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I have a friend whose husband was killed in a crash he was 31 she is 28. She is 8 weeks pregnant has a 2 yr old daughter. What words can I say to her?


This question falls more into the “advice” category than the “Bible answer” one; but I couldn’t let it pass because I think it is good for people to know how to respond to others when they are suffering intensely.

Having said, let me immediately preface my answer. This is my opinion based on my experience.

There are only two things I think you should say to your friend in the absence of her asking you to say something:

  • Is there anything that I can take care of for you?
    • Better yet; look around and see what needs to be taken care of and take the initiative to do it, ie. don’t ask if the grass needs mowed, just mow it; don’t ask if the house needs cleaned, just clean it. Do these things being sensitive to her privacy and emotions; she may not want you around, or may need to do these things herself in order to have some “normalcy” back
  • I am praying for you. Is there anything specific I can pray for?

Obviously, no answer is a blanket for every type of person or situation. In general though, we are to quick to offer empty cliches, or nice sounding Scriptures that do more to make us feel good about our advice than it does to help the other person.

We feel helpless when people are suffering. We feel like we just MUST say something to “help”. But the fact is, rarely can you signficantly help with mere words (again, UNLESS they ask you something). She is hurting and will continue to hurt. She will hear enough platitudes and simple solutions.

It has been my experience that just having people there to listen and having people take care of the mundane daily burdens is a very effective way to help.

In my opinion, our words are only helpful and appreciated when they have been asked for. When your hurting friends wants some advice, wants some spiritual direction or need some communication from you, she will probably let you know one way or another. Let her do the talking unless she specifically requests that you carry the conversation.

It is much harder to BE THERE for someone, than it is to express a few condolensces and then get on with our busy lives. In a month or so, everyone around her will be “past” this tragedy and getting on with life. It might take months or years for your friend to get “past” it.

The most important thing you can “say” is that you are there for her, for the long haul, and that as long as she is hurting, you will hurt with her (Rom 12.15).

That is my opinion only based on my experience.