There are many different forms of grief. You may know someone who has lost a loved one, is going through a hard time, or has been diagnosed with depression or another illness.

It can be hard to know what to say or do around them. You might feel uncomfortable showing emotion or being near someone who is showing emotions. That’s OK! But you can still find ways to be there for that person. The best thing you can do is listen and be present. Start learning to be OK with emotions that may feel uncomfortable for you. Let them know how much you care.

The Church’s Caring Facebook page posted the following five things not to say to someone who is grieving, and five helpful phrases to use instead.

Don’t say:

1. “I know exactly how you feel.”

Even if a person has been through something very similar, it is always better to ask questions and listen to how the person feels.


2. “Just have faith; everything will work out.”

Of course people should have faith, said the post, but that doesn’t change whether something is painful or not. It’s important to be present with the person.

3. “At least you…”

Starting sentences with “at least” minimizes what the person has been through.


4. God has a plan.

This can sound like trying to find a quick solution to the problem instead of really listening and loving.


5. They are in a better place.

Saying this doesn’t make the person miss his or her loved one any less.


Five helpful phrases to say to someone who is grieving

  1. “I don’t know what to say right now, but I’m so glad you told me.”
  2. “Tell me about what you are feeling right now.”
  3. “I care about you.”
  4. “I’m here for you.”
  5. “It’s OK to feel this way.”


Resources for Those Who are Suffering from Grief

The Church provides helpful resources about how to cope with grief. See the section “Death, Grieving, and Loss,” which is part of the Life Help section of the Gospel Library.

You may also learn from the Church video “Journey Through Grief:”



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