Why do people try to fix the unfixable?

This will cannot be fixed. Those around us, however, will try.  Most are well-intentioned, perhaps, but that doesn't make their words helpful.


From the Grieving Heart:

Why do people say the things they do?

I choose to believe that they mean well, but sometimes what's said isn't helpful. 

"It's okay." I've heard that a lot. No. Sorry. It's not okay. You're not here, and I'm hurting. How can that be okay?

"Don't worry. You'll get past this." Past what? Past feeling this? Past hurting and grieving? 

"I know how you feel." How? You're not me. It wasn't your relationship or your loss. You don't know what's happening inside me.

Ugh. Maybe people think they need to say something. I don't know. It seems like they all want me to feel better. "Stop grieving!" is what my heart ends up hearing. 

It's my heart, my life, my loss, and my grief. Why do people try to fix the unfixable?

You're gone. No one and nothing can fix that. 


Well-meaning people often say unhelpful things.

By nature, grief is lonely. We all experience loss, yet each person and relationship are unique. Those with similar losses can perhaps empathize, but no one knows the intricacies of another's heart. Grief is a deeply personal and individual process.  

As a result, we often feel alone. Our loved one was special. Our grief will be special as well. 

Well-meaning people often end up saying unhelpful things. We can even feel evaluated, judged, and belittled by others. Grieving hearts are frequently misunderstood. 

Though everyone experiences grief, we don't seem to understand it very well. We expect it to be quick - a brief rest stop on life's superhighway. We want grief to be momentary and easily resolved. 

Granted, no one wants to hurt or to watch another person suffer. We would wish such emotional hardship away if we could. No wonder we fill the air with words, hoping to make a difference and bring some relief. 

Unhelpful and even hurtful things will be said. For our own sake, we need to release such comments quickly and try to keep them from taking up residence in our hearts. Learning to forgive quickly is a healthy skill for grieving souls. 


When unhelpful, insensitive words are said, I will protect my heart and release them as quickly as possible. 

Adapted from the newly released Comfort for Grieving Hearts: Hope and Encouragement for Times of Loss. To watch a brief 1-minute video about the book, click here. 

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About the Author

Gary Roe is an author, speaker, and chaplain with Hospice Brazos Valley. He is the author of the award-winning bestsellers Shattered: Surviving the Loss of a Child, Please Be Patient, I'm Grieving, HEARTBROKEN: Healing from the Loss of a Spouse, and Surviving the Holidays without You and the co-author (with New York Times Bestseller Cecil Murphey) of Saying Goodbye: Facing the Loss of a Loved One. Visit him at www.garyroe.com.

I'm Grieving, Now What?