Consoling a Grieving Widow or Widower (Part II)


Knowing how to console a grieving widow is not easy.  I find I’d rather say nothing than say the wrong thing. 

This is Part II of a two-part article providing suggestions of ways to convey your support for them in their time of need.  This portion is offering phrases that are positive and kind to use and explains why.  Part I dealt with things one shouldn’t say when consoling a grieving spouse.

Knowing that there are times when words are absolutely necessary, it helps to have the right ones at one’s fingertips.

Part II – Phrases that Work well

Aim to say the right thing from the start so that you can avoid unintentionally hurting your loved one at a time when they’re already in so much pain.

When you do it right, they may not remember what you said years later, but they’ll remember that you were open to supporting them during one of the toughest times of their lives.

“I’m sorry for your loss.”

This is the most common and universally accepted phrase that acknowledges their loss without saying too much. Although sometimes feeling rote, it’s direct and to the point.

“I can’t imagine how you feel.”

When you tell someone that you “can’t” understand how they’re feeling, this opens up the opportunity for dialogue. They may choose to tell you how they’re feeling, or they may acknowledge you with silence. In either instance, allow them to take the lead without forcing the conversation.

“We all share in your grief.”

Expressing that you share in your loved one’s grief is a show of love and support for them. These words are kind and giving without having to say too much. 

“Let me have the kids.”

A grieving widow might benefit from time alone to sit with their grief. A person experiences a lot of emotions and different types of grief when saddled with the death of their spouse.

It takes time to process and figure out exactly what they’re feeling. Offering to take the kids out for the day or the weekend will likely be appreciated.

“I’ve prepared some meals for you.”

A person who’s grieving will likely not have an appetite for days following the death. If left alone, they may forget to eat until reminded to do so. Preparing and delivering meals to your loved one will help them by taking the guesswork of what to eat away from them. 

“I’m here to help you.”

There’s a huge difference between offering to help someone and doing things to help them. Most people who are grieving find it difficult to ask for and receive help. You can make it easier on them by showing up ready to take on any necessary tasks or chores. You’ll need to practice your assertiveness when it comes to helping your loved one. Try not to take no for an answer in a loving and caring way. 

Helping your loved one can also come in the form of spiritual and emotional help. It may be that they need a little extra help coping with their loss. Offer to join them in prayer, meditation, or accompanying them to a widow support group. 

“Take time for yourself.”

Giving someone permission for a little self-care can do wonders for them especially when they may be feeling guilty over their spouse’s death. Let them determine how they’ll use their time without filling their schedule with your agenda or ideas. 

“You’re doing a great job.”

We all need a little motivation and encouragement to keep us going at times. Offer praise for a job well done without sounding condescending. A simple “you’re doing a great job” reminds them that they’re doing the best that they can under the circumstances.

“They’d be really proud of you.”

This is another way to encourage your loved one to keep moving forward while acknowledging their loss. Find a reason or reasons to say this to your friend every now and then so that they don’t lose hope as they learn to cope with their grief. 

“I know it must be really hard without them here.”

This works because you’re acknowledging that their death has created an irreplaceable void in their lives. 

When facing the loss of a spouse it’s important for the surviving spouse to have a support team around them.  After the initial shock has subsided, the time comes when taking action on what’s next is imperative.  Having support partners like a well-trained and compassionate Estate Attorney, Financial Planner and Real Estate Agent can make a huge difference.   If you would like recommendations on local Bradenton|Sarasota area Estate Attorneys, Financial Planners or Grief Counselors, please email me at Jude Creamer, Broker Associate, HomeSmart, specializing in facilitating real estate transactions for people in life transitions.

A special thanks to for the guidance contained in this article.

Hi, there!

I'm Jude and I love helping people
who are facing a major life transition
make necessary real estate changes 
gracefully, methodically, and
with the least stress possible. 
Let me know how I can walk you step-by-step down the path to completion. 

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Hi, there!

I'm Jude Creamer and I love helping people facing a major life transition embark on finding their happy place gracefully, methodically and with the
least stress possible.
Let me know how I can walk you step-by-step down the path to your happy place. 



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