If you are like most people, you have a difficult time finding the right words when it comes to expressing sympathy after a death. It may be that a friend or coworker has lost a loved one and whether you are looking for words to write in a card or say directly to them, your mind goes blank. You want to make sure what you say is appropriate and meaningful, yet you don’t want to ramble or say something inappropriate. Don’t worry as directors of funeral homes in Lakewood, CO. has some tips to help.
After a Death Has Occurred
It can always be an awkward moment when you see someone who has recently lost a loved one. After all, do you bring it up? Do you ignore the topic? If they bring it up, what should you say?
While it may feel uncomfortable to bring it up, it is polite to do so. Know that by doing so you are giving them an opportunity to talk about what they are going through. While they may or may not open up, providing them the chance to do so shows your support and will be appreciated.
Whether they open up or not, follow their lead. If they begin to talk about the passing, let them by listening patiently and offering your support. If they move on to another subject quickly after mentioning the passing, then move right along with them.
If you are most likely not going to see them in person, then sending a handwritten card or calling them on the phone is always a nice way to express your condolences.
Examples of Things to Say
When talking with the bereaved family either at the funeral or afterward, there are some simple things you can say that is appropriate, kind, and show sympathy. Some of these include:
- He was a wonderful man and will be missed greatly
- You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers
- I’m so sorry for your loss
- She will be missed by everyone who knew her
If you knew the deceased more closely you can add something more personal such as, “I’m so sorry for the loss of your sister, Amy. She was always such a bright soul at work and she will be greatly missed.”
Examples of What Not to Say
One common thing that people say if they have also suffered a past loss is, “I know what you are going through”. While this is meant as a way to connect with the grieving person, it really isn’t helpful and should be avoided. Even if you have suffered a similar loss, everyone processes and works through grief in different ways. Therefore, you cannot truly understand what they are going through.
Additionally, stay away from general statements such as “He’s in a better place”, or “At least he had a great life”. You may mean well, but these words do little to provide comfort.
Hopefully, these tips from directors of funeral homes in Lakewood, CO. have allowed you to feel more comfortable when talking with someone who has recently suffered a loss. If you need further information or help on how to help a grieving friend, please reach out to us as we have several resources we can point you to.