What not to say to someone who is grieving

» theguardian.com — originally shared here on

Human nature is to put boundaries around the loss, so we know it’s something that happens to other people. We say that they’re in a better place or to just remember the good times, because if we spoke the truth – that tragedy comes for us all, that sometimes life is random and cruel and painful and beyond comprehension – I mean, how would we even function?

Death has been on my mind a lot lately. Both of my kids continually ask about it, and a coworker of mine is grieving a very recent death in their family.

This is the conclusion I inevitably come to: death does come for us all, randomly and painfully and mercilessly.

The only way I’ve found to cope with the concept of death is to be grateful to be born in the first place. What a stroke of luck we have to even be alive.

In the words of Jeff Mangum: “How strange it is to be anything at all.”