What Not to Say to Someone Who Is Grieving

Updated on January 30, 2018
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Danielle is a mother of two gorgeous kids & married to her best friend. She is a grieving mother trying her best to write through her pain.

It’s really okay to grieve. Don’t let anyone tell you how they think you should grieve. That’s up to you.

Things Not to Say to a Grieving Parent:

First off I just want to say that people are not out to hurt your feelings in any way. When people know you’re grieving they try to help in every way possible. Most people just have the best intentions, and a lot of people just don’t know what to do or say. I think I love it most when people just tell me they are praying for us. It’s simple; no one is trying to figure out what’s going on in my head. They aren’t over stepping, and I don’t get emotional when people keep it simple.

People grieve in different ways, at different paces, and no one is the same. It took me about 6 months to even figure out how to grieve the way that would help me. I’ve talked to several other grieving moms and all of us are different. When you lose a child, other grieving parents are the best to talk to. Not that we don’t love talking to everyone else, but we all know that we are not all the same yet we still can just say whatever we want and it’s like we understand each other even if we’ve never met.

Something I’ve noticed since I lost Presley is that I have a short circuit. People can post on social media, say something to me, or say something to someone else about me and it can completely take a good day to a bad one. People don’t mean anything by it, but words hurt and people sometimes don’t think or don’t know.

So what are some things not to say to a grieving parent?

  1. “I know what you’re going through!” Even if you lost the same way and with the same age of child, we all don’t grieve the same.
  2. “I just don’t know what to say.” Neither do I; you can just say I’m here for you, or I’m praying for you. It’s the simple things that matter.
  3. “I know you’re grieving but…” There is no but to that…there just isn’t!
  4. “Well it’s been months…” It can be years, parents always grieve.
  5. “Have you thought about seeing a therapist or a pastor?” The only people that can help me grieve are God and I. I’m the only one who will be able to figure out how I can grieve.
  6. “I heard that...” Nope, I don’t want to know what you heard. I know what I want to know. If you’re here to discuss what you heard about what happened to my daughter, I don’t want to hear about it. I know.
  7. “Do you want to talk about it?” If I want to talk about it, I will.

People have the biggest hearts, especially during such a difficult tragic. Communities come together, and people who you haven’t talked to in years come to the rescue. It’s a heartbreaking time, and no one really knows how you feel or grieve except you. It’s okay to cry out loud. It’s okay to say you’re not okay. It’s okay to speak up. It’s really okay to grieve. Don’t let anyone tell you how they think you should grieve. That’s up to you.


Born July 20th, 2013. Presley Grace was my mini-me from day one. She was full of love, laughter, and could light up any room she went into. Everyone that knew her loved her, and even people who didn't know her still loved her.

On May 13th, 2017, Presley was in a tragic accident where she lost her life. We only had three years with our sweet girl. This blog is to help myself, and hopefully others who are grieving as well.

© 2018 Danielle Keith


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