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The Transition House, Inc.

How to show support to someone who has lost a loved one


Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult things we experience in life. Grief is a journey not everyone understands or has experienced. The best of intentions can backfire when giving condolences to a person who has recently lost someone they love. Loss is something that is tricky to navigate, so we’ve put together a list of helpful and safe phrases that you can offer to someone who has lost a loved one...

“I’m here if you need to talk” or “Tell me about your loved one”

Probably one of the most common condolences someone can offer is, “How are you doing?” Although it may seem like a safe bet, this can come off as a loaded question. It’s obvious that this is probably one of the hardest times in someone's life and they are most certainly not feeling okay. Instead of pressuring someone to share their feelings with you, tell them you’re there if they ever want to talk about their loved one. Knowing they have someone to confide in is priceless.

“I can’t imagine how you’re feeling. Know that I’m thinking of you”

Grief is different for everyone. Even though you might have also lost a loved one, never say to someone that you know exactly how they are feeling. Most likely, you don’t. Circumstances are different with each loss. Steer clear of phrase that insinuate you know how exactly how someone feels. Offer your empathy to them instead. Though you can’t imagine how they’re feeling, you can try.

Just be there

Sometimes the best thing you can say to someone who’s grieving is nothing at all. Just being there physically with them during some of the very difficult times ahead can mean so much more than words can express. Hold their hands, give them a hug. Help them take care of themselves, too. A hot meal or an errand run can go a long way.

In the end, it’s important to remember to be respectful and polite. Your actions and words can help play a role in making someone who is grieving even the slightest bit happier in a very dark time in their lives.

If you or someone you know is interested in grief counseling in Kissimmee, contact us at TTHI Counseling Center.

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