Over the years my wife and I have been told many platitudes or well meaning comments that weren’t helpful. In fact they were the opposite; they were very hurtful.
Here are some of the comments we heard that were hard to hear:
“She’s in a better place”
“God needed another angel”
“God must have took her early before she would turn away from Him”
“At least you know she’s in heaven”
“I know what your going through, I lost my uncle, dog, etc.”
“You can always have more children”
“When I’m having a hard day I just remember and think of what you’re going through and I feel better.”
There are others but for peace of mind, I will not mention them.
While meaning well, they blurt these words out before giving them much thought. They are broken words; words that feel like salt in the wound. It would have been better to keep quiet.
Grieving over the loss of a loved one is difficult. We are not taught how to grieve or how to help others grieve in school. In fact even many professional counselors are challenged in this area. Most people in general do not have any idea what it is like to be in our shoes. This is why we need to make peace with what others say.
If we are not careful we can end up being resentful and bitter towards those who hurt us. But, these broken words become an opportunity for forgiveness. It can also help to know they meant well and we need to let it go. Don’t we have enough to deal with already?? Besides, we all can say inconsiderate statements at times too. As God gives us grace and mercy, let us extend grace and mercy to others also.
Remember how great our own need is for a savior and forgive. This is sometimes easier said than done. We must also remember that according to the Bible, in order for us to be forgiven we must also forgive (Matthew 6:14 – 15).
If needed, discuss it with the person who hurt you. I recommend much prayer before meeting so that it will be a conversation with love and diplomacy so the relationship will not be hindered further.
Words can be healing as those in God’s word, or hurtful which often come from fallible people. Read the truth and promises of God’s word which bring comfort, encouragement, peace and joy.
Remember Christ is the perfect answer for the imperfect world.