Never Say This at a Funeral

By the time we reach adulthood, the majority of us will have lost a family member, friend, or coworker. It is important to note, however, that although the stages of grief are similar, we do not necessarily know how a person who is grieving feels.

The grieving process requires time, and significant dates such as anniversaries and birthdays can trigger an emotional tsunami.

“Time heals all wounds” is something you should never say at a funeral

Bickerton advises avoiding any statements that begin with "at least." Oftentimes, these expressions are an attempt to make difficult times more bearable, but they cannot alleviate the pain of losing a loved one. 

Never say "At least he didn’t suffer," "At least she made it to her birthday," or "At least she died doing what she loved" at a funeral

Bickerton explains that this comment places the burden on the bereaved to seek assistance at a time when they likely do not know what they need. Rather than simply expressing your concern, you can demonstrate it through actions such as doing their laundry, cleaning their home or yard, and preparing their meals

“Let me know what I can do” is something you should never say at a funeral

There is also the risk of incorrectly assuming that a person adheres to certain beliefs. Wolfelt suggests simply showing your support for a grieving friend, colleague, or family member

Never say “She’s in a better place” at a funeral

Even if the deceased had lived a long and fruitful life, the grieving individual would likely have wished for many more years together. Wolfelt suggests mentioning the person's name when expressing condolences

Never say "It was his time" at a funeral.

According to Bickerton, such statements tend to minimise the grief journey. As the bereaved individual adjusts to their new normal, life will continue, but it will look very different. 

Never say "You need to say goodbye" or "Life must go on" at a funeral

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