Sometimes Nothing is the Best Thing to Say to a Grieving Person

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781459_earWhen we have a loss we need to grieve. We need to let it out or else it stays inside causing turmoil. We can help someone with their grief  just by sitting quietly with them. No words of advice. . . No answers. . . No cheering them up.

That’s what Job’s friends (in the Bible) initially did. They sat with Job saying nothing. That was their greatest gift to him. Then they started talking and said all kinds of nonsense.

 “Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent” (Proverbs 17:28; NLT).

I can so relate. Many times I’ve spoken and said THE wrong thing. I was nervous, confused, living in my own pain. The words were not the result of a reasoned conversation in my head. They spilled out of my brain like cereal out of a newly opened box into a bowlful of milk.

Action Step . . .  So for today just listen. No matter the topic. No matter who’s speaking. Listen without an agenda. See what you discover. You are giving the speaker a gift of your attention. Notice how you feel doing this.  What did you discover about the speaker? Yourself?

If  you are the one receiving the “gift of attention,” how does it feel to be able to speak without someone making commentary?

Go here to listen to Rob Bell’s take on grieving and sitting shiva  (Judaic mourning practice).

Out of the blue idea. Go here for directions to make a cereal journal. Looks like a cool idea. Live in my neck of the woods and want to make one? LMK and I’ll come over. Crafting with someone else is so much fun.

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Entry filed under: Grief, Main. Tags: .

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