The Best and Worst Things to Say to A Grieving Person

Many people struggle with what to say or behave towards a grieving friend. In this state of confusion and lack of knowledge (perhaps you have never been in a similar situation before), you are likely to say something that you shouldn’t have.

Even though someone would tell you it is normal to have a slip of the tongue or be clueless in handling the situation, it would be best to avoid repeating the wrong words. Moreover, there are everyday things that people say that this guide will teach you to avoid in the coming times of helping a grieving friend.

Sounds like a formula? Well, not really, but just a guide to be cautious with your words. Besides, as we know it, grief is personal hence different reactions as explained in Do you have a grieving friend?

This is what you should or not say.

Best Things to Say to a Grieving Person

  1. I am deeply sorry for your loss.
  2. I lack the right words to say but always remember that I care. Reassurance of care and love from a friend in times of grief does wonders comforting them even when you have not so much to say.
  3. I can’t explain how you feel, but I am here to offer help in any way I can. It would be best to provide practical support to the family and close friends in times of grief, like organizing the best funeral arrangements with
  4. You and your loved ones will always be in my thoughts and prayers.
  5. My best memory of your loved one is (mention a happy or motivating memory to boost their spirits).
  6. Anytime you need me, you can reach me anytime as I am a phone call away. A grieving person could use a friend more than anything at such a painful time of their lives.  
  7. Give a hug rather than saying something. Sometimes, the best words are those unspoken but spoken with actions of love.
  8. We all need help in such times; I am always here for you.
  9. I am usually up early or late; don’t hesitate to let me know if you need anything.
  10. Saying nothing; stay with the person. Offering a shoulder to cry on and listening to a friend in grief will help air out the pain they feel.

The Worst Things to Say to a Grieving Person

  1. At least she lived a long life; a lot of people die young.
  2. He/she is in a better place. This is like showing the person was not happy being alive and with family and close friends.
  3. She/ he caused this to himself.
  4. Everything happens as it should. Even though death is natural, it would not help brush off the loss people feel at the moment of grief.
  5. How long will you need to forget, and he has been dead for long? People can grief for the longest time, and that’s okay.
  6. You can still have another child.
  7. She was such a good person; God had to take her to be with Him. This signifies that God does not want your happiness with the deceased one alive.
  8. I understand how you feel. Grief is personal; hence nobody can understand the depth of the other’s suffering.

Remember that words can heal or break; be careful with what you say at all times.


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