A week ago, a family that we are friends with lost their son / grandson. I have been unable to say much of anything because I didn’t want to say or do anything that could be more of a blow to the untimely death of someone’s child. I personally have experienced the loss of a child that was yet to be born; however, I have never experienced the loss of a child that had been a part of my life for 21 years. I have wanted to reach out each and every day, but I have just prayed about what to do and what to say when the time is right. I know that when I lost my son in the womb at 16 weeks and 3 days, I had so many say things to me that were of good intentions, yet to me, it didn’t matter what anyone said. I lost my son, I lost hope for the future, and I lost a part of me that I would never get back. So for that, I have always chosen to think before I speak, to pray, and to ask for guidance on how and when to say anything, if to say anything at all.
It’s been just short of a week, and I ran across some advice and felt as if it was exactly what I had been praying about all week. It has helped me tremendously, so I’m sharing it with others to help them if they find themselves in the situation and need help with what to say and what not to say.
“The word translated as ‘tenderhearted’ comes from the original word eusplagchnos which means gut-level empathy and compassion. A gut-level compassion reaches into the core of our experience and personal pain. It invites understanding and helps us relate to another’s experience. That sort of tenderhearted empathy neither minimizes, disregards, or judges the grief with which someone is struggling.”
What Should We Never Say to Someone Who Is Grieving:
1. “God needed another angel.”
2. “The Lord never gives us more than we can handle.”
3. “I know how you feel.”
4. “Time heals all wounds.”
5. “At least they are not in pain anymore.”
Some Helpful Things Can We say to Someone Grieving:
1. “I’m here for you. Why don’t I _______.”
2. “It must be so hard to have lost ___________.”
3. “Do you want to talk about how you are feeling today?”
4. “I remember when we all….”
5. “I would love to know more about ____________.”
Some situations require wisdom and careful evaluation. We as people need to learn that we can do more damage with our tongue than good. Also, we as people need to learn how and when to address a situation, especially one that involves the death of a loved one. No matter how old or young the person is, grief is ageless and can be an everlasting impact on the person who is experiencing it.
Grief in itself is an individual emotion that each and every person experiences differently. No one’s grief is the same, and no one situation is the same. We all grieve differently and just showing love and compassion for the individual is really the most important thing you can give during their time. There is a time to be born and there is a time to die; however, some deaths are not all the same. Love is everlasting, and to show love for someone, even from a distance. is in some cases better than saying anything at all.