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(What) To Say or Not To Say...That Is The Question...


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Some good reminders I found today:

Please don't ask me if I'm over it yet.

I'll never get over it.

Please don't tell me he's in a better place.

He's not here with me.

Please don't say he isn't suffering any more.

I haven't come to terms of why he had to suffer at all.

Please don't tell me you know how I feel

Unless you've lost someone in the same way.

Please don't ask me if I feel better.

Bereavement isn't a condition that clears up.

Please don't tell me at least you had him for so many years.

What year would you like your loved one to die?

Please don't tell me God never gives us more than we can bear.

Please just say you're sorry.

Please just say you remember my loved one if you do.

Please mention my loved one's name.

Please be patient with me when I am sad.

Please just let me cry.

Unknown Author

For those who know someone who had recently experienced a loss:

How to Help Grieving People- What You Can Say, What You Can Do

* Read about the various phases of grief so you can understand and help the bereaved to understand.

* All that is necessary is a hand squeeze, a kiss, a hug, your presence. If you want to say something, say "I'm sorry" or "I care."

* It is not necessary to ask questions about how the death happened. Let the bereaved tell you as much as they want when they are ready. A helpful question might be, "Would you like to talk about the death? I'll listen."

* Don't say, "I know just how you feel."

* The bereaved may ask "Why?" It is often a cry of pain rather than a question. It is not necessary to answer, but if you do, you may reply, "I don't know why. Maybe we'll never know."

* Don't use platitudes like "Life is for living," or "It's God's will." Explanations rarely console. It's better to say nothing.

* Recognize the bereaved may be angry. Encourage them to acknowledge their anger and to find ways of handling it.

* It is good to cry. Crying is a release. People should not say, "Don't cry."

* Be available to listen frequently. Most bereaved want to talk about the person who has died. Encourage them to talk about the deceased. Do not change the conversation or avoid mentioning the person's name. Talking about the pain slowly lessens its sting. Your concern and effort can make a big difference in helping someone recover from grief.

* Be patient. Don't say, "You'll get over it in time." Mourning may take a long time. They will never stop missing the person who has died, but time will soften the hurt. The bereaved need you to stand by them for as long as possible. Encourage them to be patient with themselves as there is no timetable for grieving.

* Offer to help with practical matters such as errands, fixing food, caring for children. Say, "I'm going to the store. Do you need bread, milk, etc.?" It is not helpful to say, "Call me if there is anything I can do."

* Accept whatever feelings are expressed. Do not say, "You shouldn't feel like that."

* The bereaved may appear to be getting worse. This is often due to the reality of death hitting them.

* Depression is often part of grief. It is a scary feeling. To be able to talk things over with an understanding friend or loved one is one factor that may help a person not to become severely depressed.

* Don't say, "It has been four months (six months, a year, etc.). You must be over it by now." Life will never be the same.

* Don't avoid the bereaved. It adds to their loss. As the widowed often say, "I not only lost my spouse, but my friend as well."

by the Funeral Consumers Alliance

Also see this web page:

What not to say to the sick and dying.....and grievers

And for those of us grieving over our furkids, please see these 2 wonderful web pages from Teresa Wagner's website:

Animals In Our Hearts - Comments From Grievers

Animals In Our Hearts - Practical Do's & Don'ts

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Hi Maylissa,

You're doing your homework and helping people here, too. You are a wonderful lady to share with everyone. Good thoughts, good words, and very good things to remember. Thank you.

Your friend, Karen :wub:;)

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Okay, here's the kind of thing I'd been looking for. While it's about child loss, the same thoughts can be applied to some other losses as well with just a small change in wording....and it's also more than applicable to animal companion loss as well....well, EXCEPT for her one remark that actually belittles animal loss as well (so is just as biased as any other):

It Cuts Like A Knife - responses to cliches

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You know, I'm a lucky person to not have had any of those things said to me. A lot of what I dealt with was no one saying anything, but I know they were uncomfortable and just trying to be nice. When I started talking about Jack, the fun and happy things, they were right there talking about the "silly" things he would do, and so forth. I am very lucky.

Your friend, Karen :wub:;)

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