“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.”
“At least he didn’t suffer.”
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.