Sometimes the important thing is to be there

Saying the right thing to people who are grieving or going through an illness or some other hard time is not always easy. What is the right thing, anyway? I don’t have all the answers; I just don’t know. What I do know is that it is important to listen, and to say what is important for them to hear, not what is important for you to hear. Telling someone, “I can’t imagine what you are feeling right now, and I am here to help in any way I can” is a start. Everyone’s grief and pain is different, so even if you have been through the exact thing you may have experienced it differently. Some people need to talk; some people need to sit in silence. Sometimes it is not so important what you say as it is that you be there. Take your cue from the person you are trying to comfort.