95 of the Best Things to Say to a Griever

Andrea Davis

4 min read

Repeatedly, individuals pose the question: What should I say to someone who is grieving? They hope for a clear-cut solution or checklist, but unfortunately, such definitive answers are not readily available, or simply do not exist.

Recently, along with my own encounters after the loss of my husband Dave and my mother, I conducted a survey among other grievers to gather examples of helpful sentiments expressed to them during periods of grief. I aimed to uncover unique phrases that could offer universal guidance.

As I continue to stress, the appropriateness and effectiveness of words of comfort vary greatly from one person to another. Additionally, timing is crucial, as the same sentiment may be received differently depending on the circumstances.

While these recommendations do not ensure the delivery of an ideal phrase, they serve as a constructive starting point for navigating conversations with those experiencing grief.

This list is significant because individuals frequently focus on finding the "right" words to console someone. However, the most effective support often lies not in what you say, but in how you maintain a supportive presence. Be there for one another and love them with your whole heart. Anything off this list can be altered toward the person who is grieving. If you have a phrase you'd like to share, send me a comment, and I may add it to the list.

1. "There are no words."

2. "It's okay to take breaks and rest."

3. "There's no right or wrong way to grieve."

4. "What can I take care of for you?"

5. "I am praying for you and will always be."

6. "You're allowed to take as much time as you need to heal."

7. "I love you and care about you."

8. "I’ve got time off this week; how can I support you?”

9. "A part of your loved one lives in you and all those he loved."

10. "You're not expected to have all the answers."

11. "I'm so sorry for your loss."

12. "I'll cherish the memories we shared with them."

13. "Thank you for giving us the most beautiful, generous, loving person we’ve ever known."

14. "I don’t know what to say but I can listen."

15. “My heart is breaking for you.”

16. "You're doing the best you can."

17. "Be kind to yourself."

18. "You don’t have to talk at all; I will just sit with you."

19. "You're not alone in feeling overwhelmed."

20. "It's okay to cry."

21. "He was so loved, and my life is better because he was in it."

22. "Let's talk about and remember all those wonderful memories.

23. "Tell me more about your loved one,"

24. "I'll remember them with you."

25. "I'm here to help you navigate through this."

26. "I can see by these pictures how much you loved each other. She must have known every day she was loved."

27. "I'll help you with anything you need."

28. “Don't hold back your tears."

29. "You're doing the best you can under difficult circumstances."

30. "It's normal to feel a range of emotions."

31. "Do you want to talk about how you're feeling right now?"

32. “If you hear a song that reminds you of the person that is gone, feel free to share it with their loved one.”

33. "It's okay to laugh and find moments of joy amidst the sadness."

34. "We remember them and speak of them often."

35. "It’s okay to have bad days."

36. "We were just talking about him last night."

37. "Your loved one will always be remembered."

38. "Look for signs."

39. "I can't imagine what you're going through."

40. "He was such a special kid."

41. "I'm here to help ease your burden in any way I can."

42. "I love you."

43. "You're not a burden."

44. "I will come and stay with you for several days."

45. "You're not alone in missing them."

46. "It's okay to hurt.”

47. "I'll check in on you regularly."

48. "I'm here to listen whenever you're ready to talk."

49. "You are not moving on you are moving forward."

50. "Your feelings are valid."

51. "Your feelings matter."

52. "I'll help keep your loved one's memory alive."

53. "You're not expected to have it all together."

54. "One day you will be talking about your loved one and a smile will come to your face."

55 "Would you like to share any photos or stories?"

56. "I'll respect your boundaries and give you space if you need it."

57. "Talk about your loved one whenever you feel like it, I’ll just listen."

58. "You are a good mother and his death with never change that."

59. "Take all the time you need."

60. "It's okay to feel however you're feeling."

61. "I’m just really sad that you have to go through this.

62. "Your loved one was a wonderful person."

63. "When you feel that your loved one is with you, know that they really are."

64. “You’ve been a good dad to them."

65. "You aren't going crazy."

66. "I have no words, this just sucks."

67. "You don't have to go through this alone."

68. "You're allowed to feel however you want because this is your experience and no one else's."

69. "We'll get through this together."

70. "You're not alone in this."

71. "It’s okay not to be okay."

72. "You're allowed to lean on others for support."

73. "I'm here for you."

74. “I remember...” and then share a memory of the person.

75. "I'm here to support you in any way I can."

76. "I can sit with you in silence if you need."

77. "Grief has no expiration date."

78. "You can talk to me about your loved one whenever you want."

79. "It's normal to have good days and bad days."

80. "I'll be here for you today, tomorrow, and always."

81. "They are never far away."

82. "We will never forget them."

83. "You're allowed to prioritize your own well-being."

84. "You're allowed to honor your loved one in your own way."

85. "There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Your life has been changed forever."

86. "I admire your courage."

87. "Your grief and reactions are normal and natural."

88. "We loved her like she was one of the family."

89. "They would be proud of you."

90. "I cannot possibly understand how you feel. But I’m here".

91. "Would you like to share some memories of your loved one?"

92. “Can I take your kids out, and give you time alone?”

93. “I’m making dinner, and I’ll drop some off on your porch for you.”

94. “I’m at the grocery store, send me your list.”

95. “When you’re ready, I’ll help you go through their belongings.”