How Financial Advisors Communicate With WidowsAug 30, 2021
Hi, everyone. Today, we're going to talk about common statements that people say to someone who is grieving. Basically, popular statements that are unpopular with grievers, stay strong, they're in a better place, everything happens for a reason.
However well-meaning, it can be more hurtful and it is the opposite of your intention. So, I've put them in four categories. There's justifying, dismissive, manipulation, and the takeover artist. Justifying statements, they sound like, "At least they didn't have to suffer any longer.
If only they would have made it through the holidays. It's God's plan." Dismissive statements, "You'll be fine. You're young, you'll move on. Things will get better. Time heals.
Manipulative statements, "You really should get back out there again. I can see that you could use some organizational help. I really don't think that your loved one would want you to be so sad."
Lastly, the takeover artist, my personal favorite, "I know exactly how you feel. I felt like that, so staying busy is what you need to do. My grief was overwhelming, I hope you do better."
These statements, they build walls, not empathy and connection. So, here are a few things to connect better. Meet them where they are and acknowledge their pain. Use the correct terms, death, died, cancer, accident.
Keep the conversation in the present tense. Use the deceased person's name often. An example might be, "Please know that I'm thinking of you at this very sad time, grieving Bill's death. I can't imagine your suffering. Can I just sit with you?
Let's connect, I will reach out with you in a couple of weeks and see if there is anywhere that I can help." This type of statement acknowledges, engages, and has a follow-through. We all wish for less death in the world, but my hope is for more empathy, connection, and community.
Have a beautiful day.