What not to say to people who are grieving:

Well, at least she lived a long life … so many others die young.

I know how you feel (and then continue telling the person about a grief you had in the past)

Be strong

Aren’t you over him/her yet?

Only the good die young.

She was such a good person, God wanted her to be with him.

Everything happens for a reason.

I thought you would be more upset.

At least you have other children.

You’re looking so well …

She wouldn’t want you to be so sad.

Your grief is holding his or her spirit back – so you need to let go.

You’re still young – there’s time to meet someone else.

He/she is in a better place.

He/she brought this on him/herself.

Don’t let your children see you sad.

You need to put this behind you.

Ignore what has happened and not say anything.


Some ideas of what to say to someone grieving:

I am sorry for your loss.

I’m not sure what to say – just know I care.

My favourite memory of him/her is …

Just hug the person.

You’re looking well – but how are you feeling.

I am just a phone call away …

Would you like me to mow your lawn / take your dog for a walk etc (offering specific help, rather than just saying call me if you need me …)

It’s so hard to lose someone you love.

Just be with the person – sometimes there are no words to be said.