Best and Worst Things to Say to Someone in Grief

Hello Friends and Readers!  It’s good to be back on the website writing again.  Sorry for the delay in posting new posts recently – as many of you know I battle with chronic illness.  Some days I win the battle and some days it does.  And over the past week, I’m afraid it won more often than I did.  But I thank God for perseverance, and I am determined to win the war despite a few setbacks here and there!

I found a couple of good articles while continuing my research on grief and loss.  I’ll break them up into a couple of posts.  Today’s post is from from an article titled, “The 10 Best and 10 Worst Things to Say to Someone in Grief”.  I’m not certain of the original author, but it appears to be taken from a post from Sheryl Sandberg on Facebook, who works for Facebook administration.  I will present the lists in a moment.

Let me begin by saying that many of us have said “the Best” and the “the Worst” in responding to another’s loss.  I noticed that I have said a couple of phrases from the Worst list, and I can assure you there was never any harm intended and I was in fact responding in a way that I thought would be comforting.  Speaking for myself, I find that I am often at a loss for words to comfort another in their grief and loss — sometimes words are not enough and I find myself struggling to express what my heart feels for the grieving person and their loss.   So, please do not worry if you’ve said things from “the worst” list – this post is meant to bring information and an increased awareness of helpful things to say.  And any of us who have walked the journey of grief know that often words are not necessary at all, and sometimes all we need is someone to simply sit with us and be there for us.


The Best Things to Say to Someone in Grief

  1. I am so sorry for your loss.
  2. I wish I had the right words, just know I care.
  3. I don’t know how you feel, but I am here to help in any way I can.
  4. You and your loved one will be in my thoughts and prayers.
  5. My favorite memory of your loved one is….
  6. I am always just a phone call away.
  7. We all need help at times like this; I am here for you.
  8. I am usually up early (or late), if you need anything.
  9. [Unspoken] — Give a hug instead of saying something.
  10. [Unspoken] – Saying nothing, just be with the person.


The Worst Things to Say to Someone in Grief

  1. At least she/he lived a long life; many people die young.
  2. He/she is in a better place.
  3. He/she brought this on himself/herself.
  4. There is a reason for everything.
  5. Aren’t you over him/her yet? He/she has been dead for a while now.
  6. You can still have another child.
  7. He/she was such a good person that God wanted him/her to be with Him.
  8. I know how you feel.
  9. He/she did what he came here to do and it was his/her time to go.
  10. Be strong.


As I stated earlier, these lists are meant to be informative and to increase our awareness.  When I realized I had actually said a couple of the things from the worst list, I was at first a bit horrified.  But I know my heart well enough to know I would never say anything to intentionally hurt someone, or to be intentionally thoughtless.  But I can recall either thinking (or saying) about the loss of my own father, “He is in a better place now.”  My father had suffered a long battle, was in much pain, and even stated he felt ready to go because he was a believer who knew his destination was Heaven.  So, when he passed away, and I thought “he’s in a better place”, I believe that is true.  However, that thought did nothing to take away my grief over losing him and missing him every day.

I found the most helpful words were “I’m so sorry for your loss”, and “I will be praying for you and your family.”

How about you?  Are there things others said to you which were helpful in your grief journey? 

I would love to hear from you!  You can help me (and others) be more aware of the words we say to someone who is in grief.

Always feel free to leave a comment here, or write to me on the Weather Your Storm page on Facebook, or privately on Facebook or at .

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