POINTS TO PONDER
Comments of comfort should not be geared to “fix” the problem of grief for the bereaved.
Grief is the acknowledgement of loss emotionally. It is mostly a heart problem, not a mind challenge.
Mourners are sensitive to unsupportive comments that seem to minimize their grief.
Avoiding grievers socially, or avoiding the topic of their loss, stifles their grieving process.
Words of comfort need to revolve around the feelings of the bereaved, not the discomfort of the supporter.
The grieving are not looking for logic statements of being told what to do. What they need is a listening ear.
Comfort for the grieving needs to be more directed to their pain than the one they have lost.
Theological lectures are seldom of much relief for the pain of new grief.
Comments that imply a judgmental nature are of no comfort to the bereaved.
Beware of time in words of comfort. Avoid time limits and be sensitive to timing for comments.
Sympathy for the griever by recognizing their present pain has more value than attempts to empathize by comparing to your past losses.
Knowing the right thing to say is only half of the responsibility of being a supportive emotional care giver. The other half revolves around the doing.