Top 10 Best & Worst Things to Say To Someone Grieving
Guest Blogger: Aurora Winter
As coaches, we need to know what to say to coach someone in crisis – whether they are dealing with a divorce, death, breakup, financial challenge, or another heartbreaking situation. In the wake of the shootings in Arizona, our nation is more aware than ever that we need to know what to say to someone who is grieving.
“People are very uncomfortable when they try to comfort someone who is grieving. If you say the wrong thing, you can actually make matters worse,” said Aurora Winter, Founder of the Grief Coach Academy, and author of “From Heartbreak to Happiness”.
Here are some tips on what to say in an initial conversation with someone who is in crisis:
- You’re not alone – I’m here.
- I can’t imagine how painful this must be for you.
- My heart goes out to you.
- What specifically can I do to support you?
- Grief is a normal and natural reaction to loss.
- Don’t feel bad.
- Be grateful you had her so long.
- At least you have other children.
- You’re young. You can get another husband/wife/child.
- It just takes time.
“Time alone does not heal,” says Winter, who founded the Grief Coach Academy after the death of her husband. She is passionate about helping grieving people. “The right actions heal. Get support and talk to someone, such as a certified grief coach.”
It is a relief to a grieving person to talk about their loss. Here are 3 steps to supporting someone who is in bereavement:
1. Acknowledge (their feelings and the situation)
2. Listen without fixing
3. Give hope and encouragement
If you are at a loss for words, there is nothing wrong with being authentic and simply stating, “I don’t know what to say.”
“Healing is a process, and there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” says Aurora. The book “From Heartbreak to Happiness” is Aurora’s intimate diary of healing after her husband died suddenly at the age of 33, leaving her widowed with a 4-year-old son. “If I can go from heartbreak to happiness, you can, too,” she says.
As a resource to comfort grieving people, “From Heartbreak to Happiness” is available as a complimentary ebook. To learn more about how to help grieving people, you can get a free CD online at http://www.GriefCoachAcademy.com.