Every person’s first sentence when they saw me was I am sorry for your loss. And there were 150 of them. The conversations ended with me replying thank you. There was not much to talk about really.
Few people tried to keep up with the conversation. However, none of them felt what I felt, yet they struggled with what to say and how to comfort me.
Why do people struggle so much of what they are going to say to someone that is grieving?
Maybe it is because of our culture or our phobia of death. In order for you to comfort someone, you are going to need a lot more than I am sorry for your loss.
You should let me know that you are right here if I need you. I need more than just one phrase from you. Such phrase is almost irritating so stop using it.
I also believe people use this phrase because they feel it’s the safe zone where they cannot go wrong or say anything wrong. You should try better.
You shouldn’t even try to emphasize and tell me how you also lost someone and you know how I feel. But why are people afraid to use the word “dying” and they always replace it with “lost.” We need to accept the reality of death and stop making things even harder for us.
We need to stop living in an illusion and accept the natural order of things. We need to stop telling how sorry we are. We also need to stop saying that we “lost” someone because a person is not a subject to be lost like losing your car keys.
If someone died, it doesn’t mean you have lost them.
It means they are gone, but they are still in there, in your heart and your mind. They may be gone, but they are not lost. Because if something is lost, it means that something can be found, and in these cases, they can’t.
We need to let ourselves grieve and feel the pain. We need to overcome the challenges and accept death as it is. Because after all, death is the consequence of us being born.
If someone just told you how sorry they feel that you are suffering and let you know that they are right there beside you, you would feel the difference. You will feel how deeper that sounds rather than I am sorry for your loss.
You need to express an authentic compassion — you will appear not distant but caring.
However, there are many people that may feel the way that I do and many people that are tired of hearing those not so comforting words. There are probably many people out there that would like to express their condolences in much better and deeper ways. I guess some people really want to help you feel better.
If you are one of them then the first thing you should probably do is remove all the clichés and stop saying I am sorry for your loss. You should go deeper. You might make them feel better which is, of course, the goal.
You can say how sorry you feel about what they are going through and that you are right there for them if they need you.
Show them that you really care.
There are many ways that you can help a grieving person but I am sorry for your loss is not one of them. Try harder and show that you care and you are willing to help.