I came across this article today, and it is a succinct and honest look at what you can say to someone who has lost a son or daughter.
There is also one thing you may never say, “I know how you feel”.
This is the No. 1 phrase to avoid when consoling a grieving mom or dad.
“It’s not permitted to say that to a bereaved parent unless you are a bereaved parent,” Livingston said. “It betrays such a lack of understanding of what the bereaved parent is going through.”
People are sometimes tempted to list their own periods of grief — the death of their grandmother or a beloved family pet — as a way to sympathize, but those are not equivalent losses, he noted.
“To try to explain to people that this is the kind of loss that transforms you into a different person, that you will never be the same person you were before this happened, is almost impossible.”
This is the main thing. This type if grief is a transformative event. You will never be the same person. Your life will never be the same. Unless you have experienced it yourself, you cannot comprehend the magnitude of the loss, nor the irrevocable change one experiences.