Don’t use the words ‘at least’ to a friend who’s lost someone

“At least she isn’t suffering.”

“At least you have other children.”

“At least you will no longer worry.”

“At least he is in heaven now.”

If you are thinking of starting any sentence with “at least” to a friend who has suffered a loss, you are essentially trying to polish grief with a coat of positive. In other words, you are invalidating someone’s feelings.

When I suffered a loss, I didn’t want anyone pointing out the good part of losing a child. There was nothing positive about Charles’ suicide. I was at the lowest point of my life, deep in the darkness of loss and I needed my friends and family, but I didn’t need anyone telling me his death had some silver lining.

I wanted to know stories about my child, snippets of his life I didn’t know.

There is no cheering up a person who has suffered a devastating loss. They want to be listened to and often talk about the one they lost. Sometimes they just want you to sit with them.

You can’t fix it. Or cheer them up. But you can listen and acknowledge that the situation is awful, and unbearable.

Published by

Anne Moss Rogers

I am an emotionally naked TEDx speaker, and author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind. I raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost my youngest son, Charles to substance use disorder and suicide June 5, 2015. I help people foster a culture of connection to prevent suicide, reduce substance misuse and find life after loss. My motivational, training and workshop topics include suicide prevention, addiction, mental illness, and grief. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory. Professional Speaker Website. Trained in ASIST and trainer for the evidence-based 4-hour training for everyone called safeTALK.

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