Guildelines for Dealing with Grieving Parents

Things That Heal

Through Words

  • “I can’t begin to understand.”
  • “I’m so sorry.  I can’t imagine how much you hurt.”
  • “I really care about your heartache.”

Through Actions

  • Giving freedom for tears
  • Giving freedom for anger and questions…even about God
  • Touching appropriately
  • Saying nothing rather than saying the wrong thing
  • Sending cards - add personal note
  • Giving freedom for talking about their loss
  • Placing no restrictions on the time of the grief process
  • Sending cards on birthdays, anniversaries or any special occasion that may be especially difficult for the bereaved person

Things That Hurt

  • “It’s time to get on with your life.”
  • “I know just how you feel.”
  • “Don’t you think you have grieved long enough?”
  • Avoiding the individual because you don’t know what to say
  • Offering advice
  • Give pat answers
  • Interpret sadness/depression as weakness or lack of faith
  • “You’re young. You can have other children.”
  • Avoid mentioning the deceased’s name
  • “If only…”
  • Quoting Romans 8:28 -  “God is in everything working for our good...”…doesn’t mean He causes everything. It can be difficult for a grieving person to hear this verse at the wrong time. Understand the context of the verse.  It will help you use it appropriately in the future.

Ask God to give you wisdom and a caring heart.