At some point in our lives we are either going to be grieving or encounter someone who is grieving. Whether we like it or not, it’s inevitable. One of the saddest things about grieving, aside from the obvious, is often we don’t know what to say or how to say it. Foot in mouth disease runs rapid when someone is grieving.
Have you ever been in a situation where someone you know is grieving the death of a family member and you just didn’t know what to say and ended up saying the most insensitive thing ever? I truly believe that has happened to each and every one of us at some point in our lives. You really just don’t know what to say and the wrong thing comes out.
Let me try to prevent that from ever happening to you again by shedding some light on the things someone who is grieving really doesn’t want to hear. Below are 8 of the things that are absolute no no’s. Some things are more insensitive than others depending on whether or not the grieving person lost a loved one due to sickness, ill health or a tragedy.
1. It’s going to be ok.
Topping the list is this one that everyone seem s to wants to express in hopes that there is some small comfort in it. They know it’s going to be ok. Of course it will be. It’s just not ok right now and they don’t want to think about tomorrow. They want to embrace their grief and loss today.
2. God has other plans for her/him.
Really? For some of the bereaved this makes absolutely no sense and they don’t care what God’s plans were. To them, it’s simply unfair. Maybe God did have plans for them but so did the bereaved, like to spend more time with them, alive. Don’t tell them God has plans. There is no God in their eyes right now and they are really mad at Him.
3. I know exactly how you feel.
No you don’t and stop saying that. You have no idea how I feel or what level of pain I am experiencing. How are you supposed to know how I feel? Are you psychic? I get that you lost a loved one the same way I did. What you don’t get is my love for my loved one is much different than yours was.
4. Time will heal your wounds.
According to who? You? Time will not heal their wounds. All it will do is lessen the pain, maybe, somewhat over time. It will never heal. Clearly you have never lost anyone like this before. They don’t care about time healing, they don’t believe it is possible and no one knows this to be true anyway.
5. At least they lived a good long life.
And? They already know that, and they also know as we get older, death is inevitable. It still doesn’t make it any easier or better. It still hurts. Understand that no matter how old our loved one is when they die, it is still going to cause a great deal of pain, loss and suffering to family. Old age doesn’t make it more bearable.
6. Be strong.
For who? Why? Why can’t they just be weak right now? Let them mourn. If they want to break down totally and completely and scream and yell and cry, then let them do that. They don’t want to be strong right now, in fact, that’s the farthest on their mind. They are in the middle of a crisis and want someone else to be strong for them.
7. It’s been awhile, aren’t you over it yet?
Over it? A while? Is there an expiry date on grief? Is there a time frame that is allowed and then once that time is up it’s time to get over it and move on? Some people will grieve for the rest of their life, depending on what family member or friend they just lost. There is no time frame. There is no getting over it.
8. They are in a better place now.
A better place? Which place is that? How do you know they weren’t happy in this place here, on earth? Surrounded by their loved ones all the time. We don’t know if they are in a better place but we do know that we are sad they are not in this place with us any more.
Hopefully this list will help you in the future next time you encounter someone who is grieving. Are there other things bereaved people don’t want to hear? Add to the list to let the other readers know.