It’s natural to want to make someone feel better, but rather than trying to cheer someone or fix someone who is grieving, it’s much more helpful to acknowledge the pain.
You can’t heal someone’s pain by trying to take it way from them.
When somebody shares something painful it’s much more helpful to say “I’m sorry that’s happening, do you want to tell me about it,” To be able to say “this hurts” without being talked out of it, that’s what helps. Being heard helps.
It seems too simple to be of use, but acknowledgement can be the best medicine we have. It makes things better even when they can’t be made right.
If you’re grieving or wanting to help someone who is, this video comes from Refuge in Grief where you will find other helpful information.