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8 inappropriate things you should avoid telling a berevied person



During such a sensitive time, it’s essential to offer comfort and support to grieving families.

However, sometimes well-meaning individuals may inadvertently say things that can be hurtful or insensitive.

To help you navigate this delicate situation with compassion and empathy, here are ten things you should never say to a bereaved family:

While you may have experienced loss yourself, every individual’s grief is unique. Avoid assuming that you understand their pain entirely, as this can minimize their emotions and invalidate their experience.

While some find solace in their faith during times of grief, attributing the loss to a divine plan may not offer comfort to everyone. Instead, focus on offering your presence and support without imposing religious beliefs.

While intended to provide reassurance, this phrase can come across as dismissive of the bereaved family’s pain. Instead, acknowledge their loss and offer your condolences without attempting to rationalize it.

Grief has no timeline, and everyone processes loss at their own pace. Avoid placing expectations on the bereaved to “move on” or “get over” their loss. Instead, offer your ongoing support and understanding.

Regardless of the age of the deceased, the loss is still significant to their loved ones. Avoid minimizing the grief by comparing it to the length of the deceased’s life.

While meant as a compliment, this statement can pressure the bereaved to suppress their emotions and appear strong for others. Instead, validate their feelings and offer a listening ear without judgment.

While time may lessen the intensity of grief, the pain of loss can endure for years. Avoid implying that the bereaved should expect to ‘get over’ their loss entirely with time.

While well-intentioned, this vague offer of support may not be helpful to grieving families who may not know what they need or feel hesitant to ask for help. Instead, offer specific ways you can assist, such as bringing meals, running errands, or providing emotional support through listening.

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