When someone we love is grieving a loss, we can feel uncomfortable and overwhelmed by the prospect of trying to comfort them. It can be tempting to launch into platitudes like “They’re in a better place” or “Heaven gained another angel”. Unfortunately, this way of speaking actually treats the dead person as if they never existed.
“What the grieving person needs is to say, ‘My person existed, and I need to tell you about them as many times as possible.’”
Instead, we should be a companion in our loved one’s journey of grief, sitting with them in their sadness and discomfort rather than trying to ignore it. We can do this in silent companionship and by asking questions about the life of the person who passed away. The grieving person needs to be able to acknowledge that this person existed and had a lasting impact on them. It can take a lot of strength and confidence to walk with that person, but remember, “Do not worry beforehand about what you are to say. But say whatever will be given to you at that hour. For it will not be you who are speaking but the Holy Spirit” (Mark 13:11).