Finding Comfort in Silence: Navigating the Unspoken Words When Someone Dies

Finding Comfort in Silence: Navigating the Unspoken Words When Someone Dies

Today we are going to touch on the topic of what to say to someone when their person dies or how to approach the subject with them.  I have found that most people struggle, the feeling becomes awkward, and then feelings are hurt because words weren't spoken or they were spoken incorrectly.   

Losing a loved one is a difficult and sensitive topic, so it's important to approach it with empathy and understanding. Losing someone dear to us is an inevitable part of life, yet it remains one of the most challenging experiences we face. In these moments of grief, we often find ourselves at a loss for words, unsure of how to offer solace to those who are hurting. My goal is to help explore the complexities of not knowing what to say when someone dies and provides guidance on finding comfort in silence.

  • Acknowledge the Power of Presence: When words fail us, the simple act of being present can speak volumes. Sometimes, the most meaningful support we can offer is a warm embrace, a gentle touch, or a listening ear. By showing up for those who are grieving, we create a safe space for them to express their emotions without judgment.
  • Expressing Empathy: While we may not have experienced the exact same loss, we can still empathize with the pain and sorrow of others. Acknowledge their grief and let them know that you are there for them. Phrases like "I can't imagine what you're going through, but I'm here for you" or "I'm so sad for you" can provide comfort and reassurance.
  • Avoid Clichés and Platitudes: In our attempt to console, we often resort to well-intentioned but clichéd phrases that may inadvertently minimize the depth of someone's grief. Instead of saying, "They're in a better place now" or "Time heals all wounds," try to offer genuine support by saying, "I'm here to listen whenever you're ready to talk" or "I'm here to support you in any way I can."
  • Share Memories: Remembering the person who has passed away can be a beautiful way to honor their memory. Share stories, anecdotes, or cherished memories you have of the deceased. This not only provides comfort to the grieving individual but also keeps the spirit of their loved one alive. Always say their loved ones is music to our ears. 
  • Offer Practical Support: During times of grief, everyday tasks can become overwhelming. Offering practical support, such as cooking a meal, running errands, or helping with funeral arrangements, can alleviate some of the burdens faced by the bereaved. Small gestures can make a significant difference in their healing process. But please do not stop there.  Do not forget about them months later, please still show up and continue to offer this support however it looks.  Grief never ends and it only gets harder as time moves forward and people get back to their "normal".  

Navigating the unspoken words when someone dies can be challenging, but it's important to remember that there is no perfect thing to say. Sometimes, the most powerful support we can offer is our presence, empathy, and willingness to listen. By embracing silence and providing a safe space for grieving individuals, we can help them find solace and healing in their own time.

I know that a lot of these are tried and true for most people throughout the grief world, but I also find it very important to remind people again and again what it means to show up for "the griever".  I've seen it happen again and again, where people live their lives (as they should), not knowing how to show up for a friend when "their person dies"; then the unfortunate and terrible happens to them and "their person dies" and I've had people actually say to me "I wish I would have known more" or "I'm sorry that I didn't know how to show up for you".  It breaks my heart in ways that I can't explain.  That is why we need to talk about grief and how to show up for friends more.  This is my MISSION is to guide people; either in loss or not having any losses but trying to help them understand what a loss is and can do to a person.  We need to share, educate, talk more about death; because IT's OK to talk about it.  Death does crazy things to us, but the the truth is we can have the constant support of "that" friend if "that" friend just knows how to grieve with you and meet you where you are in your grief.  

SO, I hope this blog was helpful and I hope TOGETHER we can make grief normal and we can all do BETTER TOGETHER!  





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This was very, very helpful. I know many people won’t even go to a funeral, as they don’t know what to say. Thank you!

Judy Handon

This is my favorite blog yet! ❤️

Jamie Efaw

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