When you attend a funeral or stop to pay your respects at a visitation, the most important part of your visit occurs when you get a few minutes to speak to the family grieving the loss of a loved one. This exchange is something that some people are concerned about -- it can be a challenge to find the right words to comfort those who are struggling emotionally. As you look for the right words to say, it's ideal to avoid simply blurting out a standard sentiment that you've heard in the past. Not only can doing so not seem very heartfelt, but there's also a risk that the statement could inadvertently offend. Here are three such things to avoid saying.
"This Will Get Easier For You In Time."
On the surface, the sentiment that the family's grief will become lighter in the future may seem helpful and supportive. However, there's a chance that a member of the family could take this statement the wrong way. It's possible that someone could see you saying this message as a way to say that he or she will simply forget about the loved one in time. There's also a chance that this sentiment could be seen as telling the person to not get too upset now, which could feel controlling.
"I Know Exactly What This Feels Like."
The statement that you know what the family is currently feeling is problematic because it's fundamentally not true. Even if you, too, have lost a close family member, you're not a member of the family that is grieving and thus you can't know what that feels like. Additionally, this statement can seem a little self-centered. When you say this, it can make a family member feel conflicted -- should he or she be comforting you instead of receiving your words of sympathy? Avoid this confusion buy skipping this cliche altogether.
"You Can Always Remarry."
Depending on the situation relating to the death, some people tell the grieving family members that they can do something over, such as get married again. While this might be true, the last thing that a grieving widow wants to hear as she mourns the death of her husband is that she can remarry in the future. This sentiment can seem disrespectful to the memory of the person who has just passed away and can feel highly insensitive for the person in grief. Contact a funeral home, like Friedrichs Funeral Home, for more help.