I’ve seen so many examples of people who felt the need to say something to a grieving spouse, child, etc., that they wind up saying something that makes everyone who hears it cringe. There are some good examples of what not to say in the article below, but maybe this sentence is the best thing to remember:
“In the end, the best thing to say when you don’t know what to say is just that. “I don’t know what to say, but I’m here for you.” “
The friends who made the most significant difference for us during family losses were the ones who were there, either physically or emotionally, when they lived far away. The ones who checked in on us wanted us to talk to them about our loved ones, who asked about them and started those conversations. The ones who knew, either from their own experiences or instinctively, that they couldn’t fix our grief. But they could sit with us in it.
Those are the people I choose to remember from those times of grief. If you want to make a difference to someone grieving, remember that.