What NOT to Do in Supporting a Friend/Family Member

These things are particularly difficult to hear when in very fresh grief. Please avoid these.

"At least..."

Do not start any sentence with “At least…” This belittles the grief and makes the person feel worse.

Do not put a timetable on grief, saying they need to “move on.” Grief comes in waves. Some days they might feel better, then the grief will come on again at a later time.

"Move on"

"At least you have other children"

"You can have another”

Do not say “At least you have other children.” or “You can have another.” Each child is a special gift from God. Saying these things belittles the worth of the child that passed. They were a special child to this family and should be treated as such.

Do not try to help them see the “silver lining.” It is not as helpful as you think.Everyone wants the grieving person to feel better, but there is no way to jump over the messy, sad, hard part of grief. It’s unhealthy to do so. It’s much more healthy to be with them as they walk through their grief. 

"Silver Lining"