What not to say after someone dies.

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“It IS a good morning.” 

That’s what the minister said. 

A woman died an hour earlier. Her death was both sudden and unexpected. The family was gathered in a hospital consult room, waiting for the next steps, waiting for the minister. 

He walked into the room, aware of the death. 

“Good morning,” said a family member, probably a child of the woman.

“It IS a good morning,” he answered. 

It was probably a habit. It may be technically true, theologically true, true for many people outside this room at this moment. 

But at this moment, in this room, it is not emotionally true. 

Even “trained professionals” miss sometimes. Most pastors, most people outside healthcare workers and first responders don’t have much experience being so close to death so soon after death. 

But in case you are ever in that situation, the proper response to “Good morning” is 

  1. Hi. 
  2. I’m sorry.
  3. I got here as soon as I could. 
  4. This is hard. 
  5. {a tear}
  6. Almost anything other than “It IS a good morning.” 

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