Monday, March 21, 2011
What NOT to say
Everyone has known someone that has experienced something tragic, horrific, unfair or sad. What do you do? You feel so helpless. You would do ANYTHING to take away the loss and pain that your loved one is feeling but you know it is not possible. So, what DO you say? Here is what I have learned.
WHAT TO SAY:
1) I love you
2) I am so sorry for your loss
3) You are in our prayers
4) My heart is breaking for you
5) I don't know what to say
WHAT NOT TO SAY:
1) If you would have done ______ , maybe your baby/child wouldn't have died.
2) He/She is in a better place.
3) Don't be sad, just be grateful.
4) It'll be hard for a few days but you'll get over it.
5) I know just how you feel. My [pet] just died.
6) Just go serve someone else and you won't feel sad.
7) I am SO glad I am not in your place. I could NEVER do that.
8) God must need him more than you do.
Believe it or not, I have heard all the above and more. That said, I know I have not been perfect in the past. I am sure I have said the "wrong thing" at times. I am sure I have also said nothing because I knew not what to say. But in our loss I am learning how to "mourn with those that mourn and comfort those that stand in need of comfort." I love what I am learning and I love how the Lord is molding me. I would have preferred to learn it another way but the Lord is all wise and all knowing and so I CHOOSE to put my trust in Him.
And hopefully, sometime down the road, when a loved one, neighbor, acquaintance or stranger has suffered a similar loss, I will know how to handle it better because I HAVE been there. I have suffered a loss that has rocked my world. And - in that loss - the Lord has taught me how to succor or "run to" another.
And that makes ALL the difference.