If someone you know just lost someone he or she loves, you should think of words of comfort in death that you can say to him or her when you attend the funeral. It is very difficult to find the right words to say to a grieving person especially if you yourself never experienced the feeling of losing someone you love. If you face a grieving person without preparing anything to say, then you might become tongue-tied because you are afraid that you might say the wrong words and make him or her feel worse. Here you will find some pointers on what to say to comfort a grieving person. Take note of these tips so that you will know which words to say and which words to avoid.
Plan ahead the things that you are going to say to avoid getting tongue-tied in front of your grieving friend or relative. Have one or two preplanned sentences before you offer your condolences. However, avoid sounding like your words are rehearsed. The words that you say still need to sound like they came from your heart.
Words of Comfort in Death
Offering some words of comfort will make it easier for a grieving friend to go through the difficult time ahead of him. Even simple words like “I am sorry to hear about the death of your _____. Your and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.” are very comforting to a grieving person. Those simple words will open up a conversation about the deceased and help you determine how the person is feeling at the moment. Once you have a sense for their emotional state, you will have an idea on what to say next. If you can’t think of anything to say at the moment, you can just comfort your friend or relative by giving him or her a hug. Sometimes a simple hug is more comforting than any words of comfort in death.
Often people will tell the bereaved to “call me if you need anything”. However, a grieving person will often forget these words because he or she is too busy grieving to give you a call. Or, they don’t want to be an inconvenience to anyone. Instead of using those words, offering your help for a specific task can be better. For example, you could say something like “Do you need help mowing the lawn?” or “Do you want me to pick up your kids for you from school this week?” Don’t wait for your friend to give you a call. Call him yourself and offer your help on simple chores such as grocery shopping or dry-cleaning. These words and deeds are very comforting because your friend will feel that although he lost someone he loves, he is not alone because you are always there for him.
Words to Avoid
Now that you know the right words to say to a grieving person, you should now know which words you should avoid. “You will get over it” is one of the phrases that you should always avoid. “He is now in a better place” seems to be safe, but it is better to avoid this phrase. You should also avoid telling your friend that you know how he feels especially if you never lost a loved one before. Even if you think you understand what they are going through, or have faced a similar situation, it is better that you don’t try to explain how you understand their grief.
Updated: May 30, 2012