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Sunday, April 09, 2017

Best Ways to Comfort Grieving Friends and Family Members



 Good things to say and do to comfort grieving friends and family members.


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I love you.
Short, simple, profound. We can never say — or hear — it often enough.

I'm so sorry for your loss.
This is the heartbeat of sympathy: shared sorrow.

I'll be praying for you.

Here's something I really appreciated about your loved one.
If you have a brief story or memory to add to their collection, they'll be grateful to hear your words and will cherish them for years to come.

Show up. Be there. Visit.
At the viewing. At the funeral. At their door, if and when it's appropriate. Flowers are nice, but hugs are better.

Weep with those who weep {Romans 12:15}.
Not everyone has a ministry of tears, but if you do, bring tissues.

Listen.
Save your questions and suggestions for another time. Concentrate on making eye contact and nodding.

Provide food.
Bring a meal. Do their grocery shopping. When they're ready, take them to a restaurant. People in mourning may forget to eat. Help them remember.

Keep in touch.
Send a sympathy card or note a month later, when their mailbox is empty.
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Include them in your life.
Invite them over to watch a movie or play board games or bake cookies at your house. The less fuss, the better. Think family, not company.

The day will come when your friends will be ready to put aside their heartache and rejoin the land of the living. If you've walked that hard road with them, then you've lived out His truth: A friend loves at all times {Proverbs 17:17}.


Things not to say the next time you attend a funeral or send a sympathy card.


I know how you feel.
We have no idea how other people feel, especially when they're grieving. Even if you, too, have lost a loved one, resist the urge to mention it. Focus on their loss, not yours.

Everything happens for a reason.
This is absolutely true, but it's a reason the Lord alone knows. Don't go there. When the survivors are ready to see a bigger picture, He will show them.

It was his/her time.
Clearly so. No need to point it out.

At least you had ___ good years together.
A reminder of what they've lost does nothing to ease their pain.

You must be glad his/her suffering is over.
Maybe, but if they were praying for healing or recovery, this is not the outcome they were hoping for, and glad is the last thing they're feeling.

You're still young. You can remarry/have another child.
Most of us have never said this. But we might have thought it, and that's bad enough.

It's for the best.
For the deceased, maybe. But not for the people we're trying to comfort.

He/she is in a better place.
If the loved one was a child of God who stepped into the next world when he or she left this one, they assuredly are in a better place. But when we miss someone we love, we want them right here with us.

He/she looks so natural.
Compared to . . . ?

If there's anything I can do, just call.
This sounds caring and sincere, and no doubt is. But a grieving person often doesn't want to burden friends or ask for help. So, we need to call them, figure out what's needed, and make it happen.

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