Losing someone you love (be it human or pet) is one of the hardest things anyone will ever go through. If you know of anyone going through this right now, these four things to tell someone who’s lost a loved one or a pet (as well as things to avoid saying) might help.
Those who lost a loved one enter a dark and lonely place. The pain of losing a loved one can feel like it will never go away, and nothing seems to make it better. There is no button to click to ease the pain right away. But you can let your friend or anyone grieving over the loss of someone know that you care about them.
These phrases or texts to send may not take away their pain, but saying them can lead to a road of healing and growth. They can also bring comfort and support when it is needed most.
Words To Avoid
Searching for the right words to say or formulating a message can be difficult when you know someone is grieving. You want to comfort them, but at the same time, you’re afraid that what you say won’t help or will have the opposite effect.
Even more important is knowing the words to avoid. Because even if you think it might help and have good intentions, it can end up doing more harm than good. These are the words and phrases I recommend you avoid, and I’ll explain why.
Are you OK?
This phrase implies that the person should be fine and not experience any grief. It means that they should put on a smile and be stronger than they are feeling now. It also tells the person that their feelings are not normal and should be pushed to the side. Asking, ‘Are you OK?’ makes the grieving person feel even more isolated and misunderstood. So, if you see that they are sad and grieving, instead of ‘are you OK?‘ ask them if they need help.
It will be OK soon
We all deal with the loss of a loved one differently. While one person can travel a week after the death of a loved one, another person isolates himself for months, unable to eat or have fun. So, telling someone that ‘it will be OK soon’ is not a good idea.
You are not in their shoes, and you do not know how they struggle internally with the loss, nor do you know how long it will take them to come to terms with losing their loved one. It could be soon, and it could also be in two years. Words like ‘okay‘ or ‘soon‘ are inappropriate, and I do not recommend using them.
So are you going to adopt another cat or dog? (when someone loses a pet)
I have heard and read this phrase more than once, and it hurts me more than my words can express. When my 16-year-old cat, who had lived by my side for almost half of my life, died, I was devastated. And this is a sentence I would never want to hear. When you lose someone as close as your pet who has been through all the ups and downs with you, it’s like losing a piece of yourself. And it is not possible to replace it immediately.
When someone in your area loses a beloved pet, adoption, or things like ‘my friend has kittens, don’t you want one?’ are something you should not even mention. It’s like rubbing salt in your friend’s fresh wound. Don’t. Do. That!
I know how you feel
Honestly, how can you know how the other person feels? You don’t walk in their shoes or simply don’t know what they are going through. Sure, you might think that you, too, have gone through a difficult time when someone close to you died. Still, we are all individual beings with unique feelings, and you don’t know what is going on in their head or what they are going through right now.
Although at first glance, they appear normal and seem sad, they may be going through severe depression or drowning in alcohol. That’s why saying ‘I know how you feel’ is never a good idea. I know you are trying to help, and I believe you have been through the same pain, but you don’t know what anyone is going through.
Things To Say
Instead of touching someone else’s fresh wound with the words we mentioned above, try to find a way to heal it or patch it up before it heals.
I am here for you whenever you need me
When someone loses a loved one, they may feel alone and abandoned. Sometimes, just knowing someone is there for them can be a tremendous help. To let them know they are not alone, you can offer to be there for them whenever they need it.
You can offer to be by their side when they need help or want to talk. You can offer to take them out for coffee when they need a break from the house or take them outside for a walk in the fresh air. You can offer to help with anything that may be overwhelming for them in their current state. This small act can make a huge difference in someone’s life.
It is quite common for us to become more sensitive when the sun sets and it gets dark. Therefore, offer them that they can contact you at any time, morning or evening. And even if you go to bed early, tell them they can text you anytime. Communicating or venting what is being held inside is a very important step in healing the pain of losing a loved one.
I hope you find some comfort in knowing that the person or pet you are mourning is no longer suffering
When you lose someone you love, your daily routine will change, and your life will take a different direction. Nothing is the same as it used to be. If the person or pet was sick, offer words of comfort to your friend. Tell them that now that person or that pet is no longer suffering.
It is not something that will help immediately, but once their grieving subsides after a while, they will come to the conclusion that they are happy that their loved one or a pet is no longer suffering and rests in peace.
My 16-year-old cat that passed away was diagnosed with FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis) at the age of 14. Doctors gave him only a few months to live, but he ended up living another two years. In the last months before his death, he was more like just lying down, but I thought that was because he was older. He was eating and drinking normally. And I didn’t want to admit that he would leave me. When he died, I learned that cats in this stage of FIP suffer a lot, even if they don’t show it, and I hated myself for it. Oh, how I hated myself! I live in a state where there is no FIP treatment available, and since he looked quite normal and was playful, there was no cause for concern.
I can now say that his death has brought an end to his suffering and that he now rests in peace beyond the rainbow bridge.
I hope that you find peace, strength, and healing in the memories you have of them
People or an individual person who is grieving often find comfort in memories. They like to remember the people they have lost and the things they did together. Memories are a great way to heal. They are your strength through dark times. They are what get you through tough times. They are what help you stay positive.
Memories can also be a source of peace and healing. When you remember the past, especially when you have happy memories, you may find peace. When you remember the great times you have spent with someone, you may find peace. Memories can also help you heal. They are a reminder of your strength and ability to overcome. They can help you stay positive and optimistic when things seem overwhelming. And they can help you push through the tough times and find a way to be OK.
If you want to send heartfelt condolence to someone or let them know you care, tell them that you hope that you find peace, strength, and healing in the memories they have of their loved one or a pet.
I love you
It is at times like these that it becomes especially important to let the person know that you are there for them and that you care about their well-being. Saying ‘I love you’ can be a powerful way of expressing this; if it is what the person needs to hear, it can be extremely beneficial.
It’s natural to say ‘I love you’ in a way that may be difficult for someone who is grieving. Finding the right words in these situations can be challenging, but saying ‘I love you’ can still be important in comforting someone grieving.
If you don’t know what to say or are at a loss for words in shock, a simple ‘I love you’ and a warm sincere hug can go a long way, whether you realize it or not.
I know how hard it is to choose the right words to offer comfort. Phrases that sound nice might be misinterpreted by the person who lost a loved one, or they won’t have the effect you expected. I hope these tips have been helpful and that you know what to say and what to avoid.