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LETTER: Words matter when you lose a loved one

Published on

Dear Editor:

I very recently lost my dear sweet mother who was 98-years-old. I would like to extend some words of advice if I may.

When you are speaking to someone who has just lost someone they love, do not give unsolicited advice on how they should handle their feelings. Also, do not say, “I know how you feel,” because you don’t.

Do not say, “Well, when my mother was dying, or when my father was sick…” because the person who is grieving doesn’t care about your experience at this devastating time of their life. Do not say, “Well she was 98 and she lived a good long life.” That’s just painful to hear.

I actually had someone say, “Well you know Cathie, the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away,” which was the most hurtful and it took every single ounce of strength I had not to hang up on that person; however, I did end the conversation rather abruptly.

So, when someone you know loses a loved one, please make the wise choice and say, “I am so very sorry for your pain,” or “when and if you want to talk or if there is anything you need, please just give the word and I’ll be there.”

Or tell them you love them and give them a hug.

Cathie Fergusson
A grieving daughter

The Journal welcomes letters to the editor. All letters must be 350 words or less and include your full name. Email to [email protected]


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