Have you ever found yourself fumbling for the right words of comfort to offer a grieving friend? I know I’ve been there for sure. I hope you can relate. As an oncology phlebotomist, I have many grieving the loss of family. It’s awkward at that moment to know what to say. Remind them to hold fast to the treasured memories. Here are 14 words of comfort to help you.

a woman comforting another woman featured image for 14 Best Words of Comfort for a Grieving Friend

Patients become like family to me so when their family is left behind in mourning I draw strength from the Holy Spirit for words of encouragement because GOD’S GOT THIS!


two women sitting under a tree with the sunrise coming up with text 14 Words of Comfort for a Grieving Friend

What are Words of Comfort and Ways to Help a Grieving Friend?

First and foremost, I believe it’s important to understand what mourning means specifically so it can help you learn to choose your words wisely for your grieving friend, ok?

The Definition of Mourning Means… According to Webster’s Dictionary

Definition Of Mourning

  • the act of sorrowing.
  • the expression of deep sorrow for someone who has died, typically involving following certain conventions such as wearing black clothes:
  • “Normal” grief describes the feelings that people have in the first weeks or months after a loss. It can include things like crying, being angry, or not having an interest in your usual activities. This type of grief will get better with time as people learn how to cope with the loss.

Grief Recovery Assessment Sheets

1. Refrain by comparing your own grief journey

Trust me when I say sharing your grief journey is not a good idea. How do I know this? Working with oncology patients I’ve made the mistake of saying “I understand how you feel.”

I meant well but it was something they did not want to hear, Ok? Trusting God and letting the Holy Spirit guide you in this is key.

2. Don’t be afraid to speak the name of the deceased loved one

I have a photo in my lab bay of our first grandchild Tyler whom we lost to SIDS. I can’t tell you the countless times when patients ask about Him they wish they can take their words back. They’ll say I’m so sorry I shouldn’t have asked.

Personally, I share how much it means to me to keep His memory alive. It brings me peace, joy, and happiness to hear Tyler’s name. So, do NOT be scared to say the name of the deceased individual.

3. Take a meal or have it delivered

When someone is grieving the last thing on their mind is cooking a meal. However, especially if small children are involved, cooking a meal or having it delivered will take a load off of the grieving family.

4. Leave paper goods for the family to use

Again, when grief hits your home it’s so handy to not have to worry about washing dishes and cleaning up. If the family isn’t ready for company drop it off on the porch or have it delivered. Since COVID shopping online and having it delivered seems the way of life nowadays.

5. Your presence will speak volumes

In my experience, when someone visited me in person after so many deaths in my family at the end of 2021 it meant so much to me. However, that being said, I will admit there were times when I wasn’t really in the mood for any company.

Trust me, you will know if the time is right or not. Just politely leave and let your grieving friend know you will visit at a better time.

6. Send your grieving friend a Text Message

If you’re new here and don’t know this about me I have major hearing loss and afterward started numerous Autoimmune Disorders. I would much rather prefer a text message.

My lifegroup was so AMAZING when my family and I lost four immediate family members in a matter of three and a half weeks. One was my Mama. Their prayers and offers of bringing food to us were priceless.

7. Offer a friendly ear to listen

In all honesty, one of the best gifts you can extend is your compassion and God’s love. If you’re like me sometimes when you’re feeling lost you gotta talk it out with someone who has been there and understands.

8. Share a photo

When someone passes away the family members left behind usually want to share something special in honor of their loved one’s memory. Personally, I prefer photos above all else because it’s special.

9. Share a special memory

I have a patient who has passed on to glory His name is Michael. He and His wife shared a treasured memory with me that I will NEVER forget. You must read this story. Be warned, have tissues handy. I don’t wanna give too much away here.

I have two more posts dedicated to beloved Cancer patients.

10. Share your unique skills

This may come across as “duh” but something simple as running errands, carpooling children to school, or mowing the lawn can take a huge burden off of your grieving friend.

You may be able to help with running errands, watching small children, or other areas of need. If you see the need, don’t wait to be asked because it may never happen. Just do it.

11. Say I Love You

When someone is grieving the loss of a loved one they are completely heartbroken. We may not know the right words of comfort to offer at that moment…but I LOVE YOU will mean the world to Him or Her.

12. Prayer is Crucial

Knowing that my life group, friends, family, and Church community were covering my family and me with prayer helped us more than anything. When you’re walking with God and praying on behalf of a grieving family God moves in expected ways.

13. Share Grief Books to Help with hope and healing

Grief changes your entire world y’all. You can share grief books for children to help the parents ease them into moving on in a way they’ll understand,

Books for adults can also help the grief process and healing as well. When you read similar stories of others who have been on this path will you be through yours? Remember, life can be good again!

Devotional books on grief are a great way to start. Journaling your thoughts is a huge way to find healing and offers practical help and strategies. Remember, losing a loved one is part of life but Joy, Comes in the morning.

Joy Comes In The Mourning Grief Journal (Printable)

14. Don’t forget the Special Days

Always keep in the forefront of your mind the difficult days that are ahead. Such as…

  • Anniversary
  • Birthday
  • Holidays

Your grieving friend will struggle with these days. I know that I do. There’s never a day that goes by I don’t think of a memory shared with loved ones. Losing a loved one takes time to mend and trusting God is key.

Mother’s Day is quickly approaching and I already know that this is gonna be a hard day. Why? This will be my first Mother’s Day without my precious Mama. At the moment I don’t even want to think about it.

Please feel free to let me of any you may think I can add to this list. I want this to help as many as possible. Be sure to check out our help guide on loss dedicated to helping you get through the loss of loved ones.

Your Turn

I pray that you find these words of comfort for a grieving friend helpful. I know they do me and hopefully, they will speak to your soul and spirit as well.

About Angela and Resounding His Love.

Angela Cleary | Christian Influencer and Inspirational Writer of Resounding His Love

Hey there, I’m Angela. My passion is sharing the gospel, and how Jesus has transformed my life and he can do the same for you. When trials and tribulations arise it’s crucial to walk by faith not by sight, no matter how things appear. In my posts, I’m 100% honest and vulnerable, and I share some hard things, even when it isn’t easy…But if “My Story” helps “You” overcome your struggles in life and learn to lean on Jesus…Our #1 problem solver in all circumstances…it’s worth it!

Note: All information on this site is for educational purposes only. Resounding His Love does not provide medical advice. Please consult a physician if you suspect medical problems or need professional advice.

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