I’ve been to a lot of funerals and visitations in the past few years, not as one who has come to pay respects, but as part of the bereaved family. As such, I’ve been on the receiving end of a lot of statements of support. I’ve also watched some people struggle to know what to say.
Comforting words come from the heart to speak honestly about the death that has occurred and the feelings of the bereaved.
When it’s our turn to pay our respects at a visitation or funeral, we want our words to bring comfort. We want to be known as someone who understands.
Choosing the right words to say is a good first step. Knowing we have the right words gives us the courage to speak with compassion. When we pair those two things, our genuine concern for the person we’re speaking to shines through, and our words give comfort and we are remembered for it. Continue reading
Comfort comes in many shapes and sizes, colors and dispositions, interests and abilities.
Happy Mother’s Day.
Comfort means Mama.
Comfort helps us master life at every stage, from potty-training and tying shoelaces, to making friends and doing homework, through awkward growth spurts and leaving home. She can whip up a meal in a hurry, even if it’s take-out, and she doesn’t mind setting an extra place at the table for a friend. She knows just by looking at us when we’ve had a bad day or we’re coming down with a cold. Continue reading
One of the hardest things we are ever called to do is to comfort someone who is experiencing tragedy.
When tragedy strikes a loved one, we can bring comfort with the right words and actions.
Generally, we do a much better job of rallying around the bereaved after someone dies than we do supporting someone who has suffered a debilitating and permanent injury.
Secretly we’re thinking, OMG, I’m so glad I’m not you. Better you than me. At the end of this uncomfortable visit I can walk out of here and put your terrible life out of my mind for a while. And if it’s too terrible, I can move on to other friends, I’m not stuck like you.
Sometimes, standing at the side of the hospital bed, we’re tongue-tied. Or, we blurt something out only to recoil in embarrassment for having inserted a foot in our mouth. Even worse, sometimes we speak and blithely go on, happily ignorant of the fact that we have caused more pain. In all of these cases, we have just widened the gulf that now separates us, the unaffected, from the person whose not-so-bad-up-to-now life has changed forever.
Before you find yourself standing in the hospital room of a double amputee saying, “I’m sorry for your loss,” check out these seven phrases that bring comfort in a time of tragedy. Continue reading