I recall when my mother passed away, some people completely disappeared from my life for months and months. They didn’t know what to say or do, and avoided me and my family totally instead of getting in touch. They would rather go away than show up and be vulnerable. What if there is actually no right thing to say? What if finding the right thing to say, do, or be was not actually what was required to contribute to someone who was experiencing grief?
For many people in the early stages of grief, all they want is for someone to be with them and they want to be able to talk about their loved one, and have someone just listen. By being willing to be that space and to have no point of view about what they choose, you are being a true gift.
So if don’t know what to say, that’s ok! In fact, that’s often a great place to start. What if you would just show up and say “Hi, I really don’t know what to say, but I just want to let you know that I am here.” It’s really not about the words, it’s actually about your willingness to be there with them without any barriers. If you are willing to show up, be present and vulnerable and ask what contribution you can be to that person - that is huge. Don’t underestimate it!