Holding Our Angel

Loving After Loss


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At least, But, However

Are words/phrases that need to be banned from all languages.

I was with a friend last night who is going through a hard time, and she was telling me some of the things people have said in an effort to “comfort” her.

I think it speaks to my optimism that despite all the crappy things people have said to me, I was still surprised at what has been said to my friend.

I realize the vast majority of people reading this are those who have lost a child or are a family/friend of mine, which means in both cases these people already know not to say a sentence with at least/but/however in it. But (see what I did there?) just in case…

If someone you know is struggling (not just with child loss, but with anything), do not say the words at least/but/however. Period.

Stop your sentence (or don’t even start it!) before you get to the offending word. There is no “I’m so sorry, but…”. Leave it at “I’m so sorry”. Throw in an “I’ll be thinking of/praying for you” if it’s genuine. Remember that actions speak louder than words. Offering to run an errand or drop off a dinner or help them with something around the house means so much more than a cliche.

No good comes from saying the words at least/but/however. For me, I started to withdraw from people. There are certain people I keep at arm’s length now because it is just easier to deal with than to have my feelings and experiences invalidated. I don’t like pretending everything is ok when it’s not, but it got to the point where pretending to be ok is a thousand times easier than opening myself up to someone only to be cut deeper.