After a senseless loss, we often have no idea what to say. This is especially true when children are involved in the tragedy.
Rev. Emily C. Heath’s two years in ministry were spent as a chaplain assigned to the emergency department of a children’s hospital. In her experience, she heard some of the worst theology coming from people who thought they are comforting parents but more often than not they weren’t.
One of the things not to say to grieving family or friends is, “God just needed another angel”. You are portraying God as someone who kills kids to fill out the celestial openings.
Telling parents they can have other children or they can have more kids is another thing not to say to grieving parents. Children can’t be replaced. The loss of a child will always be a loss no matter how many kids you have.
Saying things like, “I don’t believe God wanted this or willed it”, “It’s not okay”, “I don’t know why this happened”, “I’m here to support you in whatever way feels best”, are the best and most appropriate things to say to grieving family or friends.
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