Years ago when Larry and I lost our first baby to a miscarriage, I had some of the worst experiences with attempts to comfort gone awry. People said things that compounded the pain, rather than helping. A lady in the church walked up behind me at the altar, put an arm around me to pray and before she did said, “Honey, just count your blessings. The baby was probably retarded…” (No, I am not kidding! She really said that.)
Another lady in the church said, “Well, look on the bright side…you’ll have more kids eventually.”
First, how did she know for a fact that I would be able to have children in the future? And second, would having all of these supposed future children diminish the loss of our first baby? No, it actually never did. I still think of our first little one who we never got to hold, and our three children often reference looking forward to meeting their sibling one day in heaven.
People all around us experience painful losses. How can we make it better for them and not increase the impact of their pain? Today I offer up 9 things to be careful not say to someone who is hurting. It may not be a death they have experienced, but a loss of a job, or financial investment. They may have received a scary diagnosis at the doctor. Or maybe they’re just having an all around bad day.
9 Things to NOT to say:
- It could be worse…
- Everything happens for a reason.
- All things work together for good…
- That’s nothing! So and so and so is dealing with _______________.”
- “You think you have it bad? Right now I’m going through_______________.”
- Look on the bright side!
- Are you looking at the glass half full or half empty?
- God is good all the time! And all the time God is good!
- Is this really such a big deal?
What are things you don’t want to hear when you’re hurting?