What Do You Say To Someone Who Is Grieving?

I am continuing the grief theme with today’s post. I hadn’t intended to make this a theme, but in the way that these things work, as soon as I place my attention on a topic, I find more to share and add to the original. I have to thank Audrey Birt for sharing this beautiful animation with me on the best way to connect with someone who is suffering.

When we lose someone or something precious to us, when we are diagnosed with a life-threatening illness like cancer,  or when life just knocks us down,  people tend to respond in a variety of ways. Some try to ease the suffering with platitudes or try to force us to look for the silver linings, the blessings inherent in life’s struggles; others avoid us not knowing how to handle our pain; and then there are those who say to us “I am sorry. I don’t know what to say to you to ease your pain, but I am here for you”.  This is the difference between offering someone your sympathy and your heartfelt empathy. The narrator of this video, Dr Brené Brown, is a researcher who has spent the past decade studying vulnerability. She shows us that we can only create a genuine empathic connection if we are brave enough to really get in touch with our own vulnerabilities and are not afraid to open up and share them with others.