I received a lot of response on Facebook for my open letter to Silent Grievers. This affirmed for me that so many people have been touched by some sort of loss associated with growing a family. Everyone knows someone who has experienced infertility, miscarriage, fetal demise, still birth, etc. So I thought with so many people effected and so few people discussing it, maybe it was time to talk about what to say and do for those grieving.
So, what do you do? NOTHING. Yes you read that right, you don’t have to do anything. Sometimes just being there, letting your loved one know you care, supporting them, and recognizing their loss is the biggest thing you can do. Of course you can still offer to bring a meal, or run an errand, but, sometimes doing nothing, is doing everything. A hug, a hand held, a look that says I recognize you are in pain and I empathize is the best gift a griever can receive.
Do we all know the difference between empathize and sympathize? Sympathy: “Empathy:”t
This brings me to the ever so helpful; top ten worst and best things to say to someone who is grieving. This is a list made by David Kessler, an author and leader in the bereavement community.
“The Worst Things to Say to Someone in Grief
- At least she lived a long life, many people die young.
- He is in a better place.
- She brought this on herself.
- There is a reason for everything.
- Aren’t you over him yet, he has been dead for awhile now.
- You can have another child still.
- She was such a good person God wanted her to be with him.
- I know how you feel.
- She did what she came here to do and it was her time to go.
- Be strong.
The Best Things to Say to Someone in Grief
- I am so sorry for your loss.
- I wish I had the right words, just know I care.
- I don’t know how you feel, but I am here to help in anyway I can.
- You and your loved one will be in my thoughts and prayers.
- My favorite memory of your loved one is….
- I am always just a phone call away.
- Give a hug instead of saying something.
- We all need help at times like this, I am here for you.
- I am usually up early or late, if you need anything.
- Saying nothing, just be with the person.”
So over all, these suggestions go for all grieving persons. What is unique to those Silent Grievers? Validation and affirmation. RECOGNIZE their grief. Don’t let them feel shame for grieving as much as they need for as long as they need. Let them know you know their grief is as real and important as any other grief. Show love it goes a long way.
For more information or support please contact me at www.melissafishergoldman.com