Choose your words wisely
Attending a funeral is a wonderful way of showing one’s support to the bereaved and paying respects to the deceased person.
However, one’s words of condolences could be very hurtful if you don’t choose them carefully.
Here are five common expressions you should never say to someone grieving the death of a loved one:
• ‘I know how you feel’. No, you don’t. Even if you’ve lost someone in a similar manner, each one of us experiences grief in a unique way. Rather tell them how you felt when you lost your loved one, or simply say, ‘I don’t know what to say, but please know that I’m sorry.’
• ‘He’s in a better place now’. For the person struggling with grief, the best place for their deceased loved ones is right by their side and among the living. Rather share your favourite memory of the person.
• ‘Don’t take it so hard’ or ‘You must be strong’. It is condescending to tell someone how to handle a person’s death. Telling a mourner he or she should not express feelings naturally can seriously interfere with a person’s normal grief process. Instead, give a loving hug, hold their hand and share some tears.
• ‘It’s probably for the best’. What an awful thing to say to someone who is dealing with the loss of a loved one. No matter the circumstances leading up to the death, be sensitive and empathetic. Rather say something like ‘He/she will be missed’.