bring solace to them during this crucial period.
Ask them if they need any help:
You can ask the person if they need any sort of help while they are grieving. Convey to them that you would try your level best to be there for them during their healing journey as that is the only thing you can do at that moment. Usually, a person feels shy to ask for help hence, it is best to express that you care for them and that it will not be a burden for you to help them during that period of time.
Ask them if they need you to stay with them for some days:
When a person loses someone with whom they used to spend a lot of time, it’s hard for them to adjust alone. During such a period, the person feels empty and the situation can become psychologically challenging. So, you must ask them if they need you to stay with them and tell them that you are just a phone call away in case they need any help.
Some sentences that you should avoid:
Phrases like ‘They are in a better place now’, ‘There is a reason for everything’, ‘I know how you feel’, “You’ll eventually get over it”, “It’ll pass” should be avoided at all costs as they can be misinterpreted by the person who is grieving and don’t really help with the healing or grieving process. For example, saying ‘They are in a better place now’ can make the person feel as if their loved one was in a much worse state while they were alive.
We should choose our words carefully and be empathetic during such a situation. We should try to be supportive whilst not trying to fix it. There’s no fix for the death of a loved one. It leaves behind a void that cannot be filled merely with words. We must recognize the loss and choose our words wisely so that we can comfort the person rather than hurting them even more.
Suicide prevention helplines:
- Aasra (Mumbai) 022-27546669
- Sneha (Chennai) 044-24640050
- Sumaitri (Delhi) 011-23389090
- Cooj (Goa) 0832- 2252525
- Jeevan (Jamshedpur) 065-76453841
- Pratheeksha (Kochi) 048-42448830
- Maithri (Kochi) 0484-2540530
- Roshni (Hyderabad) 040-66202000
- Lifeline 033-64643267 (Kolkata)
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