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The Best and Worst Things to Say to Someone Who's Grieving

The Best and Worst Things to Say to Someone Who's Grieving
What is the right way to comfort someone who is grieving? Photo Credit:

Your close friend just lost a loved one, and you want to offer her comfort and solace. You look at her and say, “It’s going to be OK” because it’s all you can think of in the moment.

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The look in your friend’s eyes makes you wish you’d chosen your words more carefully. But what, then, is the right way to talk to someone who is grieving?

We address this in the latest episode of the Stronger podcast with’s David Kessler, a leading expert on healing and loss. According to Kessler, while you may want to fix your grieving friend or have her see the silver lining, this may be the wrong approach entirely.

Let the grieving person know you acknowledge their loss and suffering. “I know you’re hurting, and I’m here for you” does just that. And at the same time, it lets them know you’re by their side and with them in their sorrow.

LIVESTRONG.COM editor Erin Mosbaugh lost her dad to prostate cancer in 2015. Kessler speaks with Erin about the right and wrong things to say to a person who is grieving, how common it is to feel alone during the grief period and how we can grow and gain wisdom in the wake of loss. (Plus, the two discuss why all the famous superheroes have a deceased parent.)

Listen to our discussion with David and Erin and get some insight on how people who have gone through loss might actually be real-life superheroes. You’ll also get some practical tips on the best ways to be there for a loved one who is grieving.


What Do YOU Think?

What are some effective ways you approach a person who is suffering from grief? If you have lost someone you love, how do you like to be treated? What other topics do you want to hear about on the Stronger podcast?

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