How people deal with grief is varied based on the individual and the source of their pain. There is no road map for how we are to cope with the many different types of loss, nor is there an instruction manual on how to comfort the one who’s hurting.
It used to be my nature to always try to cheer people up when they were down. My initial reaction to someone crying was to attempt to make them smile. I was a fixer. However, after experiencing some life, I have learned that’s not the best course of action. Walking with someone through a struggle means taking cues from them on how you can help them process their feelings and eventually move beyond their pain.
Offering to take a recently widowed woman on a singles cruise, probably is not the wisest idea.
While your friend is going through a nasty divorce is not the time to set them up on a blind date.
When your baby gets their heart broke for the first time, that whole “more fish in the sea” saying is not comforting.
For the parents who are experiencing the devastating loss of a child, chances are they’re not going to be much fun for a while so refrain from trying to force the social scene.
“Being happy-go-lucky around a person whose heart is heavy is as bad as stealing his jacket in cold weather or rubbing salt in his wounds.” (Proverbs 25:20 Living Bible)
Even in the above scenarios, no two people will grieve the same. One person may savor a distraction that allows them to temporarily forget their pain while another prefers to sit and cry in silence while you hold their hand. Again, that is why it is imperative to let the Holy Spirit guide you and be sensitive to the individual. Trying to rush someone through the stages of grief may be detrimental to your relationship. It may be that you only desire to see them smile, and your intentions are definitely in the right place, but taking too much of a lighthearted approach may cause them more pain.