Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from Keys to Happiness, an anthology of articles published in 1954.
Most of us want to be helpful when grief strikes a friend, but often we don’t know how. We may end up doing nothing because we don’t know the right — and helpful — things to say and do. Because that was my own experience recently, I resolved to gather pointers which might be useful to others as well as myself.
Ministers, priests, and rabbis deal with such situations every day. I went to scores of them, of all faiths, in all parts of the country.
Here are some specific suggestions they made:
1. Don’t try to “buck them up.”
This surprised me when the Rev. Arthur E. Wilson of Providence, RI mentioned it. But the others concurred. It only makes your friend feel worse when you say, “Come now…