Ask an expert
Question

08 Mar 2004

loss for words
Hi Doc

Why does a person always feel at a loss for words when someone has lost a loved one to death ? You end up feeling awkward and not sure what to say..as if whatever you say doesn't have any meaning..yet at the same time you want to be there for that person.
Answer 389 views
Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Dear penny,
As jane says, by far the most important thing is to literally "be there", physically, and able to help with chores and tasks so as to lighten some of the burden at this time.
I think the reason we all feel so awfully useless when we try to find words of comfort, is that we realize that there are no words that bring comfort in these early stages of grief, and we overestimate what we think we ought to be doing. Because we can't think of those myuthiccal magical words that'll make everything feel fine, we may even avoid the person, embarassed because we lack those lovely things to say. In fact, we need say little more than -- "I feel terrible that you are so sad, and wish there was so much more I could do. If at any time there is anything practical I can do to help, tell me and I'll see to it. " And spend time with them, allowing them to be silent when that is wat they want, and providing a sympathetic and understanding ear when they feel they need to talk, about the person they hav lost, or anything else. Listening is often a greater gift than speaking.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes
33% - 9362 votes
No
67% - 19305 votes
Vote