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I know they mean well. I know they speak with love. That doesn’t make the words sting any lighter. 

The things said to the grieving, the things said to the brokenhearted, prove effort and love. They prove compassion. They also prove no one knows what to say to us, the ones who are standing in front of them broken and raw. 

When they say, “They’re in a better place.”

RELATED: If I Could Talk to the Girl Who Just Lost Her Mom

I want to say: The best place for them is with me, making memories. The best place for them is the place where they are still here, with us, living beautifully.

When they say, “Everything happens for a reason.”

I want to say: What reason is good enough to steal the people I love? What reason does cancer serve? What reason makes my heart less broken and less shattered? 

When they say, “They wouldn’t want you to be upset.”

I want to say: Then death should have waited. Then they should still be here. I’m upset because I loved with everything I have, and now I grieve with everything I have.

RELATED: To the Friend Who Just Lost a Parent: You’ll Never Get Over This, But You Will Get Through It

When they say, “You need to be strong.”

I want to say: Right now I don’t know what strength is or what it looks like, let alone contain the ability to portray and carry it.

I’m doing the best I can, truly. I wish I held strength, too.

When they say, “It will get better with time.”

I want to say: Time won’t diminish my pain, it will simply shift my perspective. Time won’t make me love them any less. Time won’t make me miss them any less. Time won’t change my heart’s longing for them. Time will simply calculate the days they’ve been gone and the days I’ve been forever changed. 

RELATED: Life without My Mother

There are no perfect words to say to the grieving, the brokenhearted, the lost and the hurting. There are simply words that don’t sting with as much pain.

Words that show love and grace and understanding. 

“I love you.”

“I’m here for you.”

“Tell me about them.”

There are no perfect words. No words that heal the heartbreak from the death of someone we love. Instead, sit with us. Hug us. Love us silently. Let us say their name, their story, their greatness. 

Words aren’t necessary, grace is. 

Originally published on the author’s blog

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So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Chelsea Ohlemiller

Chelsea Ohlemiller is well-known for her blog, Happiness, Hope and Harsh Realities. She has written for multiple platforms such as Her View from Home, Love What Matters, and Scary Mommy. She has had essays featured in two Chicken Soup for the Soul collections, as well as the national bestseller So God Made a Mother. Her first book will be released August 2024. She lives in Indianapolis with her husband and three children. Website: www.hopeandharshrealities.com Instagram Handle: hopeandharshrealities Facebook: @hopeandharshrealities 

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