If we know someone that is grieving and want to offer them support, what can we say?
You may feel that the person you know is doing really well and want to offer them encouragement, however just saying to someone they are doing really well is not ‘seeing’ them.
As a human being we all want to be ‘seen’, we all want to be noticed and understood, sometimes when we grieving it can feel extremely lonely. If someone just says, “hey, you are doing really well”, it can feel like we’re not really being noticed, we can feel like “Oh no I’m not, I am struggling enormously and feel terrible”.
Acknowledging how a grieving person feels can help them feel ‘seen’, noticed, and understood and can help them with their grief and loss, particularly coping with grief very soon after the death. Rather than just say our grieving friend is doing well, if we ‘see’ them and notice their pain also this can help them through their difficult times.
Try saying something like, “I see how much you are struggling, I see how much pain you are in, I see how difficult this is for you and yet at the same time I see how well you are doing”, this time our grieving friend has the support and encouragement that they are doing well and we have also noticed the difficulties they are going through – they may now feel ‘seen’ , more understood and better supported.