Last week we looked at what NOT to say to those who are mourning. Many of you commented and shared with me the need for knowing what to say.
I’ve notoriously avoided those who are mourning due to the fear of not only saying the wrong thing, but also being unsure of what exactly to say.
From notes I took during my class on death and dying and some of my own personal experience, I’ve put together a list of things that I’ve found to be helpful. Yes the list is shorter than what not to say, mostly because I’ve figured out more of what doesn’t help by saying the wrong things.
I welcome your own feedback and the things you would add to this list. Share them in the comments.
- I’m sorry for your loss.
- I’m sure this is a hard time for you.
- I don’t know what to say (cause, be honest, you don’t).
- I am here for you if you want to talk about this.
- Can I make you/your family some food? Can I watch your kids for a few hours?
- Share your own memories of the deceased. Ask them what theirs are.
- Can I come by at 10am on Wednesday?
- What are some of the memories of the deceased that have come to mind today?
- Use the name of the deceased when speaking of them.
- Nothing (sometimes saying nothing is saying everything).