Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Romans 12:15
Some people do not know how to mourn. Worse yet, they do not know how to let others mourn. You’ve seen them, they have a verse for every tragedy and are smug when they recite it. You nod your head because hitting them isn’t a great option with so many people present!
For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, have you ever heard these phrases?
“I’m sure he’s in a better place now.”
“The Lord must have needed her piano playing in heaven.”
And of course, my least favorite, “the little child will not have to suffer through 70 years of pain and sorrow.”
There are many more, and each is accompanied with a verse or two (or perhaps the verse comes first).
This kind of “encouragement” short circuits the grieving process. People need to mourn and grieve their losses.
“I’m sorry” works. “I’m sorry for your loss” works. A hug (no words) also works.