Following accusations that the president was insensitive to the widow of a fallen soldier, many have been left asking what one should say to a family that has suffered such a loss.
The president allegedly told the widow of slain Sgt. La David Johnson that “he knew what he signed up for” following the Army member’s death in Niger earlier this month.
Trump denies saying that.
In the wake of the Gold Star controversy, what is the best way to comfort someone during one of the most difficult times in their lives?
Psychotherapist Robi Ludwig says many people make the mistake of saying nothing at all.
“Words are very powerful – they can heal or harm, be very careful,” she said. “If you don’t know what to say it’s best to just be there in silence and say, ‘I’m here if you need me.'”
Meanwhile, another Gold Star family is weighing in on the controversy.
Sheila and Calvin Murphy lost their son, Etienne, 22, in Syria this past May after an armored vehicle he was was involved in a rollover crash.
“The pain is indescribable,” Sheila Murphy told CNN. “It’s un-get-through-able. That is my new word, it is un-get-through-able, this pain.”
They say they have not heard from the White House.
“It doesn’t matter if I hear from the White House,” the distraught mom said on CNN. “It’s not really about a call or a letter. I just want people to remember my son.”