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17 02 17

What to say when someone is mourning


We asked our Helpful Love Counsellor, Nicole Neave from Counselling for Your Peace of Mind for some guidance on what to say to our loved ones when they are mourning a loss.

Here’s what she had to say…

This is such a difficult subject for everyone, and to be honest there is not any real recipe of rights and wrongs here. Every situation is different, so everyone’s experience will be different. However, there are some general guidelines that seem to be universally acceptable.

One of the mistakes we make is asking people in deep grief how we can help them. They are often too lost in their own sorrow to identify needs. It’s okay to ask; but just know you can step in and help. If you see something that needs to be done-just do it!

Keep in mind when trying to find the right words to say to someone in grief—context, timing and who is saying them is everything!

The best things to say to someone in grief are things from the heart… don’t overthink it. Some examples are phrases like:

– I am so sorry for the loss of…,

– I wish I had the right words to let you know how much I care,

– I am always here for you,

– My favourite memory of….is,

– I am always just a phone call away,

– I wake up early/I go to sleep late-so be sure to let me know if you need to talk,

– Also, a great big hug speaks volumes.

A tradition that I have started many years ago is to buy the grieving family a passionfruit vine. For me, it symbolises growth and beauty. The passion-vine has such wonderfully ancient exquisite flowers, and divine fruit, reminding us that that from a place of grief unexpected beauty and love can flourish.

This is especially good for children who have lost a loved one. They can plant the vine. Watch as it grows and expands, watch the buds of the flowers blossom and then enjoy the fruit. A wonderful representation of the circle of life.

Nicole Neave

Counselling for Your Peace of Mind

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