This short animated video contains much wisdom about what not to say, what to say, and what to do when someone you know and care about is experiencing intense grief and loss. "The way to help someone feel better is to let them be in pain." Acknowledging their suffering and being with them in it, rather than trying to cheer them out of it, can make things better even when they cannot be made right. Listening helps. Being present helps. Being heard helps.


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  • Susan Gaustad

    Thank you for this wonderful video! When my husband died a few years ago, I responded to those who sincerely were sorry about his death. Those who sat with me, walked with me, ate with me with their full presence brought healing to my heart. Platitudes annoy and irritate. This video will help me do the same for a friend who is grieving the loss of her father. Beautifully and simply done!

  • p

    This is so true. I'm going through this. This is the best advice I've heard

  • Ramona Teagarden

    Acknowledgement of the depth of the pain. To ask the grieving person if they want to talk about it, instead of making small talk. What I've found is that the person in grief wants to talk about their person, or whatever the grief stems from. If it's a person, talking about them keeps their memory alive and is comforting, even if painful at times.

  • Mish

    Full of wisdom. Shared this one.

  • Margaret

    My best friend's son is dying of cancer (51)and her daughter-in-law has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. Her pain is overwhelming. This video could not have come at a better time. I think that we undervalue the act of listening.

  • Chad Harper

    Thank you. I am grieving…

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  • Visit the Refuge in Grief website to access more resources on this important topic.
  • Listen to the podcast It's OK that You're Not OK with Megan Devine. 
  • The next time you are tempted to try to cheer up someone who is suffering, instead sit with this person and acknowledge their pain. Does something shift within you in the process? Reflect on this experience. 

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