…someone tells you they have cancer.
…someone loses someone they love.
…someone experiences a pain that is unfathomable and beyond your realm of understanding and experience,
DO NOT say “Everything happens for a reason.” If they’re too polite to say it out loud, I’m fairly certain they’re mentally screaming in your face and telling you to go fuck yourself.
It’s instinct. When a person sees someone in pain or with grief, the immediate instinct is to take it upon her/himself to ease the individual’s suffering. Well-meaning and innocent as these statements may be, they’re incredibly patronizing. I realize that the last 3 sentences on this list are along the same vein. People who have experienced any degree of grief in their lives may or may not need these reminders. Some may receive sentiments as condescending.
- Everything happens for a reason.
- Be strong.
- Time heals all wounds.
- This, too, shall pass.
- It will get easier.
When dealing with someone who is grieving, remember, let that person know s/he is loved. Allow them space. Be kinder than usual.
One good rule of thumb is to treat people you love and care about as though you love and care about them, before shit hits the fan in their personal lives. Don’t hesitate to be encouraging, without waiting for tragedy to strike first. Spread love, always, and it’s bound to come back to you.