Cliché: “You must be
strong for your children (spouse, relatives, friends, etc).”
Instead, try: Why not share your feelings
with your children? Perhaps you can lean on one another and help support
Cliché: “You’ve got to get hold of yourself.”
Instead, try: “It must be so hard
to keep going when you’re hurting so much.”
Cliché: “You are holding up so well.”
Instead, try: “Would it help to
talk about how you’re feeling?”
Cliché: “Time will heal.”
Instead, try: “You must feel as
if this pain will never end.”
Cliché: “You’re young, and you will be able to make
a new life for yourself.”
Instead, try: “You must miss your loved one and the life you had
together; I do, too.”
|What to Say
||I understand how you feel.
|I’m sad for you.
||Death was a blessing.
|How are you doing with all this?
||It was God’s will.
|I don’t know why it happened.
||It all happened for the best.
|What can I do for you?
||You’re still young.
|I’m here and I want to listen.
||You have your whole life ahead of
|Please tell me what you are feeling.
||You can have other children.
|This must be hard for you.
||You can always remarry.
|What’s the hardest part for
||Call me when I can help.
|I’ll call tomorrow.
||Something good will come of this.
|You must really be hurting.
||At least you have another child.
|It isn’t fair, is it?
||She/he led a full life.
|You must really feel angry.
||It’s time to put it behind
|Take all the time you need.
Courtesy, Archdiocese of Omaha,
Family Life Office