It is always a sad feeling whenever someone close dies, one of the most difficult things for most people to do is to find the right things to say when someone dies. It’s also very difficult to find something to say to the people affected when someone close to them dies, those undesirable moments has a way of putting us at a loss for words, it can be very difficult to express how we feel during those times. You can say, “You have my deepest, sincerest sympathy.” “You’re in my thoughts and prayers,” and maybe that’s true. Maybe you actually know what to think or pray on that person’s behalf. What about words like “I understand…” “I know how you feel…”
Do you really understand? The fact still remains that words can actually go a long way in amending the broken heart. Here are some words to say when someone dies
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Good things to say when someone dies
1. “These things are never easy to write, and with a heavy heart I extend my deepest condolences to you during this dark time. I’m here if you need anything.”
2. “I hope that the love and support from your family and friends, including me, gets you through this time. You’re in my prayers.”
.3. “I wish you nothing but comfort and strength. Rest in peace, _________.”
4. “I’ve never really written a sympathy card before so forgive me if this doesn’t come out sounding right. I am so sorry to hear about this loss and am deeply saddened. If you need anything, know that you’re not alone. I’m here for you.”
5. “While there’s nothing I can do to change what happened, I can continue to offer you my love and support.
6. Extending my most heartfelt condolences to you and your family.”
7. “You have my deepest, sincerest sympathy.”
8. “I am praying for you during your time of loss. Know that we are all thinking of you.”
9. “We want to let you know that we are here for you if you need anything. Expect us to call you soon—you are welcome to come over whenever you want.”
10. 1″I know that _________ was well loved and respected. He had great character and a big heart.”
11. 1″Our sympathy is with you in your time of grieving.”
12. “Cheer up. Your (loved one who died) wouldn’t want you to be sad.”
13. “When you love deeply, you grieve deeply,” Heitger-Ewing writes. “Grievers need to be sad in order to get to the other side of grief.”
14. “Focus on all the blessings in your life.” (They are usually incapable of doing this.)
See Also: Famous And Popular Sayings
15. “She’s/he’s in a better place.” (The pain is still very real.)
16. “My deepest condolences to you and your family during this dark time. Please know that our family is keeping you and yours in our prayers and thoughts.”
17. “May all the sweet memories of ___________ bring you solace during this time. I hope that all the great moments that you were able to have with him/her before she/he passed away brings you comfort.”
18. “My heartfelt condolences to you during this time of sorrow. You’re in my thoughts and prayers and I’m here for whatever you need.”
19. “I hope the love and support from your loved ones bring you peace during this difficult time. My heartfelt sympathies to you.”
20. “There is no hurting, no suffering, and no pain in Heaven. While we grieve his/her physical loss, please be comforted by the fact that he/she is in a far better place now.”
21. “Extending my most heartfelt sympathy to you and your family.”
22. “I am at a loss for words. I know there is nothing for me to say that will make your loss easier but know that I am sending you my love and support. I hope you can understand what I can’t put into words.”
23. “Love knows no boundaries. While ________ is no longer physically with us, his/her spirit is always around us. My deepest condolences.”
24. “I have never been good at writing in cards, but I don’t want that to keep me from letting you know the deep sympathy I feel for you at this time.”
More Consoling Things to Say When Someone Dies
25. “Those who love us never go away. I hope you know that even during this dark time, __________ will always be with you in spirit.”
26. “The loss of someone dear to us is never easy. I hope all the cherished memories that you have of ________ brings you some light during this dark time. My deepest condolences.”
27. “Please know that you’re in my thoughts and prayers. My sincerest condolences for an incredibly great loss. I’ll never forget _________.”
28. “I was so saddened to hear about _________ passing. I hope and pray that you will have strength during this time of loss.”
29. “My deepest condolences to you during this time. Know that you are not alone and that if you ever need to talk, please don’t hesitate to reach out.”
30. “I can’t imagine how you’re feeling right now and I won’t pretend to know the loss that you’re experiencing. Please know that you’re not alone and I’m just a phone call away. If you ever need any support or someone to talk to, please don’t hesitate to reach out.”
See Also: Great Things To Say About Family
31. “I’ll bring you some lasagna next Tuesday.” (Or offer another specific way of helping.)
32. “Would you like to talk about your loved one?”(People often want to talk about their loved one, but just need to be prompted.)
33. “How are you doing?” (Make sure you take time to listen to the response.)
34. “It’s been awhile since he/she died. It’s time you get over it.” (Never, ever say this.)
35. “Cherish all of the wonderful memories. They will bring you peace.” (Not particularly helpful.)
36. “Pull yourself together because you need to be there for your kids.” (Instead, you should offer to help with the kids.)
37. I feel your pain.” (Do not say, “I know exactly how you feel.”)
38. “How about a hug?” (Or just give them a hug.)
39. “I’m here for you.” (And then be there.)
40. “We all have to deal with loss”
41. “You shouldn’t feel this way”
42. I don’t know how you feel, but I am here to help in anyway I can.
43. You and your loved one will be in my thoughts and prayers.
44. Give a hug instead of saying something.
45. We all need help at times like this, I am here for you.
46. I am usually up early or late, if you need anything.
47. Saying nothing, just be with the person.
48. “I can’t imagine what you’re going through right now.”
49. “At least his/her suffering is over”
50. “Things will be normal again soon”
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In honor of Dr. Nick Gonzalez
No one really knows what to say to someone when their loved one dies. You can say, “You’re in my thoughts and prayers,” and maybe that’s true. Maybe you actually know what to think or pray on that person’s behalf. Personally, I’m never sure.
You can tell them that you’ll be there for them — that you’re their middle-of-the-night-phone-call friend, and promise to sleep with the phone near your bed. You can write them a With Sympathy card and let Hallmark say something in lofty cursive and sign your name with love. Or make a digital card with organ music to have a more flashy effect. You can go to the funeral and wake and talk about all the good memories of their loved one, memorialize them with a slide show, give a toast, even ease the pain with some good jokes.
You can bring them soup. Bone soup, if you’ve been there. If you know how hard it is to eat when you are in emotional triage. It gets physical fast. And every bite needs to hold health.
You can use social media to show support, post by post. But do you “Like” an announcement of death? Do you “Share” it? Do you “Comment?” It’s all a way of observing your friend’s loss. But in the same place you share about what you ate for breakfast?
You can give them books: A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis, in which the minister rages against the loss of his beloved wife, himself, his God, and Who Dies, by Stephen Levine, especially Chapter 8, where he goes deeply into Grief as an ultimate vehicle of liberation, saying, “We are dropped into the very pit of despair and longing…an initiation often encountered along the fierce journey toward freedom, spoken of in the biographies of many saints and sages.” But most people are not open to that journey in the first place, and certainly not when their hearts are shattered into splintered shards.
The truth is, and it hurts in the worst way…that ultimately, the mourner will be alone in their grief, and who wants to say that? Who wants to bear the news that soon…people will stop Thinking, and Praying, and Liking, and Sharing, and Commenting, and bringing soup, and sending cards and emails and books. Even the phone calls and texts will fall away. The unspoken reality is: People go back to their lives and you are alone. You are in a club that you never wanted to be in. And that’s when you watch Renee Fleming singing “Walk On” over and over on youtube as loud as you can. And eventually…you do. You absorb the grief. And you start to see the “golden sky” she’s singing about. But you never get over your loss. Never.
There is the opportunity, however, to use it. If you’re in the club, you might as well be a steady and gracious club member. I’m in the club. And recently, one of my dear friend’s beloved husband dropped dead out of nowhere. She’d lost her grandparents in their old age. No one else. She was bereft. She asked me to write her a list of things that would help her, based on a phone call we’d shared. Her mind was in a triage fog, my words were helpful to her, and she wanted to remember them.
Here is what I wrote. I offer it to you, if you are a new member of this club. You are not alone. And I offer it to you if you are one of those people wondering what to Think, Pray, Say…do:
Hello, beautiful. I am thinking of you non-stop. Thank you for calling on me to be in your circle at this impossible time. I am not afraid of this, so I’m glad you called me in. I will be there for you. The books you asked for should be there by the end of the week. I will write some of the points I made on the phone here, since you asked for them. If my words on the phone were helpful, it’s only because you are open to them. I truly hope they help. Here is what has helped me and some of the people I know who have been through deep loss:
- First of all: Breathe. I mean it. That’s your most important tool to stay in the present, out of fear, and to sustain yourself. You will find yourself holding your breath. Try to stay aware of your breath no matter what and keep breathing…in…out…in…out. Deeply if you can. Little sips when deep is too hard.
- Lean into Love. Wherever you can find it. In your God. In friends and family. In yourself. Let it hold you for now. Call on friends and family to give you what you need. You cannot offend anyone right now. Let us know what you need and tell us how to give it to you. “Bring me dinner, please. Come sit with me. Read to me. Sing to me. Rub my back. Draw me a bath…”
- That said, be careful who you bring into your circle. Stay away from people who say things like, “He’s in a better place,” or “Everything happens for a reason.” They’re trying to help, and maybe those things are true, but right now you need people who are not afraid to hold the space for your pain. You need to find the people who feel easy and safe and not necessarily wise. Keep your circle small for now. It might be that you call on people very different from the ones you habitually have in your life.
- Make sure to eat. Even if you want to throw up. Please, eat. And drink a lot of water. You don’t want to block your natural energy flow. Your body actually knows how to handle this immense pain.
- Lie in bed with your feet up.
- Take a walk if you can, every day. Even if it’s short. Just get outside.
- Take Epsom Salt baths. Lavender oil helps. Keep some in your purse, put a few drops on your palm, rub your hands together, then cup your hands to your nose and breathe deeply when you need grounding.
- Write. If you can. Just a little bit. If you have it in you, at some point sooner than later, it’s incredibly useful to write down your vision of what was “supposed to be.” I heard those words come from your deepest place of sacred rage and I believe that to write that story, as fully fleshed out as possible, would be an important step in one day sending off that “supposed to be” into the sea of surrender. So that you don’t have to hold it anymore and you can live into your future. Letting the supposed-to-be go doesn’t mean that you do it injustice or that it no longer exists in dreams and heart. But it’s important not to have it become armor of some sort. It’s not time now to surrender it. But I do believe that it would be helpful just to write it out with great details as a way to honor it. And one day…yes, to let it go. Writing is the most transformational and therapeutic tool I know and I think it should be up there with diet and exercise in the realm of wellness. Keep a journal by your bed. It helps.
- When the terrifying, claustrophobic, impossible thoughts come, do not let them multiply. Literally put up a wall that keeps them on the other side. They are not your friend. There is no making sense of this loss. Unless your thoughts are loving and forgiving and helpful, banish them. If you have to shout “NO!” then do it. What you let into your mind should feel and act like the very best friends and family who would never let you entertain fear, but only shower you with love. Love yourself. There is no thinking your way through this. This is a time to really find what it is to just…be. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. In out in out.
- There is no check list right now. There is nowhere to get. There is no goal other than to fully live in the present moment. You can’t skip steps with triage, grief, or healing. Grief attacks at will, it seems. Be gentle with yourself if you feel graceless around it. You have to feel it to shed it.
- Go slowly. Be careful. The only real wisdom I have gleaned from Grief is this: Grief is one of our greatest teachers because it doesn’t allow for hiding places. When we open to our sorrow, we find truth. Your tears then, are truth. Honor them.
That’s enough for now. The main thing is to be gentle with yourself. I love you so. And the love you two shared will never ever go away. He is Love now and he is all around you and in you. If you can’t feel him, feel Love and you will be feeling him.
Hope that helps. You can do this. I am here for you. I promise. If only just to listen to your tears and let you know you are not alone.
Now booking for our 2017 Haven Writing Retreats! From book writers to journal writers and everything in-between, Haven will meet you where you need to be met! Come find your voice in the woods of Montana this fall!
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Filed under My Posts
Tagged as advice, condolences, death, friendship, grief, Haven Writing Retreats, laura munson, loss, love, mindfulness, mourning, Paris, relationships, retreats, spirituality, suffering, wisdom
Originally published at blog.lauramunson.com on July 10, 2017.
Originally published at journal.thriveglobal.com
— Published on July 9, 2017 Laura Munson, New York Times and international best-selling author, speaker, and founder of Haven Writing Retreats.
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Knowing what to say when someone passes away can be difficult.
Whether it’s a colleague who’s grieving, or a close friend who’s experienced the death of a loved one, worrying over whether you’ll say the wrong thing is a common problem, and so many of us don’t say anything at all.
‘When we lose love, love of others is what helps us,’ we talk death and grieving with Julia Samuel MBE on Mentally Yours
However, this isn’t always the best solution, and there will most likely be a scenario when you need to think of something that acknowledges the situation – whether it’s in person, in a sympathy card or on a bouquet of flowers.
Fortunately, there are many options around for those who are struggling to come up with the right words themselves.
Here’s a selection of phrases to say or write when you need to offer words of comfort to a person who’s recently lost someone.
What to say or write in a sympathy card
Love knows no boundaries. While ________ is no longer physically with us, his/her spirit is always around us.
My deepest condolences.
Please know that you’re in my thoughts and prayers. My sincerest condolences for an incredibly great loss. I’ll never forget _________.
I was so saddened to hear about _________ passing.
I hope and pray that you will have strength during this time of loss.
Know that you are not alone and that if you ever need to talk, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
You have my deepest sympathy.
Know that we are all thinking of you.
We are here for you if you need anything.
You are welcome to come over whenever you want.
Those who love us never go away.
I hope you know that __________ will always be with you in spirit.
My deepest condolences to you and your family.
Please know that our family is keeping you and yours in our thoughts.
May all the sweet memories of ___________ bring you solace during this time.
I hope that all the great moments that you were able to have with him/her before she/he passed away brings you comfort.
My heartfelt condolences to you during this time.
You’re in my thoughts and I’m here for whatever you need.
Extending my most heartfelt sympathy to you and your family.
I can’t imagine how you’re feeling right now and I won’t pretend to know the loss that you’re experiencing.
Please know that you’re not alone and I’m just a phone call away.
If you ever need any support or someone to talk to, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
I wish you nothing but comfort and strength. Rest in peace, _________.
I am so sorry to hear about this loss.
If you need anything, know that you’re not alone.
What to write on a funeral flower bouquet
You are in my thoughts.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
We are thinking of you.
With deepest sympathy.
Our warmest condolences,
Sent with love and remembrance.
‘Name of deceased’ will remain in our hearts forever.
We send you thoughts of comfort.
Remembering you and ‘name of deceased’ in our minds and in our hearts.
We send you thoughts of peace and courage.
How To Sign A Sympathy Card
‘With caring thoughts’
‘My deepest sympathy’
‘Please accept my condolences’
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What to say in English when someone dies
Knowing what to say when someone dies is difficult, for native English speakers as well as for learners. You may have strong emotions when someone has died, but you also have to think about how other people feel about it. So there are lots of things to take into consideration.
What to say when you find out that someone has died
First, what would you say if you heard that someone famous has died? You might not believe that it’s true, so you might say:
What? Are you serious?
I can’t believe it.
Now imagine that someone has died who you knew, but who you weren’t very close to. You hear about it from someone else who also wasn’t very close to this person:
A: Hey, did you hear about Sonny Green?
B: What about him?
A: Well, he passed away.
B: Oh, that’s horrible!
Other things that you might say in this situation:
That’s too bad.
Oh, that’s terrible news.
But if the person that you hear the news from is a close friend or family member of the deceased (the person who died), you should show more emotion like this:
Oh my God, I’m so sorry.
Oh, no. No. She’s gone? I can’t believe it.
Talking about the death politely
You have to be careful to be polite when talking about death. For example, people sometimes try to avoid using the words “die” or “dead”:
Nancy is no longer with us.
I’m sorry, Mrs. Fujimura, but your husband has passed away.
It’s not necessary to avoid these words when talking about the death of someone who’s not close to the people you’re talking to. For example, you can talk about the death of someone famous like this:
How did he die?
There are other polite expressions that you can use:
She’s moved on.
He’s left us.
When did she pass?
There are also lots of other creative ways to talk about someone dying that are not as polite. You can use those to talk about your own future death, or the death of a character on TV, but avoid them when someone has just died in real life:
He finally kicked the bucket.
She bit the dust.
Showing your support to friends and family members
When you talk to the family of the deceased, or their close friends, you should show that you care about them and support them:
How are you holding up?
This means both “How are you doing?” and “Are you OK?”
I’m here for you.
If there’s anything I can do, please ask.
Both of these phrases mean that you’ll help them and listen to them.
I can’t imagine what you’re going through right now.
This means that you think that this person feels very sad right now.
Writing to someone whose friend or family member has died
When you write to someone whose friend or family member has died, you usually write a little more formally.
I’m so sorry for your loss.
She will be truly missed.
Please accept our deepest condolences for your loss.
Things that religious people say about someone’s death
People who are religious sometimes say things like this when someone dies:
She’s gone on to a better place.
This means that the person who’s died is now in heaven. Other things that religious people might say include:
He’s with God now.
You and your family are in my prayers.
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