The Right Thing To Say
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Politics and Activism

The Right Thing To Say

What to say and do when one is experiencing tragedy and loss.

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The Right Thing To Say
Jayden Taylor Cartelli

As someone who has witnessed friends, family, and strangers experience loss, as well as having encountered loss personally, I have recently found myself questioning what the right thing to say is. Losing someone, a loved one, a friend, someone in your community, whoever is never an easy process to experience. Facing those who are suffering in these challenging, heart-breaking times is never easy, and commonly, the words just don't come out the way we want them to because they don't say everything we want them to. Sometimes, though, words don't matter all that much.

Here's the thing - there is no right thing to say. Grieving is hard. It is painstakingly, undeniably one of the hardest, most grueling processes one can ever endure. However, when comforting those who have been subjected to tragedy, love and compassion is what is important. Prayer, thought, comfort, and kindness are the things that help in mending those who are broken. We commonly are so quick to jump at the chance to try to say whatever we think will sound best, not do what will truly feel best for those hurting. Act in a time where one simple action can refocus someone's mind and soul to positivity.

Loss is something many have encountered in their lifetimes, and it is not ever something that will get easier with age or wisdom or anything of the sort. Loss is incomprehensible. However, in search of the silver lining, I have found that, with the simplest things, you can find peace. Rather than giving someone your experiences and memories in hopes to comfort them, explain how sorry you are for them. Feel for them. In that moment, you are doing what many have yet to do - find common ground without making someone else's loss about your experiences.

Though comforting someone with your experiences is a piece of kindness all in itself, sometimes allowing yourself to step into the shoes of someone else, feeling their sorrow and heartbreak, allows you to find the opportunity to aid someone in healing.

Overall, we don't always have the right words to say, or the same experiences to use as connections in loss to help someone in their time of need. However, with the ability to comfort someone, whether it be holding them in a bear hug, or talking in the car on a drive, or simply just being there - that is the way to help with mending a heart. Though it doesn't always feel like much (just being there, I mean),it is. Standing by someone, supporting them, and helping them find their footing once again is more meaningful than any poem or story.

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