Losing a loved one is never easy, and it can be difficult to know how to express your sadness and sympathy during such a time. It's important to show that you care, so here are some ideas of what to say when someone has died.
Acknowledge the loss.
When someone passes away, it’s important to acknowledge the person who has died. Expressing your sadness and offering condolences is a crucial way to show that you care about the bereaved and are honoring the memory of their loved one. There are many ways to express your sympathy, including saying something like: “I’m so sorry for your loss” or “My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.”
Share your memories of the deceased.
One of the kindest things you can do when someone has passed away is to share an anecdote or special memory about them. This will provide comfort and help the bereaved remember their loved one fondly. Give specific details that showcase the person’s character and personality, such as “I’ll always remember how your mom had that amazing smile and warm hug for everyone.”
Offer practical help or support.
Showing that you are there to help and support them during this difficult time can be comforting. Suggest gestures of kindness, such as providing meals or childcare, lightening the burden a little. If they do not want your offer of help, don’t take it personally; they may just need some space in their own way. You can support them by gifting them a functional sympathy gift like a grief journal.
Check in later on to see how they're doing.
It is important to remain a source of support even after the funeral and burial services. Give them some time to mourn, but don’t be a stranger. Check in with them every once in awhile, whether that’s through text messages or video chats. Ask them how they are doing and if there is any way you can help. Being consistently present will show greatly appreciated, especially when others start to fade away over time. This is another great opportunity to drop in with a gift.
Respect their grieving process, even if it's different from your own.
Everyone grieves differently and it’s important to respect the grieving process of the person you are trying to comfort. Don't judge their reaction or the length of time they are taking to heal. It is not helpful to push them into healing faster than they need. And remember, it's okay not to know just what to say, as long as you let them know that you're there for them.