Although you have experienced grief, you may be hesitant to approach others who are bereaved. Not knowing what to say, you may tend to avoid them. There is no "right" thing to say. It is your heart of concern and love that you need to express. Be genuine.
These suggestions will help you interact with grieving people:
. Remain calm and nonjudgmental.
. Use direct and specific language (naming times, places, and names) to help them reorient from the "blur" of grief events.
. Mention the deceased by name.
. Do not say that you know how they feel. Each loss is unique.
. Do not tell them how good they look to avoid talking about how bad they feel.
. Encourage them to talk about life as it existed before their loss.
. Show your humanity.
. Do not be afraid to gently touch them.
. Let them cry and express their emotions.
. Be willing to listen, especially in the evening.
. If they want to talk about their loss, do not change the subject to a lighter topic.
. Take your conversation cues from them. Silence is okay.
. Make several short visits.
. Visit during the weeks after the funeral when others get back to normal life, but the deeply grieving person cannot.
. Let them make plans.
. Minister to the whole family, but do not let them "attach" to you in an unhealthy manner.
Scripture: "Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart" (1 Peter 1:22).
Prayer: "Holy God, give me the words to say and help this person know I am sincere. Amen."