What You Say To Someone Who’s Grieving Over A Death

What You Say At A Funeral Or In A Sympathy Card
by Gene Griessman, Ph.D.

Three months ago the wife of my close friend Brad died after a long, painful illness.  Brad took it very hard. She was his very best friend.

I became increasingly concerned because I knew that Brad had a history of clinical depression, and sometimes drank too much.  Much too much.

Nothing seemed to help him. Brad told me that sometimes he felt very angry. At other times he experienced deep feelings of regret, remorse, really, for his sins of omission and commission.

Fast forward to today.  When we had lunch, Brad looked happier, more at peace. I asked him why, and here’s how Brad explained the change.

“A friend I’ve known for many years said something that changed how I felt.  He said,  ‘She’s not in pain anymore.’ That simple statement made the difference…Those last months were very, very difficult for her.”

A simple statement by a friend did it. It was not profound by any means, but it worked like magic for Brad.

No guarantees, but if you ever want to say just the right words to a friend who’s grieving over the loss of someone who suffered before they died, try the simple words, “He/she isn’t in pain any more.”

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