Wednesday, May 31, 2006

What Not To Say

In talking to Lonnie today, we somehow got to laughing about the ignorant things people say. So, of course, that got me to thinking about the things I’ve heard people share with the grieving in hopes to bring comfort. I know there is nothing more uncomfortable then coming the head of the casket and trying to find the right words to say, but from personal experience, allow me to share some things not to say. I share these not because I’m offended; I know they've been shared with the best of intentions. But I share because they don’t serve to comfort the grieving and as far as I can tell, are not theologically correct.
  • I guess God needed another angel
  • I guess God needed her more than we did
  • Everything happens for a reason

Feel free to add to this list.

5 comments:

kelly carmichael said...

I always love it when people say; We don't understand, but we don't ask why.

Evan said...

The one I hear that would most bother me is: "I know what you're going through."

Again, as you said Chad, good intentions. And admittedly, the person may know what it's like to lose someone close.

But different people grieve in different ways, and most people forget that.

It makes me think of the story of Job. Job had three friends who visited him after his devastating losses. And for a week, they said nothing. They just sat and grieved with him.

But then they opened their mouths, and if you know the story, you know their counsel was terrible. I heard a preacher say about them, "These guys could've gone down as the greatest counselors in history, but then they decided to open their mouths."

Maybe the best thing we can do for someone who is grieving is simply be there for them.

preacherman said...

What about, "How are you doing?"

Of course I am sure I have been on the devlievery of some silly comments.
Darrel

Anonymous said...

I've probably been one of those who has said some "wish I hadn't said that" comments. But I once heard, rather than say "I'll pray for you", ask "How can I pray for you?" This has helped me keep them in my prayers longer, then you can better understand their needs. Since then, I've tried to ask that because it really helps to know just how to pray specifically for that person. Like Evan said, different people grieve in different ways, and I believe most people will tell you just how we can pray for them when asked. Sooo Chad, how can we pray for you today? Love,

Dad

Anonymous said...

I've probably been one of those who has said some "wish I hadn't said that" comments. But I once heard rather than say "I'll pray for you", ask "How can I pray for you?" This has helped me keep them in my prayers longer because you can better understand their needs. Since then, I've tried to use that because it really helps to know just how to pray specifically for that person. Like Evan said, different people grieve in different ways, and I believe most people will tell you just how we can pray for them when asked. Sooo Chad, how can we pray for you today? Love,

Dad