The Right Words: How To Console Your Friend After A Devastating Loss

I sat still and waited until my friend stopped crying. She cried for all the moments that were stolen from her; for the laughter that was once musical to her ears but now no longer made a sound. She cried for the words never to be spoken again; she cried for the love that she has lost. And I sat still and waited until she stopped crying while silently urging my tear ducts to stop its excessive participation at that moment because I knew my own tears weren’t helping.

I wanted so badly to tell her things would be okay, but I couldn’t for the reason that I knew for a fact that that advice, alone, is not okay. I mean, how can you possibly tell someone who has just lost their loved one that things will, eventually, look up in time? How can you tell them that this is just a phase that would, ultimately, pass, too? You can’t tell them that, and, honestly, you’re not supposed to.

I sat still and waited until she stopped crying, only to tell me the story of how they met. I listened to the words she uttered without once interrupting to tell her that she’s told me that already not long ago. I listened as she reminisced the days that she had with him, for a while giving me a brief view to a ghost of a smile that was once seemingly permanently etched on her face.

I sat still and waited until my friend stopped crying. It took quite some time, but it did happen. Her tears stopped coming. She sat taller while wiping her tear-stained face. She looked at me straight and thanked me for giving her my attention. I smiled at her knowing full well that that’s how it’s supposed to go. You have to hold out your patience for as long as you can owing to the fact that at the moment someone close to you is hurting.

So, you have to let them grieve.

Let them tell you their stories over and over, not once giving a sign that you must’ve memorized the lines already. Let them tell you how things happened. Then, let them cry again. In this way, they will know that you are mourning their loss, too. And, I guess, that idea, alone, will tell anyone who’s coming to you for comfort that they made the right choice of choosing you.

You don’t always have to say anything just to prove that you’re there for them. Your presence, alone, is doing it for you. You just got to give them your shoulder to cry on and lend them your ears for the moment, because at times like this, they would need someone to hear them out.

I know that during the hardest times of our lives, even the greatest advice won’t do us good. But you can never go wrong with listening ears. And I hope we all learn to be that to others in tough situations, especially like this one.

To the friend I am referring to, you know who you are. It’s been years since that day that you went through the challenge of losing a person that once meant a lot to you, but up to this day, I can still remember how I knew that you were going to be okay – you finally had different stories to tell.

I’m glad you found the strength to carry on, and I want you to know that no matter what happens, I’m willing to always sit next to you and listen.

When someone is going through a storm, your silent presence is more powerful than a million empty words.

Featured image via Brandy Melville.

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