The bereaved often feel upset by the things people say to them. Of course, they often feel that nothing is a comfort and anything that is said is offensive. If we are feeling terribly wounded, words don’t comfort; comforting hugs or an arm around your shoulder feel much better.
Statements and questions such as, “How are you doing?” Or, “Are you doing better?” or “It’s hard for me, it must be terrible for you,” do not feel good when we are in the shock of mourning.
Here are a few other don’ts:
Don’t say you understand when you don’t understand how someone else feels. Say, “I’m sorry for your loss and your pain,” instead of “I understand how you feel.”
Don’t patronize the bereaved.
Don’t forget to call several weeks after the funeral.
Don’t walk away from friends because they have lost their spouse.