Get to the Point and Don’t Make General Platitudes

Posted by on Jun 15, 2014 in Blog, Comfort, Grief Relief, Grieving, Loss

General Statements don't help.  Be Specific.

General Statements don’t help. Be Specific.

Get to the point.   This is good advice for people who wish to really be of practical help to a friend or relative who has experienced a recent loss.  It is very easy and tempting to make general statements like; “If there is anything I can do to help…” or “Let me know what I can do.”

As clear as these may seem to you, it can sound more like “la la land” to the griever.  Grieving takes a lot of emotional and mental energy.  Often simple “yes” and “no” questions are all one can process with any level of definitiveness.  Future planning skills get really hampered in the minds of the bereaved.  For example, thinking about needing groceries next week won’t be on their radar as a need till the minute one runs out of milk.

If you are really serious about helping your friend or relative in some physical way, specific questions are better.  “Can I come over on Tuesday and help you get your housework caught up?”  “I do grocery shopping on Saturday, can I call you then to see what you may need from the store?”  “Is it okay if I call you Thursday evening between 8:00 and 10:00 pm to chat?”

Thanks for your concern for your friends and relatives who find themselves in a grief-stricken situation.


Thinking clearly now,

David Knapp

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