What Do I Say When Someone Is Grieving?

When a person is grieving it can be hard to know what to say. The empathy we feel may urge us to want to ‘take away’ a person’s suffering or distract them from painful feelings. We might feel uncomfortable with tears or worry that we have caused unnecessary upset. Despite this, bereaved people need to feel that their loss has been acknowledged and that the deceased person will not be forgotten.

As we age, we are more likely to experience loss. Without someone to talk to about personal doubts and fears, older adults can feel anxious, isolated or lonely. You may hear an older adult say something like “People don’t visit me anymore” or “I don’t want to sound sad and miserable all the time”.

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