I have really been pondering this today, this tendency to auto-correct. We all have it, not just our phones. We feel like we have the ability to fix other people, just like our phones, we see someone who is grieving and we try to fix them.
We don't like to see someone struggling, it makes us uncomfortable, so we offer advice on how to make the pain go away. Most times our attempts are as helpful as my phone telling my husband I am in Frugal. It doesn't help and can even frustrate.
More often than not our intentions are good, we only want to help. May I suggest a simple solution to approaching someone who is struggling. Before speaking, stop and pray, ask God what should I say? Usually the less you say the better. Most people who are going through a valley, just want to know someone cares. They don't want solutions, they want support. If you have been through the same struggle, let them know and offer help if they need it. Once you make the offer, wait and let them approach you.
My Play and Pray mom's group is reading through a great book, Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas. This week as I was preparing for our time together I ran across a paragraph that addressed this very issue.
For good reason Paul tells the Romans to "mourn with those who mourn" (Romans 12:15). He's saying, "don't offer easy answers; don't try to rid yourself of the burden of being around a grieving person by trying to make them forget it or to 'get over it.' All of that is self-centered religion. Instead, mourn with them. Take time to cry, to hurt, even to be angry-but don't lose faith. (page 112, Sacred Parenting).
Auto-correcting is a feature that should only be used on a smartphone. We do not need to be "helping" people get it right. When you see someone who is grieving, don't feel the need to fix them. We need to accept them where they are, we need to be available and we need to pray for them!