Words for a grieving friend

by Sharon Tjaden-Glass


Writing words of comfort for a grieving friend is a nearly impossible task. Of course, nothing you can say is really much comfort. It doesn’t change this new, emptier life that your friend now faces.

But what words can do is provide connection. And connection can keep us from falling into the gaping hole left by our loss.

Connection pulls us up and out.

Connection joins us to others who have also suffered great loss.

Connection helps us to honor and aspire to that same insane and courageous decision to continue to love even though we now know just how much love can cost.

So this is what I wrote to my friend:

“For me, the best comfort when I was grieving was knowing that I was loved. Flowers, cards, and hugs—they didn’t change reality, but they helped me to know that even though I had lost someone I loved, love had not abandoned me forever. And living with grief is a delicate balance between honoring the memories of the one you lost and finding love in those who remain in this world.

Friend, as you walk this path of grief, know that you are loved. It by no means makes the journey any easier, but I do think that knowing that you are loved helps broaden your vision when grief condenses all existence into a singular point.”