Do NOT Say These to a Bereaved Parent–or Any Other Mourner

Grieving the death of a loved one defies description. It hurts, disrupts, distracts, eviscerates, overturns, and shatters. When the Reaper removes a dear one from your friend’s life, that life is forever changed–and so is your friend.

Even others who’ve experienced a loss of similar devastation can imagine only a fraction of what your bereaved friend now faces. Every relationship between souls is unique, as is each loss.

Some principles, however, apply to comforting the bereaved in almost all situations. The link below is to a post called 6 Things Never to Say to a Bereaved Parent.” The writer, Angela Miller, tells exactly how some of the most commonly used but least helpful platitudes come across to mourning souls. Regardless of the kind of loss your friend has experienced, please read her article for helpful insights into what NOT to say.

(I’m summarizing her main points below, but please, please see her article in full!)

  1. Do NOT say “Time heals all wounds.”
  2. Do NOT say “Let go … Move on.”
  3. Do NOT say “Have faith.”
  4. Do NOT say “Everything happens for a reason.”
  5. Do NOT say “At least…”
  6. Do NOT say “Be thankful.”

I’ve not experienced the death of a child, so I don’t claim to know that pain. I do know that in each of the losses of my own life, the sentiments Ms. Miller describes are similar to what I felt and to what friends have expressed their feelings to be. (Please, please read her full article.)

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