“Can you detect anything false in what I say? Don’t you trust me to discern good from evil?” Job 6:28
After Job lost his family and fortune, three friends came to him, one by one, to help him through his grief. However, because of their ignorance as to how to comfort Job, their poor choice of conversation resulted in even more pain for Job. Imagine a “friend” telling you that your sin caused your life to become a miserable failure.
Unfortunately, not everyone has been trained or given “filters” to screen out harmful conversation—especially to a parent grieving the loss of a child. I ran across a blog on a website http://stillstandingmag.com/ that listed the six worst things one can say to a grieving parent: Time heals all wounds (how much time?). Let go… Move on (how and to where?), Have faith (in what?). Everything happens for a reason (tell me why!) At least ( uch as “you can have more children,” ) and Be thankful (for what?)
Unless you have experienced a similar loss, and have come out “Still Standing,” and if you can’t trust yourself to say the “right thing,” experts say we should simply say, “I’m sorry,” offer a hug or handshake, and I add to that, let Hallmark cards do the talking.
Lord, help us discern what to say to someone who needs comforting. Amen.