It is heartwarming to know that people; neighbors, family members and friends rally to help those who are hurting. Until we have walked a mile in anotherís shoe we really have no idea what they are thinking or feeling when in the midst of a traumatic event in their life. I think it is human nature to feel compelled to do or say something that we hope will be of some measure of comfort. I always am reminded of a scene at a funeral, and I have been in that position myself, asking myself, what do I say?
When we seek to console family or friends we may choose one of three approaches to pursue. We may feel I know how the sufferer feels. It may be believed by the comforter that their experiences with loss and their journey with grief may be of assistance to the one who is currently struggling to cope with their current traumatic event. Thus the comforter may begin to share their experience, to the chagrin of the one hurting presently. When I was newly married my wife would come home and tell me of her day in minute detail. At that time it was like her running her fingernails along a slate chalk board, very painful to hear.
Another approach is to philosophize as to why this may have happened. I know of four individuals who came to sympathize and comfort their friend. Each in turn took their turn to give their take on why / or how this has come about in the mournerís life. The third common approach I believe is the best approach for those who are very uncertain as to what to say or do in their attempt to comfort family, friend, or a neighbor. When in doubt, or when we are not willing to risk offending those sorrowing, simply embrace them and tell them you will pray for them or you love them. Further, tell them you are ready to listen when they are ready to share their experience. Pursue a follow-up later. This is Sunrise