Welcome to part two of my grief vocabulary mini series.
In the first part, I wrote about what to say to someone who is grieving and why. In today’s post, I want to talk about what not to say and more importantly, the right attitude to go with expressing your sorrow. I have written before about what not to say and I have a whole section dedicated to those terrible phrases in my book ‘How to survive a miscarriage’ because they need to be gone !!
I am talking about phrases such as ‘at least you know you can get pregnant’ or ‘at least you lost it early’ or ‘miscarriage is very common’.
Yeah, those shit phrases that help nothing and hurt a lot.
This post here though, I want to talk about attitude when trying to express our sorrow to grieving families.
I can’t help but notice often that people are quite condescending when they try and comfort a loss mum. It’s as if they are on a high horse where they just know so much better although they have never been in that situation where they lost a baby.
That is where we need a lot less attitude and a lot more kindness and compassion.
See, comforting any grieving person is really quite simple.
The first and most important thing to remember is – it is not about you. It is about them.
It is not about what you think they should do or how you think they should feel.
It is not about a well-meant pat on the back and a ‘you’ll be right’.
It is not about belittling their pain but taking it seriously.
And how would you do that, you ask?
By being honest and kind. Let yourself be guided by positive emotions when comforting any grieving person and not fear or disgust or any insecurity you may have. Those emotions cause you to be condescending or even a tad arrogant.
And we don’t want that.
So, stick to ‘I’m so sorry’ or ‘I don’t know what to say’ and silence. Give a hug instead of a pat on the back.
It’s the simple things that count so we can change how we talk and act on grief and to really comfort the grieving.