Pastoral Care Guidance for Deacons, Stephen Ministers, and the Congregation of River Road Church, Baptist
When Someone Has Lost a Loved One: What to Say, What not to Say, What Helps
- Don’t say: “Please don’t cry!” Tears release the pain & stress. It’s a trust.
- Don’t give unsolicited advice—especially on what to feel or how to feel.
- Don’t remind the survivor of the deceased’s faults.
- Don’t say, “It’s all in God’s plan.” How do you know what God wanted?
- Don’t avoid the survivors because you do not know what to say. Listen.
- Let them say, “I’m glad she’s no longer suffering,” first.
- Don’t say, “It’s time to get on with your life. Move on,” or “get over it.”
- Avoid criticizing or judging.
- Don’t interrupt a survivor when they start talking about death/loss.
- Don’t say, “I know how you feel”—unless you’ve had the same loss!