Change doesn't even have to be a death loss or illness but can also just be a change of job, moving, divorce, etc. These are all unexpectedly hard events. I'd like to share a video from our Speaker Series last year where we discussed the way to support our friends and community during hard times.
Living Losses: Coping When Life Changes Unexpectedly!
In addition to that, I just wanted to share some commonly agreed upon words of comfort versus some common words shared that may not help as much as we intend.
- "Thanks for opening up to me."
- "Is there anything I can do to help?"
- "How can I help?"
- "Thanks for sharing."
- "I'm sorry to hear that. It must be tough."
- "I'm here for you when you need me."
- "I don't know what to say but I'm going to be here for you."
- "Oh man, that sucks."
- "How are you feeling today?"
- "I love you."
- “Anything you want to talk about, I’m here to listen.”
- “Would you like have dinner together?”
Remember that people who are grieving are adjusting to their new normal. They need to establish new routines. It usually takes at least a couple of years to build a new routine.
- “Be strong.”
- “Don’t cry. Your loved one wouldn’t want you to be sad.”
- “Time heals all wounds.”
- “It happened for the best.”
- “Your loved one is no longer in pain.”
- "It could be worse."
- "Just deal with it."
- "Snap out of it."
- "Everyone feels that way sometimes."
- "You may have brought this on yourself."
- "We've all been there."
- "You've got to pull yourself together."
- “I know how you feel.”
- “These things happen”
- “Why are you acting weird?”
While we are probably saying these things from a place of love they can often come across as invalidating of the person's experience. Most often someone just wants to know they are not alone with their pain and that someone can sit with them in the hard times without trying to "fix them" or shutting down conversations with platitudes.
And remember, when you can't find the words, a hug, comforting hand on the back can speak volumes. Let's continue to take care of each other, Eanes.
Stay Healthy, Chaps!