6 (More) Affirmations For The Modern Griever… And How To Use Them

A couple of years ago, we made a blog called “6 Affirmations For the Modern Griever (And How To Use Them)” that went viral. 

And helped a lot of folks who felt overwhelmed with old schools of thought around grief.

A couple of years later, we’re back with some more grief affirmations and we hope they validate what you’ve probably been feeling for a while now. 

Whether you’re a funeral professional, or non professional looking to better support a friend, or even someone who IS grieving, feel free to share these with whoever needs to hear them!

Without further adieu, here ya go:


Instead of: Crickets or silence because you don’t know what to say.

Try: “I wish I had the right words to say right now, but please know that I care about you deeply and support you.”

It’s not easy to find the RIGHT thing to say when someone you know lost someone. This mental block often produces crickets in a conversation. Or worse, avoidance of a conversation with someone who just experienced a loss. 

According to grief experts, saying “IDK what to say!?!?!” is much better than saying nothing at all. This shows that you’re there to support them, and you’re also vulnerable and authentic. Those are some solid foundations for any relationship.


Instead of: Not moving the conversation any further than “sorry for your loss”.

Try: “I would love if you could share with me about  ____. Are you open to telling me some of your favorite stories or memories with them?”

It sounds counterintuitive to ask someone who just lost someone, about that person. I avoided doing that for years. Until I did lose someone. And I found myself just wanting to talk about them without feeling morbid or weird. I often would ask the person I was with if I could talk about my Uncle who just passed at the time. The response was always beautiful, as was the experience.

It’s always nice to ask someone if they’d like to share about the loved one, rather than demanding it from them. Tune in with how they’re feeling. If it feels right, prose the prompt. 


Instead of: “I don’t like to see you crying!”

Try: Simply being there with them and allowing them to be in their process without fixing it.

Tears are like farts, they’re better moved out then staying in. In fact, crying is one of the best things you can do for your health. Don’t believe me? Here’s what Harvard has to say on the matter:

Crying is an important safety valve, largely because keeping difficult feelings inside — what psychologists call repressive coping — can be bad for our health. Studies have linked repressive coping with a less resilient immune system, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension, as well as with mental health conditions, including stress, anxiety, and depression. Crying has also been shown to increase attachment behavior, encouraging closeness, empathy, and support from friends and family.

So to try and keep someone from crying is holding back their process. Check in with yourself and ask why you “don’t like” seeing someone cry. Does it make you feel uncomfortable to sit with difficult feelings? Well, my friend, welcome to your own healing process. Being with uncomfortable feelings is a key ingredient to joy and connection. If again, you think that’s a bunch of BS, here’s a whole blog we wrote on the matter.

Instead of: “You should really take some time off work (or any other suggestion)”.

Try: “How can I support you to take care of your heart today?”

Telling someone what to do during their grief process is a big no no. Even as a professional. Even as a death professional. Why, might you ask? Because every body is different, and on their own journey. No two people are going to benefit from the same ways of healing grief.

Plus, imagine being told what to do (of course as a well intentioned suggestion) from everyone you know when you’re moving through grief? Sounds overwhelming to me. Instead, ask questions, listen, and gently offer suggestions ONLY AFTER asking if they’re open to suggestions. 


Instead of: “Should you really still be thinking about (name)? It’s been a while since he/she/they passed now…”

Try: “I understand that grief is a lifetime journey and I’m here for it if you ever need an ear to listen or a hand of comfort”

New, developing research on grief shows that the 5-stage model of grief is actually a bunch of BS. And that grief is non-linear, and ongoing. So the norm that someone needs to “get over their grief” eventually can be gone now, please! Instead of creating any expectations whatsoever around someone’s healing journey, try offering your hand in support. That assures they’ll at least feel safe and supported by their friends or family to express their grief.

Instead of: “God gained another angel in heaven today.”

Try: “I will hold you and your family in my thoughts and my heart.”

Somehow along the way, it became socially acceptable to assume that someone who has just lost a loved one is religious. Since religion is on a rapid decline in the US, those days of assumptions are long gone. And it’s time for us all to get with the program. Pushing religious ideas onto anyone isn’t very nice. 

So if you are unsure of someone’s religious beliefs, keep your own religious ideas to yourself. You can offer the same level of support to family, friends or clients by saying you’re there for them. No “God” needed in the sentence.


What other grief affirmations do we need to reinvent in these modern times? Tell us in the comments below! 

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