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How to Talk to Someone Grieving

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Many years ago I was in a men’s group. One of our group had recently experienced the death of his dad.

The leader asked this man if he was “back on track” after the month had passed since his dad’s death. The fellow, who was a soft-spoken sort, looked confused as to how to answer the question. He stammered a moment and then stated he guessed so.

This moment stuck with me for two reasons. One was the assumption that continuing to experience sadness from the loss was not on track. The other was the impact of how a closed-ended question can shut down the response of the mourner. Questions such as “Are you ok?” “How are you, good?” “Are you back on track?” do not leave the griever much room to respond.

It is a small change of words, but “How are you?” and “How you have been?” encourages grievers to say as much or as little about the experience as they wish.

CLICK HERE to purchase a copy of my book “Getting Grief Right.”


Getting Grief Right

by Dr. Patrick O'Malley

A masterpiece that will touch your heart and soul with healing powers. • A compassionate, wise, and practical guide • A must read for anyone who is grieving the loss of a loved one.


Grief Therapist

Dr. Patrick O’Malley is a psychotherapist in Fort Worth, Texas, who specializes in grief counseling. For 40 years, he has counseled individuals, couples and families
in his private practice.


Getting Grief Right

by Dr. Patrick O'Malley

By the time Mary came to see me, six months after losing her daughter to sudden infant death syndrome, she had hired and fired two other therapists. She was trying to get her grief right...

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