What You Say To Someone Who’s Grieving Vs. What They Hear

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“This too shall pass.”

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1. What they say:

What they say:

What you hear:

What you hear:

When people say you need to move on, you can sometimes think, That’s easy for you to say. This isn’t your loss. Putting a timeline on grief is nearly impossible and unnecessary.

2. What they say:

What they say:

What you hear:

What you hear:

Someone who is grieving does not want to think about future spouses, or friends, etc., because that means thinking of a future that no longer includes their loved one.

3. What they say:

What they say:

What you hear:

What you hear:

You know in your heart there is no better place for your loved one than with you.

4. What they say:

What they say:

What you hear:

What you hear:

Losing a loved one is a HUGE part of someone’s life, and avoiding the subject will only make it worse. It’s OK to talk about it, and it’s OK to break down over it. It’s all part of the process.

5. What they say:

What they say:

What you hear:

What you hear:

Although this is meant to be comforting, every experience of loss is different, so no one truly knows how you feel.

6. What they say:

What they say:

What you hear:

What you hear:

Although we know no one would say this in a malicious way, it can come off as one of the worst things you could possibly say. While we’re glad you are appreciating your loved ones a little extra now, we just wish we still had our loved ones to appreciate.

7. What they say:

What they say:

What you hear:

What you hear:

In the aftermath of a loss, chances are we’re doing the best we can just to get out of bed most days, so hearing that we should be able to handle this with no problem will only make us feel like we’re handling it wrong.

8. What they say:

What they say:

What you hear:

What you hear:

No matter the situation surrounding a loss, knowing your loved one is no longer in pain is a very small comfort in a time of grief.

9. What they say:

What they say:

What you hear:

What you hear:

Evoking God and religion is a great comfort to many, but not all. Sometimes, even those who are deeply religious will feel anger toward God in the aftermath of a loss, and not want to hear it. NO reason is a good enough reason for your loved one to no longer be around.

10. What they say:

What they say:

What you hear:

What you hear:

If you want to help someone who is grieving, try doing something for them unprompted — like bringing over food, picking up their home, or taking their dog for a walk. It will mean a great deal.

11. What they say:

What they say:

What you hear:

What you hear:

Chances are, if you’ve lost a loved one, you’re already feeling guilt in some form. Letting someone know that their loved one wouldn’t want them to feel exactly what they are feeling could only make it worse.

12. What they say:

What they say:

What you hear:

What you hear:

Loss is a part of life, but not all losses are part of all lives. If you’ve lost a child, for example, hearing that what you’re experiencing is a “part of life” is especially upsetting.

13. What they say:

What they say:

What you hear:

What you hear:

Allowing yourself to feel emotion is strong.

14. What they say:

What they say:

What you hear:

What you hear:

Being told that you won’t always hurt so much for your loved one isn’t necessarily a comfort. You don’t want to hear you will move past them, even if you will.

15. What they say:

What they say:

What you hear:

What you hear:

You are, of course, thankful for the time you had with them, but you should be allowed to grieve for the time you’re going to miss — especially when so many others have time left with their loved ones.

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