Sometimes I have more to say than time to say it during a sermon. Week 4 of 'House of Blues: Death' was certainly one of those times. My final (wished for) point was that we HOPE in the face of death by giving hope away to others when they lose someone to death.
My primary hope in this final point was to arm members of the Lake Forest tribe with the best things to say to someone in grief, as well as banish for all time from our midst (if not the culture's) the WORST buttholish things to say to someone in grief. Here they are, an amalgamation of my experience and grief.com:
The Worst Things to Say to Someone in Grief:
- At least she lived a long life, many people die young
- He is in a better place
- There is a reason for everything
- You can have another child still
- She was such a good person God wanted her to be with him
- I know how you feel
- She did what she came here to do and it was her time to go
- Be strong
The Best Things to Say to Someone in Grief
- I am so sorry for your loss.
- I wish I had the right words, just know I care.
- I don’t know how you feel, but I am here to help in anyway I can.
- You will be in my prayers.
- My favorite memory of your loved one is…(be bold and tell stories, this counteracts their greatest fear that their loved one will be forgotten)
- I am always just a phone call away
- Give a hug, bring food, or send a card instead of saying something
- We all need help at times like this, I am here for you
- I am usually up early or late, if you need anything
- Saying nothing, just be with the person (sit shiva - if you are Jewish or have been at Lake Forest a long time you know what this means. Shut up and be there. For days)
Last but not least, angels and people are the two races or species we are aware of (from the Bible) whom God created to be in relationship with God. When people die they cannot, do not, become angels. Nor vice versa.