What Not to Say

When it comes to losing a loved one, we want to be there for others. We want to offer them words of comfort to make trying times easier. What happens when we say the wrong kind words? Even when the words come from the heart they can be the wrong things to say. That’s because things have different meanings depending on perspective. The kindest words from one side of the coin can be different on the other side. When comforting someone in mourning, consider avoiding these words.


They Are In A Better Place: How many times have you heard this cliche’? For one it assumes their religious or spiritual beliefs. It also feels like it undermines the pain of the loss. We are not distraught that someone has gone to a better place. We are upset because they are not here with us. Remember to avoid any other form as well.


I Know How You Feel: We want them to know another has gone through their griefing as well. Only no one has gone through their griefing. Griefing can be universal yet each instance is different. It’s easy for “I know how you feel” to strike the wrong way. Especially when the person in mourning is hurting and confused from the lost. Instead of stating you know how they feel, find a way for them to open up about how they feel.


If You Need Anything…: It’s common to tell people they can call on you for anything. It’s not a bad thing to say. It’s more, not the best thing to say. Instead of saying ”If you need anything…” direct what you will do. For example “I can take the kids to school for you for the next couple of weeks”. Some people don’t like to ask for help. So they might need help but won’t take you up on your offer. They might also not know what help they need while lost in the grieving process. Directing how you can help makes the process easier.


They Would Have Wanted It This Way: You Might be right, but did the family they left behind want it this way? Do they agree with you? These assumptions can lead to quarrels between friends and family. When going through grieving you need to come together. Avoid things that will pull people apart. Instead, talk about how you would like to honor their memory.


They Wouldn’t Want You To Be Sad: Another cliche’ is saying the dearly departed wouldn’t want you to mourn. They are right of course, but that doesn’t make it easier. We have to grieve. The sadness is a stage of coping. Don’t make people feel they are doing wrong because they miss someone. They are only human and need to get emotional now and then.


Silence: Some people don’t say anything in these times. They don’t know what to say or if they should say anything. People need to know you are there for them. Even if it feels awkward to, give it a try. Give them a platform to express their feelings to someone. Being silent can lead to resentment later. When they needed you they couldn’t find you.


The most important part is to make sure they know it’s okay. That they are okay. They might try to hide these feelings of grieve. Let them have an audience to discuss their feelings with. Even if it is just one person listening. It can make all the difference to them. While you handle that, we will handle the rest. Dale Woodward has helped families lay their loved ones to rest for years. Contact us for your Ormond Beach Funeral Home needs.

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