Someone I Know Is Grieving: Responding with Humility and Compassion

Edward T. Welch
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Bestselling author and counselor Edward T. Welch walks readers through the difficult task of coming alongside grieving people with genuine compassion and humility.

When someone is grieving, it can be hard to know what to say or do. We want to be helpful, not hurtful, but it’s easy to go wrong. The good news is that we can learn to approach those who are grieving with the same compassion that Jesus shows us when we are grieving. It starts with humility and listening well and expands into practical support as the Spirit leads us. 

In Someone I Know Is Grieving, Edward T. Welch leans on his many years of counseling grieving people to help readers learn from their compassionate Savior how to respond to people’s sadness and hard times without advice or trying to “fix it,” but to instead hear their story, learn from others’ experiences, and depend on the Spirit for wisdom for what to say and do.  

  • Practical, accessible, spiritual guidance on responding with compassion to another person’s troubles written by an experienced counselor.    
  • Part of the Ask the Christian Counselor series, walking readers through their deepest and most profound questions.    
  • Gives readers the tools to avoid common mistakes made in responding to grieving people and a wise and kind way forward that expresses the love of God.  
  • Compact format goes deeper than New Growth Press’s popular minibooks without overwhelming the reader.  


Edward T. Welch, MDiv, PhD,is a licensed psychologist and faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). Ed has been counseling for over forty years and has written extensively on the topics of depression, fear, and addictions. His biblical counseling books include Shame Interrupted, When People Are Big and God Is Small, Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave, Depression: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness, Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest, A Small Book about a Big Problem, A Small Book for the Anxious Heart, A Small Book about Why We Hide, I Have a Psychiatric Diagnosis, and Someone I Know Is Grieving.  

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“This book is a treasure. It does far more than show you how to respond with humility and compassion. Ed reveals how to become the kind of person that suffering people long for—and need. I'm going to do everything I can to make sure that all of our GriefShare leaders know about this powerful book.”
Sam Hodges IV, President, GriefShare

“Just like all of Ed’s teaching and resources, this book is beautifully Christ-centered, gospel-driven, and thoroughly practical. It marvelously and helpfully answers the essential question of how to help our friends and family in their suffering. All believers need to grow in how to comfort one another in Christ!”
John C. Kwasny, Executive Ministry Director, Pear Orchard Presbyterian Church, Ridgeland, MS; director, One Story Ministries; author of several books, including Suffering in 3-D: Connecting the Church to Disease, Disability, and Disorder and Pursuing a Heart of Wisdom: Counseling Teenagers Biblically

“As I began reading through this great little book, I cringed at memories of unhelpful or untimely words I’ve heard others speak. But as I continued to read, my disappointment in others morphed into a conviction regarding my own shortcomings. Ed Welch humbly and gently ushered me into the lives of the grieving and showed me both the ways I’ve lacked compassion and the way forward in love. I am wiser and more seasoned for having read it, and I am eager to get it into the hands of our entire church family.”
Scott Mehl, Pastor, Cornerstone Church of West Los Angeles

“It’s all too easy to misunderstand or mishandle people in mourning. In this insightful resource, Ed Welch helps us to consider how to become humble conduits of God’s comfort instead of hasty counselors who speak hurtful words. If you want to grow in your ability to speak with—not at—someone who is suffering grief, this book is for you.”
Christine Chappell, Author of Midnight Mercies: Walking with God through Depression in Motherhood; host, Hope + Help Podcast, Institute for Biblical Counseling & Discipleship; certified biblical counselor

“As someone who is grieving the death of my wife, I was deeply moved by Ed Welch’s wisdom, compassion, and humility as he explores impactful ways to love those who are in my position. If you are looking for sensitive and practical ways to walk with anyone who is mourning the death of someone they love, this is the book to read.”
Ron Lutz, Pastor Emeritus, New Life Presbyterian Church, Dresher, PA

“This Christ-centered book is a treasure chest of biblical wisdom and practical guidance for becoming a conduit of compassion. Reading it made me want to be more like Jesus. I look forward to seeing how the Holy Spirit uses it to help individuals and churches grow in humility and grace.”
Paul Tautges, Pastor; counselor; author of several books, including A Small Book for the Hurting Heart: Meditations on Loss, Grief, and Healing

“Having been a pastor for many decades, I have personally witnessed the lack of sensitivity in the words of folks who think that they are comforting a bereaved person but are actually having the opposite impact. Welch’s practical book is exactly what we need as we search for the right words (and actions) to truly comfort others in their time of need. Very helpful to me were his suggestions of words to avoid!”
Timothy Witmer, Author of The Shepherd Leader; emeritus professor of Practical Theology, Westminster Theological Seminary

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5 Reviews

  • 5

    Posted by Lydia Caruth on 09 23 2023

    As a facilitator for GriefShare, I read what I can to learn how to be a blessing to the grieving. I believe this is an excellent resource, Ed’s understanding of the needs of the grieving is evident. I highly recommend this book for those who love someone that is suffering under such losses.

  • 5
    Someone I know is grieving

    Posted by Molly Tooley on 09 20 2023

    very practical good ideas

  • 4
    Quick read to provide compassionate support to those who are grieving

    Posted by Shirley Alarie on 09 20 2023

    Author Edward T. Welch’s Someone I Know is Grieving is a quick and straightforward primer for anyone trying to offer support to a grieving person. As part of New Growth Press’s ‘Ask the Christian Counselor Series’, this installment teaches humble and compassionate caring for those who are grieving. We’ve all dealt with people who are grieving, so Welch acknowledges our previous attempts and challenges us to respond to suffering wisely, by being more considerate with our words. While this first section of the book may not feel like ‘new information’ it might be enlightening for readers to understand that their previous approach to helping someone who is grieving might not have hit the mark. (My hand is raised.) Welch then digs into the Christian wisdom that should shape our efforts to support those who are grieving. This is a step many of us lay-people might not always consider. The heart of the book includes interesting and valuable insights into the care we can offer that’s shaped by compassion and humility. I found these two sections to be especially helpful and enlightening, especially the valuable suggestions of things NOT to do or say and things to do or say. Who would like this book: This book would be helpful for any Christian counselor or grief counselor. It’s also valuable for anyone who wants to offer compassionate support to those who are grieving, such as teen counselors, support group leaders, or simply caring friends and neighbors.

  • 5
    Practical and reflective

    Posted by Anne Dryburgh on 09 18 2023

    Ed Welch has written an excellent short book about how to care for others while they are grieving. In the book, he covers how to respond wisely with wisdom, with compassion, and with humility. In each section, he gives real life examples of how people have cared well and cared badly. Then he walks us through how to care well by asking the reader practical, reflective questions. This is an excellent short book, which I would highly recommend.

  • 5
    Helping those who grieve

    Posted by Wendy on 09 03 2023

    This is a gentle and compassionate offering, structured simply and effectively way, in four easy to read chapters. He begins noting we want to help people well, and to do so we need to be shaped by Christ’s wisdom. Care should be shaped by both compassion and humility. Compassion means we want to know people, and we understand that life experiences and emotions are complex. Humility means we listen to what people want and need, and don’t assume that we know better. He gives practical examples of what both would look like. The end of each chapter has questions to prompt further thought and consider how it personally applies (the book is really acting as a counsellor at this point). Welch has combined the theological realities about God’s care, sovereignty, and love for his people with thoughtful application about how to apply that to those who are grieving.

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