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How to Talk to a Girl Whose Grandfather Just Passed Away

by Candice Coleman, studioD

Whether the girl in question is a friend, girlfriend or the object of your affection, consoling her after her grandfather has died can be a difficult task. Practicing what to say to her ahead of time can ensure that your words are both consoling and appropriate. This will still be an emotionally difficult time for her, and tears and social withdrawal are not uncommon for a grieving person.

Consoling Things to Say

Though it can be awkward to acknowledge someone's passing, keeping the focus on expressing your sorrow and letting her know how you feel about her is top priority, according to the Emily Post Institute. If you knew her grandfather personally, you may also mention any positive memories you have of him. If you did not know him, it is acceptable to tell her that you would like to hear more about him when she feels ready to talk.

Phrases to Avoid

Though you may feel it is consoling to hear, a girl may find it painful if you try to put a positive spin on her grandfather's death, according to Everplans.com. Don't mention how great it is that she had a chance to say good-bye, or that his death was quick. Avoid comments that make assumptions about the religious beliefs of the girl or her grandfather, or which compare her grief to a loss you have suffered.

Example Comments

Trying to think of what to say to a grieving girl can be stressful. You may want to say, "I heard about your grandfather. He was funny and I enjoyed being around him. If I can do anything, let me know how I can help." You can also say, "I'm sorry about the loss of your grandfather. I care about you and I would like to help." If acknowledging a loss verbally proves difficult, you can always write a single line conveying your feelings in a note or letter, according to the Emily Post Institute.

Respect the Grieving Process

If a grieving girl has indicated she does not want to talk about her grandfather, or that she does not need help, you can let her know she can ask for help if she changes her mind, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. You can also extend offers to help again later. Remember that everyone grieves differently, and the girl may want time alone to process her grandfather's loss. If you notice that her depression seems to be worsening, or if she has talked about hurting herself, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.

About the Author

Candice Coleman worked in the public school system as a middle school and high school substitute teacher. In addition to teaching, she is also a tutor for high school and college students.

Photo Credits

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