I think this one is often spoken without thinking. Because when I die, of course I want people to be sad! It means I lived a life worth missing. Why should our children be any different?
Instead of telling the bereaved how to feel, or worse yet, speaking for the deceased, consider honoring both the life and the grief.
Like any other authentic emotion, it is always okay to be sad.
Notes for the Support Team – Words Matter:
Original statement: He/She wouldn’t want you to be sad.
Rewritten: It’s understandable that you are sad. He is gone and he shouldn’t be. It makes sense that you will grieve as long as you need.