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Well at least...

Few of us know the words to say at a time of intense sorrow. I surely don’t!

In the uncomfortable silence when someone’s lost a loved one, have you ever tried to fill the gap with words? Yep, me too. For some reason we’ll attempt to bring sense to a situation that really makes no sense. 

Sometimes there are no words! 

I would like to suggest three words in particular for the banned-after-grief list.

Well at least…_______________________. You fill in the blank. 

Well at least she died quickly. What a great way to go.[but I never got to say good bye.] 

Well at least you’re young; you’ll marry again. [but I already married the one I loved most.]

Well at least you have other children. [yep, but I loved this one more than life itself.]

Well at least they had a long life.[maybe so, but surely not long enough.]

Words may momentarily fill an awkward silence, but can minimize someone’s pain, tears and mourning.  

In the wake of crushing loss, If you’ve experienced the presence of a dear friend, silently saying, “I’m so sorry. I’m with you,” you have been blessed… probably better than 1000 words.        

If you have questions about what to say, what not to say- anything grief related, What’s Your Grief is an extraordinary site.  Check it out! 

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About the Author

Beth Marshall is a speaker and a free lance journalist. She is the author of two grief-related books, "Grief Survivor ~ 28 Steps toward Hope and Healing;" and "A Time to Heal, a grief journal." After losing three close people in her life, Marshall found comfort through saving photographs and writing about the people she was missing. Marshall served several years as Pastoral Care Coordinator for NewSpring Church in South Carolina. Currently her life is filled with freelance writing, speaking and family. She loves helping people realize there really can be joy-filled life after loss. *Please visit Beth Marshall's author page on for nuggets of encouragement and hope.

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