Crossway+ members can shop select books and Bibles at 50% off in our 2023 Christmas Gift Guide.

How to Respond to Hurtful Comments When You're Grieving

Get Angry or Give Grace

So you’re grieving and someone has said something to you that, instead of being helpful like they’d hoped it would be and like you would have wanted it to be, was actually hurtful. What are you going to do with that? You have a couple of choices.

You can get mad and stomp away. You can write that person off forever—they just don’t get it. You know, we tend to think that people should "get it," that they should know what to say. But I want to challenge you to think about this: did you know what to say to grieving people before you were in this place?

What Grieving People Wish You Knew about What Really Helps (and What Really Hurts)

Nancy Guthrie

Practical and down-to-earth, this short guide will equip you to come alongside a loved one who is hurting and offer comfort in ways that really help.

What I really want to encourage you to do is to begin to give people grace. People are just trying to reach out to you, even when they say some wrong, awkward thing. You can hold them far away, you can not hold them near unless they say it exactly right or do it exactly right . . . or you can invite them in. You can extend grace. You can help them over the hurdle that has popped up in between you, and you can invite them into your sorrow.

Related Resources

Be Still, My Soul
A Grief Sanctified

Crossway is a not-for-profit Christian ministry that exists solely for the purpose of proclaiming the gospel through publishing gospel-centered, Bible-centered content. Learn more or donate today at