Bible Verses for Sympathy Cards
“O LORD, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear.” Psalm 10:17
“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1 “From the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:2
“When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.” Psalm 94:19
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:2
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phillipians 4:7
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6
“Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” Corinthians 1:3–4
Table of contents
- 1 In Times of Sorrow
- 2 In Times of Loss…
- 3 Prayers of Our Heart
- 4 Condolences
- 5 Only For a Short While
- 6 Jewish Prayer
- 7 For Those Who Mourn
- 8 Jewish Blessing of the Mourners
- 9 Overcoming Life’s Hardships
- 10 Messages Of Condolence
- 11 Sample Condolence Messages
- 12 Best condolence messages – Condolence messages for loss
- 13 Short condolence messages
In Times of Sorrow
May you see God’s light on the path ahead
When the road you walk is dark.
May you always hear,
Even in your hour of sorrow,
The gentle singing of the lark.
When times are hard may hardness
Never turn your heart to stone,
May you always remember
when the shadows fall,
You do not walk alone.
– Author Unknown
In Times of Loss…
We pray that in this time of loss,
You’ll feel God’s love much more
And that you’ll find your comfort
In the presence of the Lord
We pray God pours upon you,
His sweet amazing grace
And overflow your heart with peace
As you live in His embrace.
– M.S. Lowndes
Prayers of Our Heart
Bless those who mourn, eternal God,
with the comfort of your love
that they may face each new day with hope
and the certainty that nothing can destroy
the good that has been given.
May their memories become joyful,
their days enriched with friendship,
and their lives encircled by your love.
– Vienna Cobb Anderson
Back to Top
May the sweet light of change shine in the darkness,
May the first breath of each morning begin life again,
May the memories unfold as prayers for life,
May the love continue to fill the silence.
Back to Top
Only For a Short While
Oh, only for so short a while you
have loaned us to each other,because we take form in your act of drawing us,and we take life in your painting us,and we breathe in your singing us.
But only for so short a while
have you loaned us to each other.
Because even a drawing cut in obsidian fades,and the green feathers, the crown feathers,of the Quetzal bird lose their color,and even the sounds of the waterfalldie out in the dry season.
So, we too, because only for a short while
have you loaned us to each other.
– Aztec Indian Prayer
Back to Top
As long as we live, they too will live; for they are now are apart of us; as we remember them.
Back to Top
For Those Who Mourn
Bless those who mourn, eternal God, with the comfort of your love that they may face each new day with hope and the certainty that nothing can destroy the good that has been given. May their memories become joyful, their days enriched with friendship, and their lives encircled by your love.
– Vienna Cobb Anderson
Back to Top
Jewish Blessing of the Mourners
Those who are worn out and crushed by this mourning, let your hearts consider this:
this is the path that has existed from the time of creation and will exist forever.
Many have drunk from it and many will yet drink.
As was the first meal, so shall be the last.
May the master of comfort comfort you.
Blessed are those who comforts the mourners.
Back to Top
Overcoming Life’s Hardships
O Lord, we call upon You in our time of sorrow, that You give us the strength and will to bear our heavy burdens, until we can again feel the warmth and love of Your divine compassion. Be mindful of us and have mercy on us while we struggle to comprehend life’s hardships.
Keep us ever in Your watch, till we can walk again with light hearts and renewed spirits.
– Author Unknown
Back to Top
Writing a condolence message is not always an easy task mostly because of the deep emotion that is involved in the writing, the writer’s aim is always to pass a sympathy message to the bereaved family and friends, letting them know how much he/she share in their sad feeling of losing a loved one. In writing this, one needs to be careful in order not to send the wrong message during this sensitive moment, hence this message can serve as a guide to writing one of the best condolence messages.
Messages Of Condolence
1. You and your family are in my/our heart/s and mind/s. My/Our condolences on the passing of your (insert relationship of deceased to bereaved here.).
2. I/We extend our deepest sympathies to you and your family. May the soul of your (insert relationship of deceased to bereaved here.) be at peace with our Heavenly Father.
3. We/I can’t imagine what you must be feeling right now, but we/I want you to know that we are just a phone call away if there is anything we can do to help you get through this. My/Our heartfelt condolences.
4. I am honored and blessed to have known your (insert relationship of deceased to bereaved here.) He/She was truly a blessing in my/our life/lives and I/we will miss him/her. My/Our condolences.
5. May care and love of those around you provide comfort and peace to get you through the days ahead. My/Our most sincere condolences.
6. Remembering her wonderful and gentle soul will forever remain in our hearts. May she / he rest in peace!
7. A good heart has stopped beating, a good soul ascended to heaven. We part with our beloved grandmother in pain.
8. We will never forget you. We will pray for her as she prayed for us. May God give her eternal rest.
9. We will never forget the image of her gentle and bright face. May God give her eternal rest and the family the strength to bear the great pain.
10. I/We offer you my/our thoughts, prayers and well-wishes during this dark time in your life.
11. It’s terrible to hear about your loss and I/we express my/our sincere sympathy to you and your family, I/we will include your (insert relationship of deceased to bereaved here.) in our thoughts and prayers.
12. I/We are deeply saddened by the loss that you and your family have encountered. My/Our hearts go out to you during this trying time and may my/our prayers serve as comfort to you and your loved ones.
13. I/We hope that our Lord brings you and your family the much-needed comfort and peace during this sad time. My/Our condolences to you and your family.
14. May our/my condolences bring you comfort and may our/my prayers ease the pain of this loss.
15. Prayers and fond memories are what we have to remember our dearly departed. May the love of family and friends comfort you during these difficult days, our/my most heartfelt condolences.
16. I/We am/are truly sorry to hear of the loss of (insert name of deceased here.). Please accept our condolences and may our prayers help comfort you and hasten the journey of his/her soul to Heaven.
17. May our Lord bless and comfort you and your family during this time of grief. Please accept my/our sincere condolences.
18. Please accept our/my condolences, just know that we/I are/am here for you, please don’t hesitate to reach out, especially during this difficult time.
19. My/Our deepest sympathies go out to you and your family. May God give you the comfort and peace that you seek and may the soul of your loved one rest in peace.
20. I/We am/are deeply saddened by the news of your loss. I/We pray that God will grant you the strength needed to get through this moment in your life. My/Our most sincere condolences.
21. My/our heartfelt condolences go out to you and your family. I/We will surely miss the presence of a truly loveable and kind person.
22. I/We are truly sorry for your loss. Your (insert relationship of deceased to bereaved here.) will be missed and he/she will never be forgotten, may his/her soul rest in peace.
23. Despite the loss of the physical presence of your (insert relationship of deceased to bereaved here.) We know that God has assigned him/her to watch over you throughout your life. We/I feel for your loss, our/my most sincere condolences.
24. I/We know that what you are going through right now is very difficult, just know that I/we am/are here for you. I/We am/are truly sorry for your loss.
25. My/Our condolences to you and your family on the passing of your (insert relationship of deceased to bereaved here.). I/We know that it is hard to bear right now, but remember that death is only the end of the physical life and the beginning of an eternal life. May my/our friendship and prayers ease you through this difficult time.
26. Words may not suffice to express the heartfelt sorrow that we/I feel for the passing of your (insert relationship of deceased to bereaved here.) but please accept our/my condolences and we/I will be sure to include him/her in our daily prayers.
27. (insert name of bereaved here), we/I just want you to know that we/I are really sorry to hear about your (insert name of deceased to bereaved here), he/she was a wonderful man/woman and was cherished by everyone who knew him/her. May he/she rest in peace.
28. The loss of someone dear to us is never easy, but may you take comfort in the fact that you are surrounded by people that love and care for you, if there is anything we/I can do, please don’t hesitate to let me/us know. Our/My condolences.
29. In these moments of great ordeal, words are useless … God rest his soul in peace and the angels to always be there with you!
30. Words cannot describe what I am feeling. I give my condolences to the entire family. God rest his soul
Sample Condolence Messages
31. May God forgive and accept his soul into the Garden of Eden, near the throne of whom he seek and loved!
32. May God put him in a special place from where he will be watching us, the people who loved and cherished him!
33. Condolences to the bereaved family. My tears are flowing for a friend, a great man. God rest his soul in peace!
34. A prayer, a flower, a candle and sad tears of pain on your grave, our dear grandmother
35. With a heavy heart we pray for the eternal repose of one who was a man of distinguished humanity.
36. A beautiful soul, full of love and faith, ascended to heaven, away from me, but closer to God, leaving loneliness and sadness. With immense heartache, I break up with my lovely wife.
37. I loved too much and I lost. Today you’re not where you were, but you will always be in our hearts. God rest you in peace and quiet, our dear mother.
38. I/We would like to offer you and your family our deepest and most sincere condolences and may the soul of your (insert relationship of deceased to bereaved here) rest in peace.
39. In this sorrowful time, I/We would like to extend to you my/our heartfelt condolences. May our Lord comfort you and your loved ones.
40. Dear (insert name of bereaved here), I/we am/are terribly sorry to hear about the passing of your (insert relationship of deceased to bereaved here.). May my/our condolences bring you consolation and peace during this painful time.
41. (Name of deceased) will be terribly missed. He/She was loved by all of us and he/she will be cherished in our memories forever. Our/My condolences.
42. May the love and mercy of our Lord be bestowed upon you and your family during this unfortunate time. My/our most sincere condolences.
43. May the soul of the dearly departed rest in peace, may my/our prayers help guide him/her on his journey to our Creator.
44. May fond memories of your (insert relationship of deceased to bereaved here.) bring you comfort during this hard time in your life. Look back on all the good memories you were able to have and smile at the fact that you were able to share these before he/she passed away. My/Our hearts and prayers go out to you and your family.
45. At this difficult time in your life, we/I pray that God will grant you the serenity and peace that you need to get through this. Stay strong and know that you are remembered in our/my thoughts and prayers.
46. Please accept my/our heartfelt condolences, words cannot begin to express the sadness you are feeling right now, but I/we am/are here for you and I/we am/are praying for you to get through this. God bless you and may the soul of your (insert relationship of deceased to bereaved here.) rest in the everlasting peace of Christ Almighty.
47. No one can prepare you for a loss; it comes like a swift wind. But take comfort in knowing that he/she is now resting in the arms of our Lord. Our/My deepest condolences to you and your family.
48. When we lose a loved one here on earth, we gain an angel in heaven that watches over us. May you take comfort in knowing that you have an angel to watch over you now. We/I extend our/my most sincere condolences to you.
49. I/We am/are deeply saddened by the loss of your (insert relationship of bereaved to deceased here). He/she will be truly missed and I/we will include him/her in my/our daily prayers.
50. We/I are/am deeply saddened by the news of (name of deceased) passing. Our/My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Best condolence messages – Condolence messages for loss
51. A person that departs from this earth never truly leaves, for they are still alive in our hearts and minds, through us, they live on. Please accept my/our condolences, he/she will not be forgotten.
52. We are deeply saddened by your loss, our hearts go out to you and your loved ones and may our prayers guide his/her soul to our Heavenly Father.
53. Our sincere condolences to the grieving families. We pray that the Good Lord to caress the souls of those left desolated after the tragic disappearance.
54. Sincere condolences to the families grieving the immeasurable loss they suffered. In such moments the words would be superfluous … We are with our minds and soul along with those who were privileged to know them.
55. Our souls are hardened of pain on hearing of the premature and unfair disappearance of those who were our mentors and colleagues. We knew, appreciated and admired! They will remain forever in our memory! Sincere condolences!
56. I am deeply pained and words are of no help in expressing the sorrow I feel at this moment. Sincere condolences!
57. Nobody can understand how hard a separation is, than when one of our prized jewels leaves us. You search for it and it can’t be found, you ask for her and she does not hear you, you wait and she’s not coming. It remains only the eternal memory in our hearts of our dear mother / grandmother.
58. The good Lord called to him last night our beloved father, brother, grandfather. May God rests his soul in peace.
59. Mother is the most expensive being on earth. No one and nothing can fill the void created by the loss of our dear mother / grandmother.
60. Flowers and prayers go out for our dear grandmother and great-grandmother that left us too soon.
61. I/We cannot even begin to understand what you’re going through right now, but I/we would like to offer our prayers and condolences to you and your family.
62. In this tough time in your life, may my/our friendship, sympathy and heartfelt condolences bring you comfort.
63. Hearing about your loss has deeply saddened me/us, but I/we know that this is far from what you are going through right now. You are in my/our thoughts and prayers. My/our heartfelt sympathy goes out to you and your family.
64. Please accept my/our condolences on the passing of your (insert relationship of deceased to bereaved here). It was an honor to have known such a great person and I/we will truly miss him/her. May God embrace you in comfort during this difficult time.
65. May his/her soul rest in peace, I firmly believe that God will accept him/her with open arms for all the good he/she has done while he/she was on this earth.
66. Nothing is more painful in life as the separation of a jewel. Time passes, but the pain in our hearts and the tears in our eyes remains the same as ……………….. ago, when our beloved husband / father-in-law / grandfather passed away.
67. His kind face remains forever in our image. You retired quietly, the same way you live in the world of good and righteous. May God watch you sleep forever my dear husband / brother.
68. A thought of comfort and condolences to the grieving family.
69. We stand by our uncle, in a time where his beloved wife passed away. May God rest her soul in peace.
70. I cannot believe you are no longer with us … I have to believe that God has bigger plans for you. You will always remain in our hearts
71. Today is both a sad day and happy day, sad because of the loss that has been in occurred but happy because he/she has reached his final destination in life and is now united with our Lord and Savior. My/Our condolences to you and your family.
72. I/We am/are truly sorry to hear about your loss. Your (insert relationship of deceased to bereaved here.) was a great man/woman and he/she will be truly missed and will always be remembered. My/Our condolences.
73. Losing someone we love is nothing easy, but knowing that we have been able to be a part of the life of that person, we can realize that we are blessed to have been able to share in his/her life before he/she went to rest in eternal salvation. My/our condolences.
74. I/We would like to express my/our sorrow and condolences to you and your family. He/she will be a part of my/our prayers from now on.
75. After the tears have dried and the goodbyes have been said, all we have to hold onto are the happy memories that we’ve shared with our loved ones who have passed, this is what keeps them alive in our hearts and in our minds, and they will continue to live on, through us. My/Our condolences.
76. My/Our heart/hearts are filled with sorrow upon hearing the news about the your (insert relationship of deceased to bereaved here.) passing. My/Our most sincere condolences go out to you and your family.
77. We join our friends with thoughts of comfort in helping then get over the immense void left behind by the loss of their beloved father / mother/ brother.
Short condolence messages
78. Remembering you and (Name) in our minds and in our hearts.
79. Sent with love and remembrance,
80. Sharing in your sorrow. With love and friendship.
81.Someone so special can never be forgotten.
82. Thinking of you, at this time of loss.
83. When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.
84. Wishing you peace to bring comfort, courage to face the days ahead and loving memories to forever hold in your hearts.
85. Words fall short of expressing my sorrow for your loss.
86. Words fall short of expressing my sorrow.
87. May the memories of (NAME) help you find peace.
88. May you be comforted by the outpouring of love surrounding you.
89. May your heart and soul find peace and comfort.
90. My families hearts are with you and your family.
91. We are sorry for your loss. (NAME), was such a great person, (HE/SHE) will live on in our memories forever.
92. We are very saddened to hear of your loss.
93. We don’t know how to heal your pain, but wish we could. Please know you are in our prayers and we wish you well.
94. We pray that your heart and soul will find peace and comfort during this difficult time.
95. We were coworkers of (NAME). Words cannot express our sorrow. The office won’t be the same without (HIM/HER). (NAME) will be missed.
96. I will be thinking of you in this moment of pain.
97. I’m always there in your hour of need. May his/her soul rest in peace.
98. No words can describe how sorry I am for your loss.
99. Our collective hearts are heavy with sympathy.
100. Our hearts go out to you in your time of sorrow.
Losing a loved one can bring about a sudden feeling of shock and trouble. Reciting a traditional prayer for comfort can help to bring you consolation and reassurance. Here is a look at some great prayers for loss of a loved one.
Comfort me with Your love O God
Wrap me up in Your strong embrace
Shelter me from the storm O Lord
Envelop me in Your tender care
By day I pour out my heartbreak to You
By night I give you my racing thoughts
In You I take refuge
In You I will not be afraid
For you hold me strong, You hold me safe
Calm my fearful heart O God
Still my anxious mind O Lord
For all my life is found in You
All my being is given to You
All my hope begins in You
Lord, at the moment nothing seems to be able to help the loss I feel.
My heart is broken and my spirit mourns.
All I know is that Your grace is sufficient.
This day, this hour
Moment by moment
I choose to lean on You,
For when I am at my weakest Your strength is strongest.
I pour out my grief to You
And praise You that on one glorious day
When all suffering is extinguished and love has conquered
We shall walk together again.
Our Father in heaven, may Your Name be honored. There is none greater than You. You are our refuge and strength. You are always ready to help in times of trouble. We praise You, Lord. We lift our hearts with praise. It is good to sing praises to You, our God; how delightful and how right! Lord, You are great and mighty in power. Your understanding is infinite. We thank You, Father, for the life of our loved one(s) who have gone on to be with You. Thank You for their time on earth and the impact they had on our lives. We are thankful to You and we bless Your Name.
Father, You can count the stars and call them all by name. Your power is absolute. Your understanding is beyond comprehension. You support the humble and bring the wicked down into the dust. You comfort those who mourn. We declare that those grieving the death of a loved one; mourning will turn into dancing. We confess that You are their rock, fortress, and Savior in whom they will find protection. You are their shield, and the strength of their salvation. Father, You are their stronghold. As they call on You, You have promised to answer. We believe that You will be with them during this period of bereavement, rescue them from grief, honor them, and give them Your salvation.
Father, we ask You to send Your peace to those persons who are mourning. Continue to surround them with family, friends and loved ones who will offer words of comfort. Give them sweet and restful sleep. Father, remove the spirit of heaviness, and give them garments of praise. In due time, bless their lives to overflow with laughter and joy again. As they take refuge in You, please help them to put their trust in You. Holy Spirit, we ask that You settle the hearts and minds of those who are feeling any guilt, resentment, bitterness, or anger. Help them not to look back but to press forward.
Father, forgive the bereaved for any sins they have committed through thoughts, words, or deeds. Forgive them if they have not meditated on Your Word to find comfort. Father, forgive them if they have not been totally submissive to Your perfect will for their lives. Forgive them for any hurtful things they may have said or done to the deceased. Lord, help them to forgive the deceased if necessary. Please remind them of anyone they need to forgive; and help them to forgive quickly.
Loving Father, I am finding it so hard to even get up out of bed to start the day, knowing that I have to face it alone and without the one I love so dearly – I know that without Your grace and sufficiency I could never get through the day – but I thank You that You have promised to be with me and to provide me with Your strength for the day as well as bright hope for tomorrow.
I can’t imagine tomorrow being anything but a day filled with pain – as I do not have my loved one beside me, but I ask that in Your grace You will give me the strength to get through today, step by step – knowing that You are there to carry me, even when my heart seems to fail from the grief and pain that I am going through.
Thank You that You have promised to carry our pain and thank You that Your grace is sufficient for every eventuality in our lives. Give me the strength and to cope with the loneliness I feel and help me to move forward in my life-plans, knowing that You are with me, to support and strengthen.
Give me hope for tomorrow – for my hope and my trust is in You, Lord. Hold me close I pray and thank You for always being with me and the great comfort that I have in knowing You, as my own dear Saviour and friend.
Loving Lord and Heavenly king, I want to lift up some dear friends of mind that are going through much grief at the moment and are finding it so difficult to come to terms with all that has taken place in the last few days…
I humbly ask that You would come to them and provide the comfort they need to come to terms with all that has happened – and the strength to face the reality that things will never be as they were.
Lord I know that their grief seems to be overwhelming them and I am hurting for them, and know not what to do to help – and so I am coming to You to in prayer, to ask that You will meet each of them at their point of need and help them to turn to You at this sad time.
I pray that as the day passes Your healing touch will comfort and succour them in this time of distress and may this be a thing that causes each of them to draw closer to You, knowing that You alone can heal the broken-hearted and bring joy out of pain.
Thank You Lord for being there for me and into Your hands I place each one of these dear ones who have such sadness in their hearts – I KNOW in Whom I believe and an confident that You will bring good out of this situation – and to You be all the praise and glory, Amen
Loving Lord I am filled with grief and sadness at the loss of my precious loved one – and yet that pain is tinged with gold, knowing that they trusted you as their Saviour and that they are now in Your presence.
I know that I am going to miss this precious one, who has been my strength and my joy for so long, and thank You for the precious times we had together.
Often Lord I expect my dear one to just be there, or walk through the door – and then remember that they have gone home to be with You. At times this is quite hard and yet I know that I must not grieve as those that have not hope in Jesus – but rejoice knowing that the day is coming when we will be together with You and You will wipe away all tears from our eyes – but at the moment my loss is like an open wound – and I pray that You will heal my brokenness and the loneliness I feel… and draw me every closer into Your arms of love my Lord and my God.
Thank You for all You are to me and may I rest in You in Jesus name, Amen
My heart is reaching out to you,
For what you’re going through;
I’m thinking of you frequently
And praying for you, too.
If there’s something I can do,
Anything at all,
Think of me thinking of you,
And don’t hesitate to call.
When someone we love passes away,
We ache, but we go on;
Our dear departed would want us to heal,
After they are gone.
Grief is a normal way to mend
The anguish and pain in our hearts;
We need time to remember and time to mourn,
Before the recovery starts.
Let’s draw together to recuperate,
As we go through this period of sorrow;
Let’s help each other, with tender care
To find a brighter tomorrow.
If we could bring you back again,
For one more hour or day,
We’d express all our unspoken love;
We’d have countless things to say.
If we could bring you back again,
We’d say we treasured you,
And that your presence in our lives
Meant more than we ever knew.
If we could bring you back again,
To tell you what we should,
You’d know how much we miss you now,
And if we could, we would.
If there was ever a time in my life I was weak, it was the days, weeks, and months after my daughter died. To know that God’s strength was at it’s best when I needed it the most gave me courage to take another breath. It seems impossible to “glory in my affirmities” when you don’t feel you have the strength to go on with your life, but God’s grace *is* sufficient. There is power through Christ Jesus to sustain you when nothing else can. You must allow Him to carry the burden – there are things too big for us to handle on our own. We cannot as mothers (and fathers) get through the loss of a child and retain any sanity without His help.
I don’t think it’s wrong to ask “why” – I have many times over the years. But you have to recognize God’s authority and know that whatever purpose there was for your child, it was fulfilled during the time you carried him or her. We don’t understand all of it, and honestly I don’t believe we have the capacity to. But I take comfort knowing that one day, God will hold me close and explain it to me in a way that I can understand.
Praise God that He is close to those who are suffering. He knows the pain we’re going through and He keeps us from being consumed by it. I know without a doubt that had it not been for the grace of God, I would have come through my daughter’s death a bitter and downtrodden woman. But through His love and compassion, He saved me from being crushed by the weight of the burden I carried. My heart still aches for my baby and it’s been seven years since she died – the ache has dulled some with time, but I don’t believe it will ever go away completely. I still cry at times talking about her, but I rest in the knowledge that God is near and will continue to carry me if I allow Him to. It’s a choice – a conscious decision you have to make. You have to acknowledge that you need help getting through it, and God is the only answer.
Dianne Gray, head of the Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Foundation discusses the five stages of grief and the classic book, ‘On Death and Dying.’