Commentary: 'She's in a better place,' and other things you shouldn't say when someone dies. By Judith Weinstein. Chicago Tribune. or “he/she is in a better place” may feel like the right thing to say, but it is best to avoid statements of comparison or empathy (stick to sympathy). Rethinking the way we phrase condolences. Emotions run high at a funeral, and it's easy to be misinterpreted. The way you speak counts more than. 2022 FOREX PREDICTIONS
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If we thought deeply about it, which we are not prone to do in this circumstance , we would realize we are being friend 1 to ourselves. The emptiness this brings can be devastating. But what if I told you that Gregg is, in fact, in a better place — but not for the reasons you think he is? Would that interest you at all? I hope so, for such is the point of this note. Because I dearly care about you, and even more so because of my love for Gregg: my old and recent friend, I want to tell you about what happened in the last couple years of his life.
I want you to know of the tangible hope that Gregg had, that I have — and that you can share. I want you to be actually comforted. In , I felt a great need to contact Gregg. I wrote him a letter in the facility where he was staying and I shared with him the gospel of Jesus Christ: more on that later.
He read my letter and responded. We corresponded a little I wish it had been more , and over the next 4 years were able to re-enjoy our friendship a little. I recall talking to him after Josh died. I always wished I had more time for him on the phone, or that I had lived closer. Gregg was a great guy, we know. He was a dear friend. He was so loving and tender-hearted. I remember being amazed that he was my friend because I felt like such a loser, but around Gregg I always felt cool and liked.
He had that way about him. He was just … Gregg. He was himself. He was funny, a great conversationalist, and I recall his blue eyes. I remember my teenage boy jealousy about how girls would talk about how great his eyes were. So is Gregg in Heaven because he was such a great guy? We all know the Gregg who was great, but also the Gregg who had a dark side. And you know what I can tell you? In fact, he would want me to share this with you.
Gregg trusted the righteousness of another. You see: Gregg came to realize as did I a few years earlier , that his best efforts to make up for his sins against a holy God were futile. This came easily to men like me and Gregg, in a sense. Gregg and I each crossed a line where other adults looked upon us with disdain.
I had no doubt that I deserved Hell from God, neither did Gregg. But God, because He is not only full of justice, but full of mercy and grace had a plan to redeem lost souls like us. God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ into the world. Now Jesus was born of a virgin as predicted by the Old Testament. He lived a sinless life, never once lying, cheating, stealing, lusting or coveting.
He never put anything above God the Father in this world. But Jesus was killed. Suffered and died and was buried for three days for the forgiveness of sins. Then 3 days later, He miraculously rose from the grave, defeating death! This I know because the Bible tells me so. Could this be what that poor nurse was getting at?
If so, it would seem that the weight of scripture would be on her side. So if this were her intention she would be theologically correct on a number of points. We want to say something, anything that might bring comfort so we grab for aphorisms that have been handed down to us by our own experiences or from the self-help section at the Christian bookstore.
You see the problem is not with the technicality of the answer from the nurse. On the theological merits, she was correct—he was in a better place. The problem is that the suffering widow was not asking a question. She was grieving, sobbing, and her mind was undoubtedly racing in many directions.
The nurse was answering a question, that at least in that instant, no one was asking. In such moments it is imperative that Christians learn the discipline and wisdom of holding our tongues. This is not to say that we take up vows of silence when thrust into these situations but less is more. If we were to unpack the fullness of what this means then we would see that it is a word that is measured with wisdom, truth, and patient compassion. A timely word can be a word delayed either in a letter, email, or note of sympathy.
A timely word may be a conversation over coffee months later when important questions do arise.