6 Horrific things to say to someone who is mourning

Ok, well not that horrific, but there are really things one does not want to hear when mourning. When tragedy strikes and one is suddenly faced with the loss of someone there are always other people involved. Well, life in general involves other people right? So unless you are a hermit, you are pretty much going to face having to deal with other people while dealing with your own personal grief and loss. However well-meaning most of them are, people who have not gone through loss themselves, and even some who have don’t quite know how to deal with someone who is going through the throws of it. I might be a bit judgemental here – there are of course exceptions to the rule.

Well meaning nothings get whispered, some better, some worse… as people we are just awkward aren’t we? Here are a couple of those well-meaning sayings that I have gotten to hear and observe over the last months. Note – this is purely of my own experience! 🙂

It will get better

Well duh! My brain sure knows that, but right now, with the world feeling as if it is falling apart this is enough to make me cringe and walk away. If you can’t think of anything better to say rather stay quiet and just give the person a big hug.

Time heals all wounds

This is absolute bollocks and only comes from those who really have not experienced loss. Newsflash – time does not heal wounds – it makes it a bit more bearable to carry because well, we get used to it. But the wound never goes away, waiting for the next Birthday, Christmas, anniversary or wedding to squeeze your heart and make you feel as if breath has left your body for the day.

That is life

Another eye rolling moment… Of course it is life. We should all be used by now to death and loss. We see it every day in television, in the movies and perhaps even know someone who has experienced loss personally. However you never know how much it hurts until it really hits you, until that moment it is all a story that you watch from the outside – observing others going through the pain they carry. You feel a little, you sympathise, but the closer the person is you lose, the more intense you are going to get hit by the reality of it.

Be grateful for what you have

I really do not understand this one! Being grateful for what I have does not mean that I can’t miss the person I have lost, or mourn them for that matter, or be emotional about it! It reduces the experience of losing someone special to losing a thing instead of a living breathing person that is there to pick up the phone when you call… Trust me, as much as you stare at your phone – they will never pick up the phone again, and your last WhatsApp always stares at you in silence.

Of course I am grateful, I am grateful to have known this amazing person that has had such an amazing impact in my life, but I will miss them something terrible. That for me is an act of grace and gratefulness in itself..

They are in a better place

Perhaps very well-meaning and perhaps even true if the person suffered through the last couple of months and life. But trust me, this is not something a grieving person really wants to hear, because in that moment the feeling of loss is so intense, so selfish (Yes, let’s be honest, its selfish) that all you wish for is the person to walk through the door again.


Maybe you should go see a Psychiatrist to help you cope

This one really floored me. It took me a whole day to get over the insensitivity of this statement. Yes – maybe we should all just take a happy pill and all the worlds problems will disappear and we will be less depressed and more able to act like the robots we are supposed to be. Mourning and grieving the loss of someone special in your life does not mean you need to go see a psychiatrist and get pills to help you ‘get over it’. Because you do not ‘get over it’ by taking pills – it is a process. Nonetheless this has nothing to do with the process of grieving – and if you feel this statement coming over your lips – Shut it!

So this is my list of horrific things one hears when grieving. Mourning the loss of someone is a difficult process, and through the grace of God we get through each day – taking one step at a time, one day at a time. Some good some bad.

My friends, when you are trying to comfort someone who has lost someone just be there. When my mom passed away a friend of mine came over with a box of tissues and Kinder Chocolate. She just sat with me, that was it. She was just there and for that I was most grateful to her.