Grief can be so confusing. Whether you’re the one grieving or watching someone else you know grieve.

It’s uncomfortable

Photograph courtesy of the bjorgum family

I think as humans our natural response to grief is to try and fix the situation. We try to add some positivity to these dark times. We try to find the silver lining when that’s not the solution.

When someone we love is grieving, we need to get on their level and empathize with them. We don’t need you to sympathize.

We don’t need you or your pity. Our situation already sucks, we don’t need you to remind us of that. Let them know you will sit with them in this space for as long as they need. Even when it feels uncomfortable.

They don’t need to hear:

“God needed another angel”

“(Child’s name) was too beautiful for earth”

“Safe in the arms of Jesus”

“You’re young, you can have more”

“I know what you’re going through”

whatever you do, DO NOT USE the words “but,” or “at least.”

Those words minimize grief. You can’t compare their grief journey with yours or anyone else’s you know. Your intentions are probably good, but it’s extremely hurtful.

Photograph courtesy of the bjorgum family

Here’s what you can say instead, that might be helpful:

“(Child’s name) is beautiful”

“Sorry for your loss”

“Sending you love”

OR you could use all three lines together.

“I’m so sorry for your loss. (Child’s name) is beautiful, sending you and your family so much love!”

Keep it simple! We read everything sent to us, whether we respond or not, we see it. If something you say could be taken the wrong way, or has “ok” intentions but is hurtful, don’t say it.

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2021-08-28T19:28:24+00:00June 27th, 2021|Families, NILMDTS News, Parents|2 Comments


  1. Kimberly Savangrat August 29, 2021 at 3:57 am

    The Bjorgum baby is so beautiful. I’m so sorry for all of your losses, I cannot imagine the heartbreak. Planning and being excited for a beautiful healthy baby, how the family will change and grow… and that baby doesn’t come home, or comes home but doesn’t stay. My love is with all of you❤️

  2. Gary Makowski September 4, 2021 at 3:09 am

    This is a great article, very useful, not just for NILMDTS work, but. for dealing with others’ grief. We are usually at a loss for words and just stumble around, and just as often make the kinds of mistakes mentioned above. Thanks for sharing this good advice.

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