I’ve got to get this off my chest because some people simply can not figure out how to provide comfort. So let me help.
If a friend’s baby born with a congenital defect died in a few months, you would never say “Well, she DID have that congenital defect…” would you?
No. You wouldn’t. NEVER.
It’s stating the obvious, for one, and it is certainly NOT comforting for two. Never happen. Well, maybe it has but I doubt YOU would say that. Knowing that so many of my readers are moms.
So I was horrified when I heard someone say to a lung cancer patient, “Well, you DID smoke all those years…”
Truth as a battering ram
Yes, he did smoke all those years. I wonder, did the speaker think that he didn’t know that smoking could harm him? Did the speaker really think that was a helpful and comforting comment? What purpose did it serve?
How about when we lose someone who has reached a ripe old age, say 94? “Well, she WAS 94, after all.”
No. Not comforting. Yes. Stating the obvious. Duh.
If someone is telling you about a difficult situation they’re facing, it is not helpful to remind them of the obvious, of how they should’ve expected this, etc etc.
Try these words of comfort, instead:
“I’m so sorry you are going through this.”
“It must be really hard.”
“It’s a big loss.”
Those, my friends, are words of true comfort. Empathetic words. Not the self-satisfying, “I told you so” or “You should’ve expected that.”
Know that the person sharing is seeking comfort. They don’t have to be reminded of the obvious.
Ok, now I’ve gotten this off my chest. Thanks for listening. Love to hear your thoughts.
Don’t forget: our gift packages are affordable ways to help support love ones and give comfort. If you haven’t checked them out, I hope you will.