I have experienced a lot of death this year. Some loved ones have died suddenly and others have died after a prolonged illness. Ugh. Sorrow, confusion, apprehension, desolation…just a few of the many feelings that come with heartache and mourning.
It occurred to me that – just as when illness strikes like cancer – many people don’t know what to say or do when someone dies. So, after having experiencing the death of friends and family, I’ve researched a few recommendations from therapists who specialize in grief for what to do for and say to someone who has experienced death. I hope that this helps, if even just a wee bit.
What To Do And Say
- Reassure the person that you will be there. “I’m here now and will be here for you.”
- “How are you doing today?”
- Say nothing. Just be with the person.
- Don’t try to fix things. “You don’t have to be strong now.”
- Be specific about what you will do and say. “I will bring your favorite latte by at 10:00 a.m.
- Remember the person who has died. My favorite memory of __________ is ____________.
- Be supportive. “Tell me what I can do for you.”
What Not To Say
- It was God’s will.
- It was for the best.
- Look on the bright side.
- He’s in a better place.
- Call me if you need anything.
- I’ve had it worse.
- She’s in a better place.