The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


'Never say ...'

Here's how to help someone in grief in one hard lesson

My husband and I had been married just two years when we moved to Minnesota so I could attend Luther Seminary in St. Paul. Matt got a job and, despite the stress of school and work, we were happy. We missed home but were making friends and forming new dreams for our future.

That all ended Sept. 30, 1998.

Police came to the door to tell me that my beloved husband was dead — killed in an accident at work. "I'm 24 years old! I should not have to deal with this! My life is over!" — these thoughts went round and round in my head as terror and agony washed over me. In one moment every hope for our future ended.

As time went by, I discovered new depths of pain. I also found that many people left me alone in my grief because they "didn't know what to say." Others said unhelpful or even hurtful things.

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