This week I’ve been struggling to find words to write a post, I think it’s called “writers’ block”? Anyway, I made a commitment to myself that no matter what, I was going to post every single Monday and Thursday. So despite my lost for words, here I am… writing. 

I’ve not only been fumbling for words to write; on Tuesday, one of my closest friends’ father suddenly passed away and I can’t seem to find any words to say to her. Is there even anything we can say to someone who has lost a loved one other than the clichéd one-liners, “They’re in a better place” and “You need to be strong”? I rather say nothing and just be there, because I don’t think there’s anything anyone can really say to someone under such circumstances. Not to mention, today is her birthday and I’ve been thinking of a way to approach her with my words… do you say happy birthday when you know it’s not?

What do you do when you’re lost for words? 

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Thank you for reading.

Smile! Life is better when you’re laughing.

Love, Candace

48 Replies to “When You Can’t Find The Words…”

  1. When someone’s down, especially while dealing with death, there’s never any right words to say. All you can do is text them once a while, and let them know you’re just a call away if you need them, or something as simple as “I hope you’re feeling better. Take care and let me know of any help i can be.” A hug, thinking of you texts, or company in silence should suffice.

  2. I find sometimes just spending time saying nothing, knowing that when you’re really down, someone is just willing to sit beside you. To be there if THEY want to say something or nothing is what comforts me. To say silly things, to make tea or just watch TV if that’s what is needed.
    A little card just to say that you are there if ever they do want to talk or not. To be that rock that they need but in their time.
    Knowing that they have a friend is the best thing to say.
    Love to your friend, and you. And a smile. X

  3. My father died over twenty years ago, I don’t remember what people said to me, but I remember their presence. Just ‘being there’ for someone is enough. Words fall short. One’s presence, a hug, a touch on the shoulder are usually sufficient. If your friend wishes to talk, you’re there. Acknowledge the birthday with a small gift with a note that she can open and read later, saying just what you said here, that you know this isn’t a happy birthday.
    As far as writing goes, I know what you mean. Some days I struggle, and on others the words flow like a stream of meltwater down the mountain. Sometimes I start with one theme or idea in mind but end up editing that idea out, ending up very differently from where I began my writing. I believe the commitment to write is what is important.
    Thank you for the words you share.

    1. Always great reading your responses Tim. I really appreciate and value your thoughts as someone who has been through it. I will keep all of those in mind, thank you.

      You’re so right, some days I can write a great post in a few minutes, and some days I take hours writing and editing. But that’s all part of the dance right? As you rightfully said, it’s the commitment that counts.

      Have a great one 🙂

  4. Thank u candy…being there is enough….love u lots and thank u for your post. Not sure how to deal with this but I’m holding on to God’s grace.

  5. I lost my mom 5 years back and I know I really didn’t want to hear much of anything back then but I appreciated everyone who came around. When you don’t know what to say I guess you can say you don’t know what to say like you did with today’s post.

    Also, I nominated you for The Sunshine Blogger Award. I hope it gives you the words for another post. Here is the link:


  6. I try to remember Maya Angelou’s quote that “people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” We should try to do whatever we can to simply convey that we’re there for our friend and thinking of them. I wonder how many people do nothing because they’re afraid they’ll appear awkward or say the wrong thing.

    1. That’s one of my all time favourite quotes Donna. Thanks for bringing it to light, it’s soooo applicable in this instance.

      Yep, I suppose sometimes people do avoid things because they’re afraid of coming across as awkward. I think we need to remember to act the way we would like to be treated.

  7. Candace, since I have been following your blog I have been impressed by your consistency and your talent for saying so much, with meaning, in so few words. I have no doubt you will find the right words in this case, too. “May happy memories of (blank) make you smile often” is a nice thing to write to someone who has had a loss.

  8. I’m so sorry to hear about your friend’s father. The hardest part about being in your situation and wanting to help your friend is that there really is no right or wrong answer. Everyone handles the loss of a loved one differently, so there is no way to know for sure what the best way to help and be supportive is in this situation. I have dealt with the loss of a loved one far too many times in my life. Speaking from my personal experiences, I just wanted a distraction from reality for the first couple of days. After that, I wanted to spend time with a close friend and just talk. I didn’t want any advice or any kind of feedback from anyone. I just wanted to talk and know that someone was listening. Sometimes no words are necessary. Never underestimate the importance of a warm hug… a shoulder to cry on. Without any words being spoken, sometimes people just need a hug. As I said, everyone handles things differently, but the best way to approach the situation may be to just let your friend know that you are there for her and are willing to help in any way that you can. Let her know that you are someone she can come to while she grieves, but leave it up to your friend to reach out to you if and when she is ready to do so. Everyone grieves at their own pace. It’s something that can’t be rushed or forced in any way. I would also say something along the lines of, “I know this is a difficult time for you, but I hope you are still able to enjoy your birthday”. A simple reminder that you are thinking of her could really mean a lot to her right now. The loss of a loved one is never easy, but it’s even harder to deal with when it happens suddenly and unexpectedly. It’s a really confusing time.

    As far as overcoming writers’ block, sometimes it’s best to not focus on writing itself. Just focus on the things and people around you, and the inspiration may just come to you. When you find the right inspiration, words just have a way of coming together. The more you try to force yourself to write, the more difficult it may become to find the words you’re searching for. I am going to try to write a new post later tonight, but, for the past few weeks, I have had what I refer to as “reverse writers’ block”. I have so many ideas in mind that they all try to come out at the same time. The ideas blend together and the result is a random mess that doesn’t make any sense. Hopefully that will change tonight.

    I hope you find this helpful in some way!! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Danny, yes it was absolutely helpful.

      About the writing, some days I can write a great piece in just a few minutes, and then there are the days when I take hours to come up with something. Not to mention time to edit! But you’re right, I need to focus more on the inspiration around me and less on the writing itself.

      Thanks so much 🙂

  9. Suffering from a huge loss myself, I’ll say to just be there for her. No amount of words you say will help. She’s probably in her own world anyway and isn’t looking to be consoled. She just needs to know that you’re there

  10. When my first wife passed away, it was very difficult to respond to people’s comments. Knowing they were there was enough, and their words actually made it harder. Sometimes words hurt more than help.

    1. Wow, so very true Walt. I feel like people need to be allowed to mourn however they choose, and we shouldn’t try to talk them out of it. It’s like when a kid falls—the moment we start to console them, they burst out crying; but if we allow them to get back up on their own, most times they will just get up and keep going without shedding a single tear.

      Great perspective Walt, thanks so much for sharing that 🙂

  11. When you can’t find the words, let your actions speak for you. Your actions towards your friend in her time of distress communicates your love and support towards her much more than anything you could’ve said or written. Great post btw babe, I admire your dedication to your blog and your reader.

  12. Thank you so much for visiting my blog. Hour post has reminded me of a quote from one of my favorite books in which the author writes about the best thing we can do when someone we love is in pain and I’ll share it with you.

    “When her pain is fresh and new, let her have it. Don’t try to take it away. Forgive yourself for not having that power. Grief and pain are like joy and peace; they are not things we should try to snatch from each other. They’re sacred. They are part of each person’s journey. All we can do is offer relief from this fear: I am all alone. That’s the one fear you can alleviate. Offer your presence, your love, yourself, so she’ll understand that no matter how dark it gets, she’s not walking alone. That is always enough to offer. Thank God. -Glennon Doyle

    I hope it helps.


    1. You’re welcome Mari, thanks for visiting mine as well.

      I love Glennon Doyle. Have been following her story for some time now. Thanks so much for sharing that quote and for reminding me to get that book!

      Have a great day 🙂

  13. Hi friend I know you are reading this, My prayers are with you. My prayers are with you. Let us thank God for adding you another year to face new life. My prayer is that God’s grace my watch over you and give you strength to live by the memories and to leave by God’s driven purpose so as daddy may wow at your achievements while he is away. May his sufficient grace be with you for He alone has the power to control and to give you hope for a better day. Receive love from Kenya and whenever you feel like crying don’t hold it back, it will not be key but I promise you you will not be shattered beyond recovery. I wish you well, and my special wishes of happiness in the new year.

  14. When people are in our Heart we are not really apart but we miss their presence, their smile, their words, their Love in their actions. I feel your a very caring person Candace who seeks to uplift others and I’m sure your friend knows you care and that you will be there for her if she needs you but I would send her some flowers with a short note reminding her you do as some of your other readers suggested.

    There is a saying Candace; “Laugh and the World Laughs with you cry and you cry alone” but Jesus tells us to come to Him when our load is too heavy to carry and He will give us rest, we don’t have to be Happy Clappy we can be real and not wear a mask when we are hurting, there is a time to laugh and a time to cry, a time to dance, a time to sing etc, and yes a time to write and a time to rest.

    Blessings – Anne.

  15. I agree just being there sometimes is better than any words, maybe even have her read your post and all the comments below it ?
    Its such a deep post that im lost for words to even write a comment here. I’ve read through others comments and think they all have little gems of advice contained in them!
    peace and love x

    1. Yep, she read the post without me even directing her to it. I’m so glad she did. You’re right.. every comment has been so meaningful with such great advice. I really appreciate my readers. Thank you so much:)

  16. I’m in agreement with all of these comments. Just being there for support is usually enough. It is probably understood that you do not want to focus on a different occasion when something so tragic has occurred. Your presence in their life and your love and support will speak volumes for itself. xoxo

  17. Being there is perfect. There’s no way to “fix” a death or soften the sharp edges, so don’t bother with “He’s in a better place” or the endless cliches that are meant to sidestep pain. The old writing advice “Show don’t tell” is a useful guide when wondering how to respond to a death. Showing love in one of myriad ways can’t go wrong. And yes, acknowledge the birthday with something heartfelt. Bless you for your compassion.

  18. I understand “writer’s block”. I get it too. As far as what to say to someone who just lost a loved one: sometimes you don’t have to say anything but just be there for them. Just let them know you care and give them a shoulder to cry on if they need one. I always pray for them to have that peace that passes all understanding because there is no explanation for how and why that works but it does. Jesus knows how to give peace to someone who is in mourning. He did it for me as well when I lost my first husband after being married to him for 30 years. I did not want to hear those cliche’ sayings either because it did not make me like they really cared. It was only those who I could feel in my heart that they cared and I know it had to be Jesus who brought me peace, sometimes through other people just being there for me and not the words they spoke.

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