Monday, September 7, 2015

A Better Place? Nope.


If you are planning to go to visit a grieving family after the death of a loved one, and the best thing you can think of to say is 'Well, at least they're in a better place now', stay home.

I understand that you THINK you are saying something helpful, but you are not.

Even if that magical 'better place' is something you strongly believe in, I'm here to tell you that unless you are 100% sure the grieving person has the same beliefs as you, it will not help. In fact, it is downright upsetting.

Unless you have actually died and been to this other magical place that is 'better', you don't know, so please don't say you do.

Someone came to visit us after my Dad died and said exactly that. Almost six years later I can't help thinking about it more often than I'd like to, and it still makes me sad when I think about it.  It is in no way helpful when the only thing you want is that person to not be dead.

While I'm here, don't say things like 'at least it was quick' or 'at least you had time to say goodbye'. You probably think that is comforting too, but it is not. It's no consolation that it was quick, it still happened.  Have you ever had to say goodbye to someone knowing it might be the last time you will see them?  What on earth do you say to them? How many false alarm goodbyes do you go through?

It's also a bad idea to ask grieving people if there is anything you can do.  They won't know, or be able to put into words the things they need. Much better to arrive (with food is never a bad idea, there are tonnes of people coming and going and they all need snacks)

All you need to say to a grieving person is simple: 'I'm so sorry this happened. I love you. Would you like a cheezel biscuit?'


  1. I read this at work but couldn't comment until I arrived home. Awesome post. Thank you... I have taken note.

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to come back and comment. I really appreciate it!


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