When someone is suffering, What is the “right” thing to say? When someone is grieving an unimaginable loss, what are the right, polite, appropriate comments that work in this situation? Maybe, some say, it’s better to say nothing.
Maybe. But remember that “no words” is very different than “no show.” Whether you know what to say or not, showing up matters. First, show up.
Next, realize that you cannot possibly know how another person feels, so avoid saying you do.
After that, say what you feel. Put your pride aside and be vulnerable. After all, grief is a raw emotion. Be honest. Be raw. Be kind. Or be quiet and just listen.
Here are some of the beautiful, right words heard recently:
“He was a good man.”
“He was a generous man.”
“I knew him and I feel a great loss.”
“A fine send off.”
“In a few weeks, I will pick you up and we will come back to my house and drink tea all afternoon.”
That last one, that’s my favorite.