After losing my daughter to a car accident, I found some responses from others to be comforting, whereas other responses were less so.
What to Say When Someone Has Lost a Loved One
At one time or another, everyone will be in the position of needing to comfort a friend who has lost a loved one. It can be very difficult to know what to do or say. If you have never lost someone close to you, it may be hard to determine what would provide comfort.
After losing my daughter to a car accident, there were some things that comforted me and other things that actually hurt more than they helped, despite them all being well-intentioned. I do feel that after going through that experience, I can better minister to others who are going through something similar. In this article I will share some of the things that I learned in hopes that you will be able to use some of the suggestions when you are called on to comfort a friend who has lost a loved one.
Note that I am not a trained counselor or psychologist, and I have not studied the various information on death and dying, such as the stages of grief. I can only speak from personal experience and share my views after going through the most devastating time of my life.
Don't: Say You Understand
Unless you have gone through the exact type of loss your loved one is experiencing, don't try to tell the hurting friend that you understand. The truth is, you really don't simply because you can't. There's nothing wrong with not understanding the grief but wanting to sympathize. In this case, it is far more comforting to hear "I can't even imagine," rather than "I understand what you're going through," which may come across as insincere.
It comes down to just being very honest about what you can and can't understand but letting the person know that you acknowledge their pain at the very least.
Don't: Ask How He or She Is Doing
Don't ask your friend how they are doing—you can answer that yourself: they are not doing well.
This is a common thing to do and instinctively the first thing that may come to mind. While you do care and are just trying to help, this phrase does not help and puts the hurting friend in a position of saying they're "fine" even though they are not. Alternatively they could also end up blowing up and saying something like "Of course I'm not fine," or "How do you think I'm doing?"
When I was going through my loss, another father who had lost two daughters of his own told me to tell my friends: instead of asking me how I'm doing, ask "Are you hanging in there?" That is something I could answer truthfully, and by admitting that I was hanging in there it gave me a bit of strength. I have used this phrase many times since then when talking to friends who were going through a loss or divorce or illness, and it always brought a smile or a knowing look.
Don't: Force Them to Talk
There are times when a grieving person needs to talk and there are times when they just need to cry. Don't force them to talk about how they are feeling or tell them they need to "get it out." There may come a time later that they may need to talk to a professional if they are keeping too many feelings bottled up, but right after the loss is not that time. They may need you to be with them even if they are quiet. That's the best you can do in that case—just sit with them and let them know that you're there by doing that.
Don't: Tell Them They Will be Okay or That Time Will Heal the Wounds
In short, don't use any of the cliches that are typically used such as telling them they will be okay, that time will heal all wounds, that it was just meant to be or similar such remarks. The exception to this is if it comes from someone who has truly been through the same kind of loss. For example, one mother who had lost both her son and daughter in an auto accident years earlier, came to my house the day after I got home from the hospital and looked me straight in the eyes and said, "You will be okay." I looked at her and saw in her eyes that she had experienced the same devastating fear and pain that I was feeling and knew I could trust her. I held on to those four words for a very long time.
Personally, the hardest thing for me to hear was that time would heal all wounds or that I would get better with time. Thinking about the future without my daughter brought fear and dread. What really helped was just to have my friends acknowledge that I was in pain and that they were there for me.
Do: Show Your Feelings
Show your feelings. It's okay to cry with them.
Read More From Patientslounge
The Bible tells us to mourn with those who mourn. If you are hurting for them, it's okay to cry with them. It meant a great deal for me to see tears in the eyes of my friends. While I knew they didn't understand what I was going through, their tears meant that they loved me and that they hurt because I hurt. The tears of a friend also gave me the freedom to let it all out and not apologize or try to control my emotions when I really just needed to cry.
Do: Talk About Their Loved One
I can only speak about the loss of a child but right after the loss as well as now, it makes me so happy to hear one of my friends talk about my daughter and especially to say and hear her name.
It is normal for you to feel like you will upset the hurting friend by not bringing up the loved one or trying to make them think about something else. However the truth is that it is actually comforting to hear someone speak about the loved one. Right after my loss and even more so today, it gives me such joy to hear someone talk about my daughter and especially to say and hear her name. I'm not sure why hearing her name is so comforting but I have talked to several other parents who have also lost a child and they have reported the same thing. It may be that after losing a child, a parent has a fear of the child being forgotten. This way, she or he is kept alive and remembered through the conversation and memories.
Do: Continue to Be There for Them After Everyone Else Has Gone Back to Their Normal Life
The weeks following the accident were filled with cards, visits, phone calls but as the weeks turned into months people just normally go back to their daily life while the hurting person is still hurting and in need of those same things - cards, visits and phone calls. The first few weeks I was in shock and although I was hurting I hadn't completely grasped the loss or the loneliness. As the brevity of the event sets in I needed those things more than ever and I am thankful for the friends who have continued to minister to me even to this day.
My Beautiful Daughter Kristi Marie
Do: Contact Me If You Need Support
I have mentioned several "don'ts" in this article, and while I hate to use such a negative connotation, it's important that you understand what may not help in this type of situation. More than anything else, I want to be honest with you so that you can really minister to your hurting friend.
If, on the other hand, you are reading this article because like me, you are going through the loss of a loved one or even a child, please know that you are not alone. Please email me if you have lost a child—the thing that helped me the most was being able to ask questions and to talk to other parents who knew the emotions that I was experiencing.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Nsikak Andrew on June 27, 2020:
Words that comfort bring healing to the mind.
Abeba Bekele. Abebabl87@gmail.com on March 04, 2020:
I want you to contact you through email
Tyrone meggett on January 15, 2020:
I lost my wife of 24 yrs march 5th 2019 to her battle with breast cancer, our anniversary is Jan. 17, 2020, I wanna die to. This was my first thanksgiving, Christmas, new year my birthdate was jan. 10, right now I can't type because my eyes hurt from crying, being a ex-marine didn't prepare me for this. I'm going to trust in the lord, but it hurts sorry can't finish pray for me.
Matthew on December 12, 2019:
Amy, I know how you are feeling. I lost my mum suddenly and in a very harsh and shocking way. As she was healthy but she lived with epilepsy most of her life. She passed away at 54 years old through a seizure while having a bath. She was so happy and full of life and loved to share her love and faith about Jesus in a kind and respectful way. I struggled through trying to remain cool, calm and collective while emptying the bath water and trying to lift her physical body out of the bathtub. I even done CPR and mouth to mouth resuscitation but it was far to late, her body was cold, purple and very tense and stiff. The results from the autopsy came back as an accident as they comformed it was a epileptic fit. But for the youngest son and my father to go through this. Caused me to go through deep deep depression and to learn how to be happy all over again, which I still struggle. My point is I still break down crying and thats okay we have to learn to cry and feel all these emotions, that I still find me having that empty and sad feelings that I try and kept it to myself because I feel like a burden sometimes If I talk about it with someone who has not lossed a close loved one and I dont want to make others feel akward. But we need to feel these emotions so we can grow, gain more wisdom and help others that are going through what we have been through. so we can help those that need to heal. My advice is to learn how to appreciate yourself. The positives and the negatives about yourself and your life, and turn it beautiful and magical. You owe it to yourself to be in a happy, cheerful and peaceful state of mind. Learn to LOVE all of yourself and your life. How far you have come through the ugly dark times of life and all your loved ones that are still in your life and reguarly check up on you. As well as all the beauty that still surrounds us like the wind, the sun, the rivers and oceans the land with all the trees that make this world beautiful. Never forget that you are Always LOVED by the Creator of the whole universe and everything that was created within the universe. Wheather you want to call the One as God, Jesus, Elohim or to refer to the Creators other names. I want you to know that God will NEVER STOP LOVING YOU. Even if you struggle to believe in God or Love him. The TRUTH is that we all share a little part of God within our beings when he created us in his Perfect LOVE. Which we are perfect to him even through our earthly mourning and suffering, He sees Beauty within all of us. I know it seems like God has done this to you. but he has not as he LOVES all humans when he created us. We just dont quite understand why we feel so lonely or depressed or traumatisted after a huge impact in our earthly lifes. But the Creator does understand much more than we can percieve. We need to seek guidance, protection and Divine Love from our Ceator and to find the Fathers Universal LOVE & LIGHT within your heart as well as the Love of your love one that shares a part of your heart with you while separated in this life.
Amy on June 24, 2019:
My mum died this April 2019, partially expected as she was in a nursing but pretty fine. She got a blood clot in her leg that became infected. Was admitted to hospital and 23 hrs later she died. My oldest sister who looked after all mums affairs with my help suddenly died 6 weeks later, after 2 weeks in intensive care with a blood clot to the lungs, lots if complications. She died. Devi stated she has 21 yr old son. She ran the house my nephew and brother in law are devistaed to say that he least. I cook and take them meals but I'm lost and grieving also . I just wanna help, my nephew cries when he sees me and my sisters as it reminds him if his mum... seriously 2019 can get .,,,?!$&. Mum and sister gone 6 weeks apart??? Surely I wasn't that bad if a kid to be punished like this.. there ain't no god!
oneemptyhart on February 22, 2019:
I just lost my wife my love of my life she was my everything she died January 28th 2019 and I am grieving a lot she died in her sleep
Pauline on June 20, 2018:
Hi Maria Silva. I am a 51 year old woman and I too lost the love of my life. We were together 35 years of my life and I totally feel your pain as your story is exactly like mine. Steve was the center of my world I am extremely gategrateful
Meschill (author) from Central Texas on April 14, 2018:
I am so sorry that I have been away from my computer due to health issues and have gotten behind on my comments. I will reply to each comment in the next few days. Meanwhile please know that I am praying for each of you.
Maria Silva on April 12, 2018:
I lost my soul mate...he was the greatest friend husband a women desires...he loved me like God instructs a man to love a woman...l loved him back as well....He suffered previous relationshipswith unfaithfulness and abuse...l did as well in a 24 yr relationship...He and l had fall in love 30 yrs ago but people interfered in our love ...l was 19 he was 33 ...Now we met again ...we were together once again and married...my children feel in love with him becuz they never saw Mom so happy and well taken care of...his children as well love me and couldn't believe how well he looked and happy he was...We were together 5 yrs..and he died in my arms after a massive heart attack...l was told later that he was told this would happen...becuz he was a war hero affected by agent Orange...and had 3 previous heart attacks...l took well care of him but damage was done and he didn't want me to know what Dr's had told him...he never wanted to worry me but made me the happiest woman ...l got to know what true love is...becuz he was my true love....now me 55 yrs old...l going thru so many changes.....missing his beautiful laughter that brought me so much joy...now l don't believe there is another soulmate for me....l stand firm with Gods promises and everyday l ask Him to feel my empty void....l know l will see my dear sweetheart again in a better place...but meanwhile l need godly comfort from other people who can related to my earthly pain.... God bless u for your time.
Jessica on February 27, 2018:
Hello my name is Jessica I need some one to be a friend because my mom passed away 2 years ago now my dad is dying
Jodie on January 18, 2018:
Thank you for sharing.
Your Kristi Marie is a beautiful girl! May God fill you with overwhelming peace when you think of her.
bill on August 26, 2017:
lost our son almost 4 years ago only 24 all due to drugs if i every find the peoson all bets r off please people pay attention to your own situation it is too late late to say i love u when they r gone henst when i end conversion i always tell ones i love i love u i cant express my feelings of your loss by the same token i cant tell you of my sons loss to us please be safe and know the r those who care
Luby on August 21, 2017:
What a beautiful girl. I just lost my brother in law. Didn't know just how much he meant to me until now. I wish I could have told him or been there more for him.
Tears of a Black Angel on August 13, 2017:
My uncles is dead, my cousin is about to get married, and my aunt is completely depressed. I don't understand how to go about talking to them. I don't even feel anything after my uncle died. I feel like a monster.
Myra Deleon on August 11, 2017:
Is so true all your words.
Is almost 3 years since I lost my dear daughter, and still hurst like the first moment she stop breathing.
How can I manage? I don't know ... is hard , and my condolences
☹️ on August 08, 2017:
My best friends cousin passed away.Its already gonna be 3 months without him. And since she was born she has this little whole in her heart so if she cries alot theres a possibility that she may die.Her cousin was 15 y/o and he died because someone shot him in 3 parts what am i suppose to do if none of these tips help her?
C Smith on June 30, 2017:
My sister in law just lost her husband to suicide earlier this month while they were both home. She's always been the kind of person whos always encouraging and motivating, really intelligent, and most of all loving, caring, kind, and patient to listen to everyone in her life amd always willing to help. I guess im wondering what to do to help her while also living two hours away from her. And to help myself. Im hurting quite a bit due to whats happened to her.
Tabitha on June 20, 2017:
I loose my brother baby yesterday
TrumanTheDog on March 02, 2016:
Hi - I'm 53 and my fiancé's is also 53. Her daughter died suddenly two weeks ago. I am wondering what to expect and how to act/react. My mantra has been "Life will go on - it will be different for sure, but it will go on". I've also having been saying "Let's live in the truth" when she says she doesn't want to go on. Again - what am I to expect and how do I act/react?
lily on March 08, 2015:
My father i miss him so much he passed away from a heart attack wen i was 12 but apparently the older im getting the more it hurts me i miss him so much he was sweet kind the best dad a,girl can have i just Don't understand why God will permit this if he loves me why will he permit this to happen to me i suffer so much im going to be 26 i miss my dad more then ever i wasn't even ready for his death it just happen overnight
suzanne plummer on February 11, 2015:
I lost my daughter in 1999 in a car accident. No one can really understand what you go through unless they have walked in your shoes. Now I have lost my nephew last weekend and I am trying to write something inside their cards I am lost for words. It has brought up so much pain for me . My husband and I have been the rock for them threw this. Now I am ready to have a melt down. I was very nice to read your post ad truly sorry about your daughter. Take Care
Nitin Pillai from Mumbai, Maharastra, India on October 18, 2013:
I always try to comfort someone who has lost their loved one. But the truth is, time, and only time, can heal those wounds.
Francis N Mbugua on September 02, 2013:
Thank you very much for writing such an encouraging n comforting article in times of sorrow.
Jennifer Suchey on July 11, 2013:
Thank you for this much needed article. My cousin and his wife just lost their son and the funeral is on Saturday. I can't even imagine what it must be like to lose a child. It seems like it would be the deepest pain one could ever experience, so I really feel for both them and for you. Your daughter is beautiful, by the way.
I have, however, experienced a pretty deep trauma that I'm still trying to recover from and feel that in some ways your advice relates to other sorts of trauma. People have tried to help are often not sure what to say. I finally figured out that there's really nothing could say that will ever make it all better. It just is what it is and I have to somehow figure out how to go on with life.
The best thing for me, as well, was to talk to others who have been there. Thanks for sharing your experience of what works and doesn't. God bless you and your family. Kristi will not be forgotten. ;)
Eric on May 18, 2013:
Finding your website was a godsend. Even better, Dr Obas, you’re the most considerate and compassionate man I know. I was so down after being loveless for almost five years. I requested a love spell and, amazingly, it worked! Next week I will marry the greatest woman alive and I think it’s the real thing. To thank you,email@example.com, would not be enough, considering what you’ve done.
Meschill (author) from Central Texas on March 20, 2013:
I am so sorry! My heart goes out to you.
Meschill (author) from Central Texas on March 19, 2013:
Thank you all for your kind comments. I thought that I received these by email but haven't. I am so surprised that comments are still being made and I wish I could comment personally on each one. I prayed for all of you this morning and I hope that God will continue to use me in some way. I've gone through a time where it has been hard for me to write and I have struggled with questions and the reality of the pain that does not go away. I know that God is faithful though and that He will guide me. I wanted to share something I wrote and ask for your prayers as we try and follow Gods plan and hopefully a new ministry.
Stellar Phoenix Photo Recovery on March 07, 2013:
Long time follower and this is my first time posting. I’m not so good at this but; that your blog is very discerning and Im always looking forward to your new content.
DEANNA on February 26, 2013:
i lost my youngest son to a child bone cancer at age of 28 dec. 2012 on the 8th day , day after his birthday. yes it the worst thing i will ever go though is a lost of a child. brian found out he had children cancer at the age of 22 (2007). he went though alot in his young life, everything u talk about is so true.. it takes me all day to dust pictures of him, when it use to take 20mins.i will never be the same again, no matter how must time passes... just trying to understand why he had to suffer so ...
Cherokee64 on October 21, 2012:
This is a very well written hub. You have touched on everything that I can remember with the "dont's & do's" . My little brother, (who was more like my child) passed away at the age of 23, following him was my best friend & sister , as well as her 6 year old son, then, following was my other sisters only son. My parents are amazing in their strength and continuous faith in Jesus Christ. I felt compelled somehow, to add a post to this, can't explain it. As for the pain and hurt, I had to find a place, inside my head and heart, to put my feelings and thoughts and memories concerning my much loved ones, and touch on only briefly, until I could cope. I was afraid of forgetting if I didn't think of them often. I believe otherwise I would have lost my mind.
Joyfulgrandma on September 03, 2012:
So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold -- though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world." 1 Peter 1:6 - 7
"Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see." Hebrews 11:1
Jessey Carlton on August 27, 2012:
I will never forget the great work of Dr. OMO in my life. I was terribly ill and the doctors confirm that I can’t be healed completely for this I was frustrated and my increases as time pass on. When I meant Dr. OMO online I discuss my situation OBESITY with him, and he said nothing is impossible. He ask me to send my photograph which I did and he bought some materials which he used for me and I was able to regain my normal health after a week. When I went to my doctor for check up he was surprise and said unbelievable that my health is normal and my body weight equally normal. My greatest thanks to Dr. OMO if you which to contact him, his Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sam on August 06, 2012:
My mom and dad and my brothers and sisters all 10 of them died by the 2004 Tsunami when i was 11 years old and now i am 18 years old
Kristen on June 27, 2012:
Thank you for this article. I am going to the visitation for a good friend of mine, who's son who was killed in an accident. All of this was helpful information.
Sarah on June 27, 2012:
My friend has just lost her partner. One week ago he had a massive heart attack and died in intensive care. They were due to married in 11 weeks time 2nd marriage for both of them. His sons from his 1st marriage have treated my friend so badly. Not allowing to help organise funeral ,made her leave his flat even though she lived there 6 days a week for last 12 months. She is coping with losing the love of her life and now this awful behaviour from his family. Even though his family had not set eyes on him for last 2 years. It breaks my heart to see my friend going through this :o(
Type 1 Diabetes from Cheshire on June 13, 2012:
Kristi is so beautiful. I say this in the present tense because she is still around. Her photo is absolutely gorgeous.
Jasmine on June 09, 2012:
My husband is losing his grandfather to cancer related illness. Thank you for your article to help me help him, though I too will grieve for him I have not had to deal with this form of death and was at an utter loss. Thank you also for the bible verses. I will be embroidering one of them into a quilt for my mother in law and grandmother in law.
eve on May 26, 2012:
In 2007 I lost my older brother to car accident.On May 12 2012 i lost my 19 year old baby brother to another tragic car accident. There were 4 other people in the car including my 22 year old brother who all survived. Though I am very grateful to God that one of my brothers survived I am still very upset that my baby brother died.
The pain is still very strong. I do not know how to move on. What makes it even worse is that I was not able to attend funeral of both of my brothers because I live in a different country.
I am finally going back home and hope to get some closure when I visit both graves.
Will always love and Miss you Emma and Elijah
Subha on May 24, 2012:
Thanks for writing this blog. Many often people don't know what to say and they mess up the relationship.
Grace O. on May 08, 2012:
oka, i need some help. pls, any advice would be wonderful. pls. im begging all of you. i don't want my friend to go under. here's the story.
so i just moved from america to egypt, and i met this girl, she's only 11,(im 14) but bcuz of everything thats been happening to her, she's had to grow up faster than she shouldve. she comes to me with just abt all her problems, which i personally don't mind, bcuz i love helping ppl. anyway, this is her story so far: She told me that she was gonna have to be moving soon, (she came to with this bcuz she knew i had just moved away from my hometown, where i grew up, and she's abt to do the same). her parents are fighting bcuz her mom doesn't wanna leave but her dad does. so her dad really isn't around anymore. she was in a serious state of depression for a while. i convienced her to go to theorapy. she's great now. she was having other friend troubles. like with guys and stuff like that. one guy asked her out nd wen she told him no he went all goth and emo for a while, that tore her apart, made her crash. then another guy was thinking of going goth, he was already cutting himself, she tried to stop him, he would just tell her that it felt good. she again crashed bcuz she felt like it was her fault(?)... then she finally started dating this guy that she's had a crush on almost all her life. and everyone could tell that he wasn't himself, so she was begging him to just tell her what was wrong. he finally did. he told her that he was also going to have to move bcuz his dad had cancer, and he was for sure going to die. and his dad wanted the family there with him b4 he did die. this again tore her apart. she would run to the bathrooms in the middle of class crying and crying. bcuz she knew she couldn't do anything for him, and he was and still is very very upset abt it all. even after skool i would just ask her if she wanted to go tlk, but all that ever happened was her crying and me telling her that she just has to stay strong for him and i would stay strong for her. then just this morning, she ran up to the bathroom after skool and she was balling her eyes out. but i knew it wasn't the guy anymore so i was really confused. she finally choked out: "my bestfriend just died of cancer this morning" i was shocked. and heartbroken... i cried with her for awhile. she told me that she had bone cancer, and she's been in the hospital for the past 2 years. they would always go to see her. once a week. she went this morning b4 skool. she told me that they were having a normal conversation like always wen she blacked out. (my friend told me that this was normal so she just waited. most of body was surgically cut of bcuz of all the cancer.) but then my friend realised that it was longer than normal, then she noticed that her heart meter or the beepy-thingy (sorry don't know what its called.!) had stopped beeping. her friend died right in front or her just like that!!!
so yea. and i didn't know what to do, i still don't know what to do. i listened to her for abt 30 mins, after that she just sat there and cried and cried, i sat with her and cried. i asked her abt her friend, i asked how long she knew her. (they've been BFF's ever since they were little tike's).
so if anyone one of u guys could just pls.. PLS. tell me how to comfort her b4 she leaves in a month or so. i don't want her leaving her whole life and home knowing that i couldn't help her, or that she was left alone. which i have never done to her yet. im hoping i never will. but to make sure it doesn't happen. pls. give me any advice. just to keep her on her feet. thanks.
JessD on April 30, 2012:
My 22year old brother David's body was found Friday night in the harbor after missing for 13days. I am overwhelmed with emotions even though I know he's with God in heaven. I keep asking my stepmom if there's something I can do to help with arrangements or something because standing idly by feels so helpless and useless. Your words have comforted me and shown me how I can be there for her and I agree about all your don'ts. Every morning when I would walk into work, co-workers kept asking me while he was missing, how are you doing? and it really would just irritate me because I can't help but just get choked up and cry when I think about him and want to yell back how do you think I'm doing?! Anyway I'm so sorry you lost your daughter, she was beautiful and I'm sure she would be so proud to see you strengthened by such a tragedy and using it to help others.
Maria on April 25, 2012:
Sorry typo on my phone. My son was a very healthy boy and from one day to another he began to act as days went by then we found out about his condition. Its been 4 months and its still so unreal. Thank you for this page it really helped me understand that I am not alone... its always nice to talk to people that have been there before to give you words of comfort.
Maria on April 25, 2012:
I lost my son December 24, 2011 to neomenia. He was in the hospital for a month and passed awa
afterafter his 5thbirthday.
kedhuri on April 24, 2012:
my boyfriends brother has commied suicide and he is taking it so badly it affect his work, we are in a long distance relationship please help ,e help him
Theresa on April 23, 2012:
This is my only comforting friend since my mother's illness 6months ago and sadly passed away on the 09th of March 2012.
Your article is so comforting, informative and so forth. Especially hearing of everyone else loss.
I'm from a family of 7siblings (6boys & me the only girl). My Mum was my everything, flashbacks of our times together good and bad turns me from side to side every night, everyday her face is in front of me all the time leading me and comforting me but I can not hold her or touch and feel her. I love poems in both English and our mother tongue. We are in the Pacific Islands with a totally different culture that is so beautiful and graceful. My Dad and I both feel the pain but unable to share it. At this very point I am trying so hard to deal with my Mum's death, and this is the only form of comforting is writing and researching on the internet for comfort and thank you so much for this article and I am blessed to have found your website.
kenna on April 15, 2012:
My bestfriends brother died tragically in a car accident friday night. He just turned 20 and he was like another big brother to me. I've never had to go through this and it's very hard when i try to help my bestfriend. This has helped me alot with trying to comfort her. Thank you
Rianna on April 09, 2012:
My very good friend died tragicly almost a year ago and tommorow would have been her 47th birthday. I would like to do something for her mother on this day but not really sure what I should do. Do you have any suggestions. Should I take flowers?
thank on March 31, 2012:
thank for for this
Caroline on March 31, 2012:
Your story was very touching I lost my daughter in January from a brain injury. It makes me feel good to talk about her as well.
Joyce on March 29, 2012:
How touching! My eyes are filled with tears as I read what you have written. The loss I've had was the loss of my dad two years ago. I have an I dea how it feels like to lose a loved one such as a dad , mum or sibling. But obviously it's most painful when you lose your child because parents are to be burried and not vice versa.
May the Lord richly bless you as share this painful loss of a beautiful daughter with the whole world. I wish I could say that the Lord will replace your loss but I can't be so sure.
God richly bless you and continue to use you to be a blessing to many people out there.
DEB on March 28, 2012:
My husband just lost his son last May 2011. We are coming up on the 1 year anniversary and his birthday (my stepson's)is coming up April. He is dreading it as I can tell he has been depressed. He has now told me he is not IN LOVE with me anymore and wants a divorce and says he is not happy. We have been married going on 6 years, I am 55, he is 48. He says he has not been in love with me for three years but I do not agree. We are a perfect couple. No one can believe this in his family. We all think it is the depression from his son being killed a car wreck last year. What is one to do!. As hurt as I am I am going to let him go his way and hope he comes back. I am trying to get him to go to counseling but he says he has nothing wrong. I can only be there I guess for him.
cyhdeh on March 28, 2012:
I have never recovered from losing my youngest son, 23 yr. old, to suicide 12 yrs. ago. My oldest son, age 39, was killed in an auto accident in November, 2011. I'm really struggling and wish I could find someone to help.
Chauan VT on March 22, 2012:
Hi Kristi Marie,
If you see my son, who passed away 2 months ago when he was 5 months old because birth sickness, up there, can you please hold him, hug him, and tell him that his mom love and miss him a lot.
I thank you very much.
Conner's MOM on February 21, 2012:
I Just HATE it when people comment how "strong" I AM.. I lost my 5 year old little boy last May... and I've started to say to people... "PLEASE, if you could see my insides, I am in SHREDS..." People ask "How... How do you get out of bed in the morning"... my reply "I still have another son, who still needs his mother" "He is 12, and though it hurts also that at his age, he'd rather be hanging with his friends over his parents... I know I cannot keep a short "rein" on him for too long... I want him stand up for himself and be self-sufficient.. I JUST love him SO much and while I am now raising him as an only child, he is still a great big brother...
Rina on February 18, 2012:
your dear daughter is beautiful thank you so much for these comments because its how I feel after losing the love of My life after 4 years of married I LOVE him whit all my heart and I feel like dying I don't want to talk to anyone I feel like my heart is missing I DON'T HOW TO LEAVE without my Danny. I love him so so much .....
TRICIA .M on February 16, 2012:
LIFE IS A JOURNEY WE MUST ALL LEARN TO APPRECIATE OTHERS WHILE THEY ARE ALIVE AND LOOK AT THE PAST AS MEMORIES.
dtm14 on February 09, 2012:
Meschill, great article. As a parent wo lost his 6 year-old girl I can attest to your Do and Don't lists.
R.I.P on February 06, 2012:
Your daughter is beautiful, I am truly sorry for your loss ... Thank you a lot for these tips! My best friend lost her father yesterday, and these words have really helped me comforting her. Thank you a lot.
Miss54 on February 04, 2012:
I am truly sorry for the loss of your beautiful Krisi. I know what your going through as i to lost my Son (only child) at the age of 20 a little over 3 years ago. A dump truck pulled in front of him on his commute to work. He was the life to this house, pretty sure part of us went with him. This has been by far the worst experiece we have ever been though and don't think anything will ever go beyond it. So as I will never be a grandmother or mother-in-law, my outlook on life has changed. Getting by is all that matters to me. I hope someday I can change my attitude and feel happy and out going again.
anne on February 02, 2012:
so so glad I found your site my daughtrt-in-law has just lost her dearest friend age 28 & I have been saying all the things that I now know are cliches (like how r u 2day) now having read your comforting words with ur life experience i just may feel more helpful to my D.I.L.
thank you so much so sorry 4 your loss too & your daughter is very beautiful & must hav loved having a mum like you . thank- you anne
Rebel on February 02, 2012:
I am researching sites to help me cope with the news that my friend's daughter just gave birth to a stillborn child. I was going to have lunch with him when he told me the sad news. I was stunned, overwhelmed and speechless. I remember moving my lips but no words came out. I wish I had read your comments sooner; I could have been more helpful to Len. I hope your friends continue to be helpful to you. I certainly plan to keep supporting Len and his family. Thank you
Kimberly on January 31, 2012:
There is a great book by Randy Alcorn, called HEAVEN. It is great for anyone, but especially those who have lost a loved one, to read and learn, and build your faith about what scripture really tells us about eternal life after death. There are so many questions when someone dies, particularly when children die, and this book doesn't answer all those questions, but when you can get a clearer picture of what God has in store for His children in eternity, it is a GREAT comfort.
Shankar A R on January 31, 2012:
I have gone through most of their feelings and experience. I last my only son Arjunn in a tragic road accident on July 20, 2007. He was returning from college to home to convey the good news that he has been selected in the campus interview.
Though its almost four and half years, every day, every moment he remains with us and the pain of losing our son is unbearable and this pain will be there till we breath last. I never wish such terrible experience to any one on this universe.
Shankar A R on January 31, 2012:
I have gone through most of their feelings and experience. I last my only son in a tragic road accident on July 20, 2007. He was returning from college to home to convey the good news that he has been selected in the campus interview.
Though its almost four and half years, every day, every moment he remains with us and the pain of losing our son is unbearable and this pain will be there till we breath last. I never wish such terrible experience to any one on this universe.
christyl on January 30, 2012:
Your article helps me a lot, thank-you. My best friend of 17 years, just lost her 6 day old baby (Trevor). He passed away yesterday from meningitis. This is her first child. I went to confort her today and had no clue what I was doing, I just wanted to hold her. She wouldn't say much, and I didn't either. Trevor's funeral is Wednesday and I don't know what to say to her or what I could do for her. I have 2 beautiful girls that love their aunt sarah very much, but sarah had told me earlier today that she cant stand to see her boyfriend with his other son, loving on him and holding him, because she can't hold and love on hers. I didn't want to say anything to her. but how long should I go without bringing my girls around to see her.and is it ok to bring up other conversations to try to make her smile. or do we just sit in silence?
Diana Hatcher Lichtenberger on January 27, 2012:
I am on facebook by this name I put above. My brother drowned at the age of 25. It has been about 33 yrs ago and sometimes it seems like yesterday. It like to killed my heart. There was a time when I didn't think I'd make it another day. My husband of 13 yrs walked off and left me and my 3 sons 6 wks later. He told his parents and people that it was because I cried all the time! Little did he know I would go on to cry everyday for the hext 5 yrs! Anyway, That's a little bit of my story!
marys on January 24, 2012:
thank you so much for giving me a good idea,Yes as mother lossing a son was most painful thing I have experience.I loss him 2004, still I miss my son,what makes me stronger I pray a lot,this is one way to easy my pain.God bless,
Shawn on January 23, 2012:
I have a friend who recently lost a loved one and it has been difficult for me to comfort them because I have never lost anybody. What stood out to me most was the tip to keep talking about them and not assuming that you just go back to a normal life because memories are the most helpful comfort. However I am a believer in actions over words so is there any action I can do to show them I truly care?
Zach on January 23, 2012:
Thank you so much for this hub. My girlfriend just lost one of her close friends and I had no idea how to be there for her. Never having experienced the loss of a close loved one, I didn't know what helps and what just makes it hurt more. Your advice has been so helpful
Sarahlou on January 22, 2012:
I'm devastated for everyone on here who has lost a loved one. I lost my Dad when I was just 12 and my Grandma a couple of years ago (I'm now 21) and I still hurt lots. A few days ago I had a text from a friend of mine (she was my teacher and we've kept in touch with emails/texts/visits since I left school 3+ years ago) to tell me and my 2 best friends (she was the three of ours fav/closest teacher) that her fiancé died very suddenly at the end of November. It was nice of her to tell us, as I think it would have been harder for her to tell us when we saw each other next but it's really knocked me for six. I never met him, only knew of him through my friend, and as she liked to keep her life private, it was only occasionally and usually just a passing comment that she gave us. I text her back, saying how sorry I was and that I was thinking of her, and that when she feels up to it and is back at school, I'd go see her. She messaged me back to say thanks for my kind words and that she was doing her best and she'd see me soon... my problem is now, that I've just had a crying fit about it all. I know this is not wrong, I cried for my friends when they have lost grandparents etc, but I don't know what to do. I care deeply for my friend, and until she feels ready I won't go see her as I don't want to pressurise her. I just feel so sad for her, she was so happy and whenever she mentioned him, she had a huge smile and her eyes sort of danced with happiness. They hadn't been engaged long, and had just bought a new house together, and were in the process of doing it up. It's hard to understand that he's dead, when I only saw my friend in the middle of Nov and she was happy - 2 weeks later she was mourning the loss of her fiancé and I can't get my head around it. My dad died suddenly, so in some way I do understand the way she'll be feeling, even though the relationship/circumstances were different and I was obviously a lot younger. My mum said that I should maybe send her a 'thinking of you' card, but I don't want to, I've told her how sorry I am (albeit through text) and have already told her that I don't know what to say (as I truly don't, and one thing that helped me when I was grieving is friends telling me that they didn't know what to say, instead of them coming out with some generic, unhelpful cliché. I think it helped because I knew they were thinking of me, but without me having to nod when they come out with 'time heals' etc). Hopefully, she knows that I care, and that I'm there for her, but understands that I don't want to pressurise her/get in the way etc. I'll send her a message in a couple of weeks to see how she's 'holding up' or 'hanging in there' as I know that she's not yet back at school, and at least that way she knows that I'm thinking of her. I can't explain it and like my other friend said, it's like we're not just grieving for a man we never met, but we're grieving for our friend and for everything she's lost with his sudden, premature passing.
Shelley on January 20, 2012:
My father was killed in a car accident in May. Everyone thinks I am handling the loss and moving on with my very busy life. On the outside that is how it appears, but on the inside I am full of rage and pain. I felt such anger at stupid things that people said like he's in a better place, it was his time, it was meant to be. I accepted people saying these things when I really wanted to scream at them because it was not his time, he was killed because a stupid teenager partied all weekend for post prom and then tried to drive home in the morning to make it back to school for a baseball game. He fell asleep while driving and killed my father. That was not his time to die. I've questioned a lot of things like what if he would have left his house 10 minutes earlier or later then he would still be alive. One person actually had the nerve to say to me oh well then maybe the 2 people in the car might have hit a telephone pole and died instead. That would have been better for me because my innocent father would have been alive. I think this person actually had the nerve to say this to me because she thought my fathers life was less valuable because he was older and they were 17. I can't let go of my anger because the person who killed my father showed no remorse or pain for what he had done and his only punishment was a careless driving ticket and loss of his license for 6 months. He will be getting it back in June just in time for when he comes home from college.
I also would like to talk about my father and hear other people talk about him, but people just get uncomfortable when I mention him. Even my kids try not to talk about him. I hope this will stop as time goes by because I know my kids are still grieving too. Everyone tells me I have to get past my anger and rage at the injustice of my father's untimely death but I just can't.
Jewel on December 19, 2011:
I'm very sorry for everyone's loss. I want to let you all know that your not alone in your grieving process,for God is with you to comfort you.That's in harmony with the scriptures at 2 Corinthians 1:3,4, please read. God has made a promise that he will resurrect all those who have fallen a sleep in death. the scripture that says that is John 5: 28,29 which simply say that "the hour is coming that all those in the memorial tombs will hear his ( Jesus) voice and come out. I hope this brings everyone comfort,
sara on November 09, 2011:
It's so hard to know what to do. You think you would be able to comfort someone but everyone deals with grief differently. I can only hope that I'm helping the person I know in some small way. I hope I'm doing enough.
Lissette from Central Florida on October 27, 2011:
Thank you for writing this. Many people don't know what to say and I don't want to tell them that I hate the 'how are you' question. I don't want to scream, but the truth is that I do not know how I am yet.
death of a young person is extremely difficult. It makes it so that nothing makes sense and for me, it is hard to see so many old people. I know that it probably sounds horrible but losing a young person makes you question the natural flow of life. You are supposed to die old, or at least that is what we are made to believe. I never let go of God because he is the only one big enough to fill this void, but I do get upset and have so many questions.
Sorry...I am streamline ranting.
I just wanted to thank you so much for the post.
Brenna Waterman on October 08, 2011:
Your daughter is beautiful. God bless your heart.
myrnajean on October 01, 2011:
Meschill, thank you for having the courage to reach out to us. I am so sorry for your loss in this lifetime and I pray that your pain will become more bearable with each day.
I would like to comment to Andrea, Debbie, and Peggy...all who have lost nephews which is a devastation to them but who are also grieving in their hearts for their siblings who have lost their children. This faction of grieving is often overlooked; it's almost as if there is a hierarchy of grief and naturally, the parent who loses a child is at the top. But I beg everyone to remember the double form of grieving in instances like this...the aunt or uncle or sister-in-law who feels the need to stay strong but whose heart is also shattered, just in different pieces.
As time goes on, just know that YOUR grief is very real and being there/strong for someone doesn't mean you have to hide your experience. Be there for them just like you say you are(sitting with them, talking, listening,) but eventually acknowledge your own pain as well. Sometimes we hurt so much for them, we spend too much time trying to fix it or to make it go away. This loss is everyone's. My heart goes out to all of you sisters.
Debbie, my sister would have nothing to do with prayer or God either and that's ok. I can do the talking to God FOR her and after 4 years, I know that one of the greatest ways I can ease her suffering is for ME say very personal prayers to God for her. Just remember, He is ALWAYS by our side and patiently waiting for us to take His hand.
Nene on September 25, 2011:
My close friend just this past week lost her father. It has been a reall tough week. I have been crying and praying for her. She is in tears a lot and is truly sad. I am comforting her the best I can I don't know how it feels to lose our father so I can't relate to her pain so I just tell her to let it out and tears cleanse the soul. She does not attend church with her family so I am inviting her to attend church with me and to let her know that god is here for her and he will comfort her. I told her to just put all off her fears and worries in his hands and he will wash them all away. I really don't like seeing her this way it makes me sad inside and it makes cry. I was seRcging for ways to comfort her and this is what I found. I am continuing to pray for her and I will be praying for all who have lost loved ones. May god be with you.
Norah on August 26, 2011:
I am very sorry for your loss.Every thing u said are so true....when people ask me how I am doing after losing my dearest brother hardly a month back in a tragic car accident I Know I am not fine but because they ask me I don't know what to say but just Alright.some people tells me only time will heal but I don't think so because they don't feel the pain n the loss like i do they don't know what I go through every moment.I really thank you for writing this wonderful article and God bless you Please remember to say a prayer for me and I will always be praying.
Long Distance saddness on August 18, 2011:
I am the friend.... My friend of 25+ years lost her daughter this morning. She was born at 27 weeks and weighed only 13oz she lived for one week. My heart is so sad for her, it hurts. Her and her husband have tried for a baby for years and have lost one to a miscarriage. I can only relate to the miscarriage as I have lost a child to miscarriage. One thing my friend said before the baby was born was "If I get a moment a week, a year, a lifetime my heart will be full" she has held true to that.
I am glad to have read your hub. I was not sure what to say or what to do. Do any of us really? Up to this point I have only spoken to my friend via phone I am headed to be by her side as she lays to rest this blessing. It sounds strange but I am scared. I am scared of what to say or what to do. Any advice.........?
Jess0906 on July 11, 2011:
Sorry for your loss. I have lost my husband on June 4th,2011. The events leading up to his death have me
so wrapped up in blame and guilt. All of that in addition
to the loss just seems so unbearable! Our son is 6 years old and gets it but does not get it. Heck I don't get it..it just all does not seem fair! I know we all must meet our maker some time... but the timing for so many just does not make an sense. I know many people try to
consol me and say some things that are just awful, but they mean will. I bite my lip and know they are doing what they can to lend support, because they do not know what else to say. Sorry for the babble.
trina47 from Ohio on July 07, 2011:
What a well written article. Everything you said was so true, I recently lost my husband of 29 years, so I can relate to everything you said. Great article and advice.
Zoë on July 03, 2011:
Thank you for your article,it has given me soo much hope and strength, i lost a best guy friend who was married to my best girl friend only for a year and a half and who is the only child. He died in a motorcycle accident a month ago due to bad head injury. Now that her husband and my best friend is gone ,i am the one who is left being there for my best girlfriend and parents who has just lost there only son and husband.Wow Rudi was an amazing person who was like my biker brother and friend.He was only 30 and i was part of 10 years of his life which i am soo greatfull for. The article gave me so much tips on how to deal with my best friend and his parents and it has made my mourning so much better. I THANK YOU! And i pray to God to heal your broken heart and to give u the strenght to get up and smile. May they both Rest in peace and we shall see them one day!!
Elizabeth on May 26, 2011:
You say all these do's and dont's but just like you know and I know.People are telling the truth those hard word to swallow are the real words we should hold on to. We are so sensitive to don't say this and don't say that but those are the words that get people like me over the hurt. I lost my Brother and my father on the same day Christmas day. you may not want to hear those words but those words you are saying makes you feel uncomfortable are the very words that helped me to get back my mind. I believe that if you are a true friend you should not try to sugar coat it. Your friends should say what they mean. Everyone is different so I really don't think it is being harsh it is just telling the person that is going through the truth and that is what it is all about. I am sorry for your lost but we let ourselves fall in to a depression stage because we block everything out when we loose a love one. Take it from me it is hard to loose one but when you loose two on the same day it can almost take you out. Love
Brother F on May 15, 2011:
This article was helpful! My little sister, normally always vivid happy and funny lost her 20 year old son in a motorino accident last night. She is really courageous and when she married abroad, I was deeply impressed and has ever since supported and encouraged her independence and wish to follow her own path in life. Her wonderful son and daughter always were idols to our younger kids, and to me for that matter. Now, nothing will ever be the same. I can barely hear her speak on the phone without bursting into tears, and I just don't understand how I will be able to comfort her and help. I feel so sorry for her and I can see her wandering sleepless around in her son's empty room, touching, feeling, smelling his things. I am so afraid she will never smile agan. I now realize that it will take years and that I too can be allowed not to be the strong, never crying, big brother who takes care of her. It is just not fair that these things happen to the best people! Flying to see her and her family tomorrow and I hope I will remember the advice in this article. Thank you.
slushatwork from Canada on May 11, 2011:
I have two daughters, 2 and 4, and recently had a dream about my eldest having died. All I remember is the total despair, the huge empty hole suddenly in my life, and the senseless loss of such beauty, and I was punching at walls and screaming, trying to convince myself it was a dream (it was.) The relief that poured through me after waking up was enormous. My father had died that month, so I know the dream was definitely related to that. I can imagine my mother feeling like I felt in that dream. (I'm almost in tears just writing this! I still feel the emotions.)
Peggy on May 07, 2011:
my twin sister just lost her 25 yr old son 3 weeks ago. We are extremly close. The pain I feel for her is so great and hurts so bad, but I know it does not begin to compare to her pain. I see her everyday, we talk about him, the evenings and nights are the worse time for her....and for me, I was very close with her son. I try to stay strong for her, my heart is broken, I don't know what to say, so we sit quietly for awhile, then we talk about Tim for awhile, she said it comforts her to talk about him. I hate leaving her and going home, but she knows I'll be back the next day. We go sit in his room, we look at his things, tomorrows mothers day...what do you say on mothers day??? my heart is overwhelmed with grief for the loss of my nephew but also for the pain my sister is going through. I have always been the stronger twin, I feel so helpless right now, I don't know how to help her...I love her so much, I just want to help her, please tell me how do I help her???
princessliz on May 07, 2011:
every thing you said was so helpful...thanks!
Renee on May 04, 2011:
My Husband just lost his Mother we all knew the day was coming she had breast cancer and was suffering soo but the reality didn't, hasn't sunk in.. I have not lost a parent and donot know how he feels I see his pain and it hurts me soo I donot know how to help him but some of your tips will make it easier thank you..
Brandy on May 04, 2011:
I am so sorry for everyones loss , I too lost someone that will leave a Huge hole in my heart forever , My mother passed away a year ago with a stroke , She was Beautiful and Lovi