1. They are in a better place! - We know this, but we aren't in that place so our pain is real, even if they are far better than we can imagine.
2. "Time heals all wounds." - Time is not the healing agent, only God's comforting and walking through the pain will get us to the other side so please be patient!
3. "Once you get through the firsts, you will be fine." - Not the case and an unfair pressure to be healed just because year two has begun. Reality is, we are breathing better by year two, but the hurt is still there and for me was even stronger because I suddenly realized I had lived through an entire year without touching, hugging, kissing, or holding my sweet boy.
4. "Well at least you had him for the time you did." - Believe me, no one is more grateful than those grieving their loved one, for the time and the memories, but when a life on earth ends, it is never ever time and everyone always needed just one more day and that day that never will come, hurts to the core soul.
5. "Just pray and be strong." - Grief has nothing to do with being strong. It is about being real. As a matter of fact, I learned that the real strength was in admitting I was weak to the point of not knowing hardly how to breath. It was there that HIS strength came and I was able to prove my faith in trusting Him when I didn't have the strength to do anything else but try to breath in the pain.
6. "You need to get back to church to show your faith." - I learned my precious Savior was willing to meet me where I was and when it was time, HE would lead me back to His house. Faith has nothing to do with walking through a church building because you are a Christian and people expect you to look and act a certain way. Faith is knowing Christ will meet you where you are and take care of every step you are to take in your deepest pain, by carrying you.
7. "Well, at least you have other children." or "At least you have your sspouse." etc. - Seriously, we know we are blessed to have those other precious loved ones, but they cannot and should not be expected to fill the void of the one gone home. Being sad doesn't mean we have lost sight of who we still have to love. It just means we hurt for the one we miss and that is normal and okay and should be freely allowed.
8. "You need to get rid of all the things that remind you of him." - Maybe some in grief do feel a need to sort through and remove. Others may feel the need to leave things as they are for a long time. Others may be somewhere in the middle. There is no wrong way to get through it. Unless a person is stuck in grief for years and have made a shrine out of their loved ones things, no one has the right to judge how to handle the precious belongings. It is a process that is personal and individual and each person must be allowed the right to process through in their own way.
9. "I know exactly how you feel." - unless you have walked the path they are one, you have no way of truly understanding. You may can relate and empathize. You may even have your own grief journey. But the reality is, eeach person's grief is unique and cannot be fully understood by anyone but God. The grieving person needs to know others have been through loss and have made it back to joy, or they may need to know that you understand the pain of loss and some of what they are experiencing to know they are not abnormal or alone, but to say you know exactly how they feel, when the grief has just hit, is unrealistic and even offensive to the one reeling in pain.
10. The all-time worst.... never ever judge someone's journey of loss as a lack of prayer or faith. NEVER. Godly people cry, hurt, scream, yell, and go through depression. Death is painful. Jesus, who was PERFECT, cried over the death of His friend, even knowing He would soon raise him from the dead. He cried not because He was hopeless, but because those He loved were hurting so over the loss and He felt their hurt WITH them. We have a beautiful God with grace beyond measure, that gave us emotions and expects us to experience them in full. And He was merciful to give us the Holy Spirit to carry us through all that we will feel because He loves us and hurts with us in our pain. He knows the end is beautiful, but the journey is difficult and He cries with us. And in those tears upon tears upon tears, is where His healing touch begins!