I asked her to share what she wished folks had said so we could all learn how to better communicate with a grieving spouse. She me that we each grieve differently and statements that she liked might not work as well with others. These are her heartfelt suggestions:
1. “Tell me about him.”
With people who didn’t know him or barely knew him, this is a wonderful opening for me to talk about him.
2. “I miss him, too.”
From people who did know him, this is the perfect thing to say.
3. “Here’s what I loved about him” or “Here’s something special he did that I’ll always remember.”
How beautiful to add to my memories of him during this time.
She also advised that it is never too late to share thoughts or memories as memories are all that remain and they're truly appreciated. Reaching out to the bereaved is an act of kindness and we could all use some kindness these days.
Robbie Miller Kaplan is an author who writes from a unique perspective as a mother who has lost two children. She has written How to Say It When You Don't Know What to Say, a guide to help readers communicate effectively when those they care about experience loss, now at a reduced price for e-books for "Illness & Death," "Suicide," "Miscarriage," "Death of a Child," "Death of a Stillborn or Newborn Baby," "Pet Loss," "Caregiver Responsibilities," "Divorce" and "Job Loss." All titles are in Amazon's Kindle Store.