This blog usually deals with writing, but occasionally veers off into the realm of the spoken word. This is one of those times.
Our family recently has suffered the loss of some close friends, and I continue to be astonished at what people dream up to say to grieving spouses and families. I know that most people simply don't know what to say, so they say what pops into their heads at the moment, and sometimes it's anything but comforting. Here are some sentences to avoid.
"You'll remarry before you know it." (Could be, but it is okay if I bury my husband before I start dating?)
"You wouldn't want her to suffer any more." (Of course not, but I wanted her cured, not dead.)
"He's better off. " (Maybe, but I'm not.)
"Don't be sad." (Don't be silly. I am sad, and I will be sad for quite a while. If you can't deal with that, go away.)
"At least it was quick." (A little too quick for me, thanks. I would have liked to say goodbye.)
"You're so strong. If anyone can get through this, you can." (Well, I guess I shouldn't ask you for help, then.)
"What will I ever do without her?" (If you find an answer to that one, let me know. I've been asking myself the same question.)
"It was God's will." (So God wants my family to suffer?)
"Everything happens for a reason." (Please explain the reason. Right now. I haven't figured it out yet.)
"God never gives us more than we can handle." (Want to bet?)
If you want to be helpful, say you're sorry for the loss of their loved one. Say you'll be praying for the family. Say you'll miss him. Say she was a wonderful friend. Say you'll take the children for the afternoon. Those always work, and they can't be misinterpreted.