We read so many articles that begin with “What you SHOULDN’T say to…..” and I have actually written one before. I have since realized this is never as helpful as just stating what we SHOULD be saying to people. Since I lost my Momma 1.5 years ago, I’ve learned several statements/questions that helped me during the most intense painful moments. I just want you to know that if you’re in this section of my blog, I’m assuming you’ve either lost someone dear to you or your friend has. For this, I’m deeply sorry and I grieve with you. I know the sorrow, the pain, the dark clouds, the questions, and the shock. Feel free to email me ANYTIME as I’d love to pray for you and support you. With that, here are 10 very helpful, loving things you can say to your grieving friend: (these cards below are FREE to print….then you can send them. They print to 5 x 7 size): CLICK HERE TO PRINT
- “I hurt for you.” This lets your friend know that when they are hurting, you are hurting. The Bible tells us to mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who rejoice. Jesus cried when Lazarus died and HE KNEW He’d raise Lazarus again. He’s showing us the importance of sharing in one another’s grief and pain.
- “Tell me more about him/her.” This statement gives your friend permission to keep talking about their lost loved one, even if it makes things awkward between the two of you. It lets your friend know you are genuinely interested in their life.
- “When was his/her birthday?” By saying this, you are telling your friend that you realize there will be hard days ahead. You are acknowledging the lost person’s birthday will feel difficult for your friend (maybe send a card on this day).
- “I want to drop off dinner at your house. When may I do that?” Don’t make the mistake of saying “What can I do for you?” The grieving person can’t answer that. It puts too much pressure on your friend during an already difficult time. But this statement/question is a lot easier to answer. Only ask very simple questions of your friend right now. They can barely shower, let alone form coherent thoughts.
- “When may I watch your children for you?” Asking this question alleviate the need for your friend to ask for help. There will be days when your friend need to grieve alone and sometimes having children in the house makes it very difficult to process these hard emotions.
- “May I come over and just sit with you?” Be prepared for your grieving friend to say “no,” but understand they LOVE being asked. This question helps your friend feel heard and wanted. It’s hard hanging out with friends who are sad or depressed but remember this about them and not ourselves.
- “What dates are special to you because of them?” Try to write these dates down and send a card on these days. I can’t tell you how much it’ll be appreciated that you remembered to acknowledge these days and offer some support.
- “I am praying for you!” An even better thing to say is how specifically you are praying for your friend. Write out a prayer and give it to them. Let them know that they are at the forefront of your heart/mind.
- “I have not forgotten you.” About 6 months after the funeral is usually when the cards/calls stop. It’s an awfully lonely time during grief when the waves of pain are still monumental and those of us hurting feel forgotten. This statement goes a long way to relieve that feeling of loneliness.
- “Would you like to go out for coffee or the movies or for pedicures?” Again, be prepared for your friend to say “no” as going out in public may be too painful but KEEP ASKING! At some point, they’ll be ready and they’ll be so happy you asked.
Those of us who have experienced great loss just want to know that we are loved, that are pain is seen/heard, and that we aren’t forgotten. We want our friends CLOSE to us during this time, but we often aren’t sure HOW to go about that. We may distance ourselves from you, but PLEASE don’t give up on us. We are in so much pain, we can’t see past our noses. In time, the intensity of that pain will somewhat lessen (but never go away) and we’ll be more engaging. Just be patient with us as this experience will deepen our friendship with one another….which is exactly what Jesus would see happen in our relationships.
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