Friday, December 4, 2015


I recently had the pleasure of hearing David Kessler speak on the topic of grief. David Kessler is one of the world’s foremost experts on healing and loss. His experience with thousands of people on the edge of life and death has taught him the secrets to living a happy and fulfilled life. He is the author of five bestselling books, including the newly released You Can Heal Your Heart: Finding Peace After Breakup, Divorce or Death with Louise Hay. He co-authored two bestsellers with the legendary Elisabeth Kübler-Ross: On Grief and Grieving and Life Lessons. Please be sure to visit That site has a great number of resources hospice Chaplains can use. With that said, there are some general guidelines we as hospice Chaplain need to follow and even encourage our IDT members to follow as well. On David’s site he has two lists: The Best Things to Say to Someone in Grief, and The Worst Things to Say to Someone in Grief. The Best Things to Say to Someone in Grief 1. I am so sorry for your loss. 2. I wish I had the right words, just know I care. 3. I don’t know how you feel, but I am here to help in any way I can. 4. You and your loved one will be in my thoughts and prayers. 5. My favorite memory of your loved one is… 6. I am always just a phone call away 7. Give a hug instead of saying something 8. We all need help at times like this, I am here for you 9. I am usually up early or late, if you need anything 10. Saying nothing, just be with the person The Worst Things to Say to Someone in Grief 1. At least she lived a long life, many people die young 2. He is in a better place 3. She brought this on herself 4. There is a reason for everything 5. Aren’t you over him yet, he has been dead for awhile now 6. You can have another child still 7. She was such a good person God wanted her to be with him 8. I know how you feel 9. She did what she came here to do and it was her time to go 10. Be strong Let’s do our best to connect our pure and good intentions with pastoral care skill in providing care to those grieving and experiencing anticipatory grief. Bless you, Chaplains, for your compassionate work.

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