After your person dies, grief can cause one to question their faith or provide a source of familiar comfort.
However, for many grieving individuals who have been on the receiving line of faith-driven platitudes, these common phrases of well-intentioned support can grate. Some examples of this include:
“This is God’s plan” (so stop feeling so sad)
“They are in a better place”. (so stop feeling so sad)
“God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” (so stop feeling so sad)
For those individuals, they may feel judged and their grief is a reflection of a lack of their faith. For others, they may start to question their feelings of grief when their person is now with God.
For the platitudes written above, consider inserting what Megan Devine, author of It's OK That You're Not OK calls a “ghost sentence” which we’ve included in parentheses. When someone with the best of intentions uses one of the above phrases, the grieving individual often hears what is left unsaid.
Thankfully, many faith communities are a place of comfort and love during times of loss. However, for others, this isn’t their experience. Grief is a normal reaction to loss. If you have ever been made to feel like your pain and heartache are a reflection of a lack of faith, we want to assure you that grief and faith can coexist.
Source: Devine, Megan. It's Ok That You're Not Ok: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand. Sounds True, Incorporated, 2017.