Thursday, September 22, 2011

What to say when there is nothing to say

Recently we came across a website that we immediately bookmarked. There are just some sites that you can tell right away “this site is going to be an invaluable resource!” and Sympathy solutions is one of those sites. 

We asked for (and received) permission to share one of their articles with all of you, because it is really so helpful! After reading this article please take some time to visit the sympathy solutions website. There are a lot of great resources offered there including articles, gift ideas and more! <3 Gwen and Vi

What to say when there is nothing to say”
Offering words of sympathy is one of the most difficult things we face in this life. The fear of saying the wrong thing can leave a loss for words

We know that nothing we say or do can take away the pain. 

We know that grief cannot be fixed with a gift or flowers. 

We can't imagine what they are going through.

We may want to avoid the whole depressing situation altogether.

Did you know that most bereavement forums have a section devoted to venting about the rude and insensitive things people have said?

Did you know that many grieving people feel isolated from their friends and family?

 Did you know that many of the most hurtful remarks actually come from the nicest people?

Here's the amazing thing I've figure out. The simple things we do to express sympathy actually mean the most. It's when we start to make it complicated by trying to fix things or provide explanations that we get into trouble. That's about when our foot is heading for our mouths.

Sometimes it's the religious crowd (myself included) that really has an issue with this. We think that when something awful happens we should provide a reason why. We value having the right answer over empathy.

That's this one:
"God works all things out for good."

If you didn't know that this comment is not really helpful to someone mourning, now you do!
Simple sympathy is all about doing the little things that really make a difference to the grieving.

No advice
No solutions
No easy answers

A listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, a comforting card, a phone call, a song, a poem, a thoughtful gift, a prayer, a hug and other simple things that make one day a little easier.

This also makes it so much easier to comfort a grieving loved one. You will find so many wonderful ideas here at Simple Sympathy. Not only will you not put your foot in you mouth, I bet you will be a treasured friend when it matters the most.

*Be sure to visit this link for an article on the simple sympathy website specifically for supporters of widow(er)s!

1 comment:

  1. When I lost my husband I had several people try to say the right thing... but just didn't know what. When you are new to this you try not to get offended or hurt, but some of the things said just make your jaw drop. I was grateful for the friends who would just come, give me a hug and a shoulder to cry on and listen to my sobs.

    When I heard of a friend of a friend a few months after my loss who lost her husband I immediately knew what I had to do. I wrote her a simple letter saying "I am so sorry, you are going through the hardest thing imaginable! I have been there and know. If you ever just need a listening ear, give me a call." I left it for her with a large box of tissues, a package of small tissue packs to carry around, a jar of facial moisturizer, waterproof mascara, and some chocolate. Shortly after one night she called and we talked for hours... she was just grateful for someone who understood. I think if you can help them find someone who understands, what a great help!