If you find yourself in a situation where you’re having to console someone, you might not find it entirely natural to do.
You don’t want to risk saying something and have them take it the wrong way, but you also feel as if not saying anything at all is worse.
How do you find the balance between saying what needs to be heard and what your grieving friend or family member wants to hear? What can you say to help comfort them?
Here’s how to comfort someone and what to say to those that are experiencing a great deal of sorrow. Consider all of these statements and choose the one you feel will work best.
1. “If You Need Anything, Please Call Me!”
As you start to find the right words to say to your loved one that’s grieving, you might find that there aren’t any words that are currently appropriate.
Depending on how their loved one passed away, there might not be any words that will comfort them in their current state of shock.
If that’s the case, then the only thing you can do is let them know that you’re always an open ear. This lets them know that you’re willing to talk, but also understanding that they’ll need some time and space before they’re willing to do so.
This is one of the best things that you can tell them at a funeral or wake. Be sure to read more about proper etiquette to both before attending.
2. “I’ll Be Sure to Stop by Next Week.”
One of the biggest struggles that your friend or family member might face is the feeling of being alone now that their spouse or a close relative has passed away.
If the deceased person was living with them before dying, then you need to consider their comfort during this transition. Let them know that you plan to give them their space, while also setting the expectation that you’ll be stopping by next week.
Try to liven their spirits even more by bringing over lunch from their favorite spot or something homemade to show the amount of effort and care you’re putting into this. While you’re at it, try to get other relatives and friends of theirs together to create a support system. Communicate with each other to make sure your loved one is getting plenty of visitors.
3. “Do You Remember the Time…”
The person (or people) that’s grieving won’t want you to come in telling a bunch of jokes to try and make them smile.
The only thing that they want to focus on in the present moment is the loved one that they’ve lost. Because of that, you’ll have to find a way of making them smile or laugh through the person they’ve lost. The best way to do that is by telling one of your favorite stories about their loved one, assuming you had encounters with them.
Try to only use stories that are either funny or pleasant to think about. Don’t feel as if you’ve done something wrong if they start to cry after your story. That shows that your story carried volume, and they’ll appreciate the sentiment.
4. “I’m Here to Talk With You for the Long Haul.”
One of the most devastating portions of the grieving process is that your loved one doesn’t know when the pain will stop.
Everyone at the funeral or wake will say their condolences or buy them flowers for their current pain, but what about several weeks or months from now? Can they trust anyone to be with them then?
As a dear friend, it’s your job to let them know that you aren’t going anywhere. You’ll be willing to hear them out and talk them through everything.
More importantly, you won’t waiver on your support for them or how long it takes for them to grieve. Stating that support early on is important.
5. “Words Aren’t Enough, Just Know That I Care”
Sometimes the best thing that you can do is to acknowledge the fact that nothing you can say will be enough.
There aren’t any words that will suddenly make them feel better about the loved one that they’ve lost. For that reason, you should simply state that your words wouldn’t measure up and that you just want them to know that you love them.
6. “I Don’t Know What You’re Going Through, But I’m Always Willing to Help”
If you’ve never experienced the magnitude of loss that your friend is experiencing, be honest about that.
However, that statement should always be followed up by the fact that you’re willing to help them however you can. You might be able to help them work things out down the line, so let them know that you’re ready to help them whenever they’re ready.
7. Don’t Say Anything, Just Embrace Them
Often times the best thing to say is to say nothing at all. Words might only make the matter worse.
Instead, you can physically show them the support you have for them by standing by their side. You can also hug them, rub their back, wrap your arm around their shoulder, or any other method of embrace that you two are familiar with.
How to Comfort Someone and Show That You Care
The most important factor in how to comfort someone is merely showing them that you’re there for them. Be sure to consider the situation that they’re in and let them know you’ll be there for them whenever you can be.
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