Yes, You Should Say Something: Overcoming Awkwardness with Grieving People

Nancy Guthrie | September 26, 2016

Editors’ note: In this video, Nancy Guthrie shares her own battle with grief in the death of two kids—and how God was at work in the midst of her family’s incredible pain.

Recently I was talking with a friend. We were trying to figure out if and how to reach out to someone she hasn’t spoken to in years who lost her 35-year-old son. It’s been a while since he died, and much longer since she’s interacted with her friend. She was afraid of the awkwardness, of saying the wrong thing, of making her friend feel sad since maybe she wasn’t so sad at this point.

I explained to her that when someone you love has died, it’s as if a hurdle has been placed between you and every person you know, and that hurdle stays in place until your loss has been acknowledged in some way. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture or a long conversation. It doesn’t matter if it’s been a while since the loved one died. It doesn’t have to be anything brilliant. Sometimes a simple “I know what has happened, and I’m so sorry,”…

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