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
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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Updated on September 3, 2016
What to Write in a Sympathy Card
Writing a sympathy message is just as difficult as knowing what to say when someone dies. It’s not as simple as just scrawling down any generic message—messages of condolences require one to be sensitive, mindful, and thoughtful as well as being sympathetic. There are also cliched and possibly offensive phrases to avoid.
Thinking of messages of sympathy can be a difficult process. Sympathy cards present a unique challenge in that they are for people who need comfort and support. This article will provide you with:
- General messages of sympathy
- Messages of sympathy for people close to you
- Pet sympathy card messages
- Messages that you should avoid
- How to write your card: things to keep in mind during your writing process
- A sample sympathy card template
- Additional links to a variety of sympathy card messages
Choosing your words carefully for your sympathy message will allow you to communicate the message you really want to get across. Make sure you put some time and thought into your message. Good luck!
Below, you’ll find some more general messages of sympathy. These are handy to use when you aren’t as close to the receiver or deceased and would just like to express your condolences.
- “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.”
- “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.”
- “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.”
- “You have my deepest, sincerest sympathy.”
- “I am praying for you during your time of loss. Know that we are all thinking of you.”
- “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.”
- “I know that _________ was well loved and respected. He had great character and a big heart.”
- “Our sympathy is with you in your time of grieving.”
- “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.”
- “Those who love us never go away. I hope you know that even during this dark time, __________ will always be with you in spirit.”
- “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.”
- “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 of sorrow. You’re in my thoughts and prayers and I’m here for whatever you need.”
- “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.”
- “I hope the love and support from your loved ones bring you peace during this difficult time. My heartfelt sympathies to you.”
- “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.”
- “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.”
- “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.”
- “I hope that the love and support from your family and friends, including me, gets you through this time. You’re in my prayers.”
- “I wish you nothing but comfort and strength. Rest in peace, _________.”
- “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.”
- “While there’s nothing I can do to change what happened, I can continue to offer you my love and support. Extending my most heartfelt condolences to you and your family.”
Messages for Closer Friends and Family
Below you’ll find messages of sympathy and ideas on what to write when the deceased or receiver is someone you’re closer to know or know more well. Usually, these messages are a bit easier to write (though, still difficult given the subject matter). If you need some inspiration, here are some ideas. You can also include a nice memory or story too, as long as it’s appropriate.
- “__________ is in some of my favorite memories. Know that the mark he/she left is a great one, and because of this he’ll/she’ll never really be gone. My deepest condolences to you during this dark time—please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need a shoulder of support.”
- “This is devastating to me and we’re all experiencing this great loss. If ever you need to talk, know that I’m aways available.”
- “__________ was a kindhearted, generous person. As a recipient of his kindness and generosity, I will miss him greatly.”
- “__________ was one of my favorite people. I’ll never forget the time we __________. I hope this story brightens your day and helps you realize that number of lives __________ has touched. She’ll never be forgotten.”
- “I am deeply saddened by the loss we both share. I am assured that we will be comforted by our memories and our love which is very much alive. He’ll never really die this way.”
- “I will never forget the fond memories of __________. He was one of the funnest people to be around. He was able to effortlessly make everyone else have a good time.”
- “__________ always put a smile on my face and will continue to do so whenever I think about him/her. Many sympathies for your loss.”
- “‘(Quote from deceased),’ he/she would always say. This always struck me as memorable and I’ll never forget the lasting impression that ________ made on me. I know that you feel the same. Know that during this dark time, you’re not alone and we all grieve with you. My deepest condolences.”
- “When I felt my loneliest, __________ was there. Now, I’ll always know that he/she is there with me, whether on this Earth or in spirit. He/she felt the same way about you and while we’re experiencing a physical loss, I hope you know that no one we love really ever leaves us, as cliched as that may sound, it’s true. I hope this brings you comfort.”
- “The loss of a person as wonderful as __________ isn’t going to be easy. But much like _________’s character, I hope you know you’re full of strength and that I’m here to support you if you ever need it. Call me if you need anything.”
Pet Sympathy Card Messages
Pets are just as human as any other family member when they go. Below, find some samples of what to say to someone who has recently lost their pet. These can be tweaked to include the kind of animal and the pet’s name.
- “My heart goes out to you as you grieve the loss of a very lovable member of your family.”
- “My condolences to a loss of a very important member of your family.”
- “May you be comforted by the peace of knowing that you provided a loving home to your awesome pet for so many years.”
- “Some pets are really good pets, but then there are those who are flat out amazing. I am sorry you lost such an amazing pet. We will all miss him/her a lot.”
- “________ was such a good dog/cat, I won’t forget my furry little friend, either. Please call anytime if you need to talk about your loss.”
- “I was so sad to hear about the loss of your faithful friend. Please know that I’m here if you ever need anything.”
- “I am praying for you as you mourn the loss of your family member, playmate, and friend. I know he/she is having the time of his/her life up in doggy/kitty heaven “
- “You had one of the best dogs/cats that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting/knowing. I hope that the wonderful memories you have of your time with ________ bring you some comfort at this time.”
- “Extending my deepest sympathy to you and your family for the loss of your furry companion.”
- “I’m so sorry for the loss of your best friend. ________ was such a good dog/cat. My deepest condolences.”
What to Avoid WritingEven if your intent is well meaning, be careful with how you write your sympathy card. Sometimes your wording or phrasing can come off as too cliché, insincere, or just plain offensive.
There are both inappropriate and overused messages of sympathy that should be avoided. The following cliched or insensitive messages may offend, confuse, or generally harm the grieving person. This is not a time to display your own pride or be shallow. Do not use the following ten types of messages of sympathy:
- “He had a good life.” While this isn’t necessarily offensive, it is overused. On top of that, saying that the deceased had a good life may not even be true.
- “That is not fair that ________ died. Why did it have to be him? He didn’t deserve to die. He was a better man than most. It’s just not fair.” This type of message honing in on the unfairness only focuses on the pain that the living is already dealing with and doesn’t do anything to help with the healing process.
- “He is finally getting some rest now. He feels no pain because he is in a better place.” This is not necessarily offensive, but rather, again, is cliched and overused. Chances are the receiver has heard these phrases a few times already.
- “At least he was able to live a good, pleasurable, full, life. He lived much longer than some.” This message is similar to the one above and bringing up the fact that one lived a long life, regardless of how long, is unnecessary because the life is never going to be long enough.
- “I know how you feel. You’ll get over it. Time heals all wounds.” This comes off as insensitive and offers very little consolation to the receiver.
- “Try to stay positive. Everything works together for a reason.” This may come off as a bit condescending to the receiver. If not that, it’s unhelpful to hear in the mourning process.
- “At least you’re still alive, you have to be grateful for that.” The focus should never be on the receiver directly but rather their relationship to the deceased and their mourning process.
- “I guess it was just his time to go.” Again, this is unhelpful, unnecessary, and insensitive to say this, regardless of its truth (which can’t be verified, anyway.)
- “You should get over this in a couple weeks. He will be a faded memory and you will move on with your life.” While these things may or may not happen, it’s again very insensitive to dictate whether someone will “get over” something, especially something as serious and tragic as a death in an arbitrary amount of time.
- “I hated the jerk anyway. I’m glad he’s dead.” Self-explanatory.
What to Include in a Sympathy Message
Now that you have some ideas (and know what to avoid) for your sympathy messages, it may be helpful to learn about the actual process of writing those messages. The steps below should help you show your support and sympathy. Here are things to consider and focus on in your writing process:
- Express some words of sympathy. Tell the receiver that you are sorry to hear about the loss. You might want to mention some positives of the person who died. An example could read: “I am sorry about John’s passing. He was a blessing to me and a good friend for many years.” This positive example might make the receiver feel lighter and look back on the deceased even more fondly, which can help with the grieving process.
- Express your feelings. Tell the receiver how you feel about the loss. You want your card to read as personal rather than just one in a sea of many that say the same generic thing. This is really more of an empathy than a sympathy section though, as you’ll want to try to place yourself in the receiver’s shoes by empathizing without pushing it by trying to relate when you can’t. Be honest and express your feelings as simply as you can. An example might be: “I was deeply saddened when I heard that he died.”
- Add words of support. Although sometimes words of support can seem cliché, it is a good idea to include this in your message because you’ll want to try to let the receiver know that your support and presence is always available to him or her. This will help the receiver from feeling alone and helpless. An example could be: “I would love to talk or hang out with you some time soon. Just let me know.”
- Close your message of sympathy. Remember to always finish off your message so that it reads as complete, rather than something abrupt that came off as if you put very little thought into. An example could be: “While I don’t know what you need right now, know that my heart goes out to you.” Sign it “Kindly,” “Warmly,” or “Love,” depending on who will get it.
If you decide to do anything else with your message besides the above, you may want to review it to make sure it is appropriate. Some things are not appropriate for sympathy cards. Keep the cliches to a minimum, and write in conversational tone. Remember, don’t be patronizing and don’t ramble.
Sympathy Card Template
If you need a little direction and would like to include more than just a one liner, here’s a template that you can use in your sympathy card. See below for a longer, more involved message that the receiver may appreciate you taking the time out to write:
When I heard the news, I was incredibly (shocked/saddened/heartbroken.) We never really think that those so near and dear to us will really pass, so I know this must be especially hard on you and I can’t imagine what you’re going through. I know your (spouse/family/friends) are by your side during this difficult time, though.
(Insert any sweet or notable memory/story/recollection/quote from the deceased that you’re fond of that the receiver may appreciate.) (Expound on this if you’d like to emphasize how great of a person you think they were.)
(Message of condolence, use above for inspiration).
(Message offering support—include contact info if you aren’t certain they have it.)
(Closing message to let receiver know they’re in your thoughts.)
Many people struggle with what to say when someone dies.
Nathan’s father passed away a couple of months ago, after battling an awful disease for three or four years. They had the blessing of knowing in advance what was coming; they had the awful burden of knowing in advance what was coming. Recently, he and I were talking about what people say when your loved one dies. I asked for his experience on the subject. This is what he wrote …
My first thoughts on what to say when someone dies were based on the biblical accuracy of things that are said after someone dies. Do people really believe what they say? If they do, where did they get those philosophies? I’m not suggesting there is a list of approved biblical phrases to use in this situation, only asking that we consider why folks craft and continue to perpetuate these flawed notions. I believe there is a danger turning faith into fairy tale for our own comfort. At the same time, it may help us to approach someone with biblical truths after we understand their line of thinking.
What Not to Say When Someone Dies:
“God must really think you are strong because we know God won’t give you more than you can handle.”
“Your dad is in a better place.” (While I believe that my father is in a better place, this is along the lines of “He’s not suffering anymore.” It’s typically applied as if heaven is the default for anyone who wasn’t too bad.)
“Heaven has another angel.” (Whoa—God needed another angel?)
“He’s looking at you right now.” (How could heaven be free of tears and pain if they were watching us?)
“He’s still with us, watching over us.”
Without much more than a “Sorry for your loss,” a lengthy monologue on his/her own experience with loss. As selfish as it sounds, I’m grieving now and I don’t want to hear your story.
“I know how you feel.”
“God has a reason for everything.”
“You are in my thoughts.” (I never quite understood why this is supposed to comfort.) (Although, this is often shorthand for “You’re in my thoughts and prayers.” So, I wouldn’t be too rough on someone who says this.)
What to Say When Someone Dies
For the most part, I didn’t find words to be the most comforting offerings. Actions such as hugs, meals delivered, prayer together or a listening ear were helpful to me.
“I love you.”
“I’ll give you a call in a few days.”
“Can I check on you later this week?”
“I can only imagine what he is experiencing right now.” (This one came from
a dear friend who absolutely knew of Dad’s relationship with Christ. It
turned my focus from my loss to Dad’s gain. It might not be the same for
“I’ll be praying for you and your family.”
“We are going to bring dinner by. Is Wednesday OK?” (Very few people that
I know will respond to the standard, “Is there anything I can do?” but
almost no one can turn away a specific helpful gesture that has a time
stamp on it.)
More on What to Say When Someone Dies
“Take care of yourself.” (It was comforting to know that someone was
concerned for me in all of this. It would be easy to slip so deeply into
my grief that I neglect proper nutrition, sleep or even my mental health.)
“We are deeply sorry about the loss of (insert name here.) As you grieve, know that we are remembering and honoring him/her.”
“I’ll remember your (____) in many positive ways-with a big smile and a great sense of humor, always great with a story.”
“I’m sure your heart is aching. We want you to know that we are here for you if your need anything. Expect us to check in soon.”
“Sorry for your loss. I celebrate the life of (___) and am mourning him/her with you in this trying time.”
“Our hearts go out to you and your family. Although I don’t know exactly what to say, I want you to know that I am with you in thought and pray for comfort and peace as you remember (insert name here.)”
“Praying for peace to bring you comfort, courage to face the days ahead and loving memories to forever hold in your heart.”
“(Name of deceased) will remain in our hearts forever. May you be comforted by the outpouring of love and support.”
““Words fall short of expressing my sorrow for your loss. I am deeply sorry to hear about the passing of (name of deceased.)”
“I can’t imagine the sadness you must be feeling from your loss. May the love of those around you help you through the days ahead.”
After the Funeral: What to Say When Someone Dies
Some of the most meaningful words came weeks after the funeral. Lots of people are thinking about you in the first days. Those who are truly grieving with/for you will continue to show sympathy/empathy for some time.
Stories about Dad: I already know how special he was to me. It was uplifting to hear about the significance of my father to others. Those stories carried significance.
This is a hard time for all of us—hardest of all for the family, of course, but it’s difficult for friends who come by the funeral home or church and often stand in line. Earlier this week, friends told me they stood in line over two hours at the church for the opportunity to speak to the grieving widower for 30 seconds and to give him a hug. My hunch is the grieving family cares far more about the fact that friends showed up at all than the specifics of what they said.
Many people struggle with what to say to the grief-stricken. For instance, in two days, I will be doing the funeral of the mother of a long-time friend who was almost 102 when she died. Friends showing up may wonder what to say to the family. Do they grieve in the same way as my friends early this week, where the wife was in her 70s and died somewhat unexpectedly? My answer is simply, grief is grief. A longer life just gives family and friends longer to love them.
In all cases, “I’m so sorry” accompanied with a hug is the gold standard.
, CP Guest Contributor
| Friday, January 23, 2009
More than likely, you’ll have the opportunity to minister to someone who is dying this year. The question is, how do you deal with it? I’m ready to die. More than likely, you are too. Most people are not, though. That means you play a critical role as a minister to help people deal with their own death.
Pastor, no matter how much training you’ve had or how well you know your Bible, walking into the hospital room of someone who is facing death can turn anyone to mush. What do we say? How do we help somebody who’s dying? You can’t promise that they’re going to get well. You don’t know if that’s God’s plan. But you can C.O.M.F.O.R.T. them.
Confront your own fears.
Before you can help anybody else, you’ve got to deal with your own fears. Death exposes the hidden fears in us. That’s why people avoid funerals. We’re afraid of death. And so we want to hide from it. This is as old as Adam and Eve.
Instead of hiding you have to confront those fears. You’re not going to mess anything up. You aren’t going to make things worse. You’re going to be O.K. Before you minister to someone who is dying, deal with the very natural fear you have. Admit you have the fear. And then get over it. You’ll be fine.
Offer your physical presence.
The greatest gift that you can give to someone who is dying is your presence. You just need to show up and be with them. That will mean more than any words you can say. People want someone to be near them as they deal with the dying process.
People do not want to face death alone. And they shouldn’t have to. You don’t need to say anything profound. You may not even talk to them. But you need to be there with them. Real ministry begins by being with the person who is dying. No one should ever die alone.
Minister with practical assistance.
The important question to ask is, “How can I help?” You do whatever they need done. I know you’re busy. But ministering to someone who is dying is some of the most important ministry you can do.
For example, when somebody’s dying, they usually don’t feel well. They’re often in pain. What do you do when somebody’s in that situation? Whatever you can do. You want the lights on? You want the lights off? Can I get you some ice chips? Can I rub your back? You do anything. The little things you do will show love. You offer practical assistance to relieve pain and discomfort.
Fortify them with emotional support.
When someone is dying, they’re carrying a heavy burden. Don’t let them carry it alone. Provide emotional support. How do you carry somebody else’s emotional burden? Pray for them aloud.
How do you pray for them? Whatever they say, mirror it back to them in a prayer. When the person who is dying says, “This really frustrates me…” You pray, “Lord, Susie’s really frustrated by this…” When the person says, “I’m really angry and irritated,” you pray, “God, Bob is really having a tough time right now. He’s upset and angry. He’s frustrated.”
When you do that, you’re lifting their burdens. When somebody is sick, sometimes they just don’t have enough energy to pray. So you pray for them. That’s what intercession is all about.
Open them up with questions.
When people are dying, they’re carrying an enormous emotional load. They’re carrying worry, fear, doubt, shame, guilt, regret, joy, sorrow, and anxiety. Help them get that out. How? Ask open-ended questions they can’t answer with just “yes” or “no.”
Your open-ended questions will often start with their questions. Let me give you three of them that are almost always asked in some manner by a person who is dying: Why me? Why now? Why this? Nobody knows the answers to those three questions. They are unanswerable on this side of eternity. The Bible tells us that in eternity we will see how it all fits together. But we don’t right now.
Whenever you get asked a question that is unanswerable, ask it back to them. Just rephrase it. Why? You don’t want to answer the question. You want to get them talking.
For example, if someone who is dying asks, “Am I going to die?” Don’t answer that question. You don’t know for sure. Rephrase the question back to them and ask something like this: What does dying mean to you? Then wait. That will get them talking and help them talk about some things that they need to talk about.
By the way, if they don’t want to talk about death, that’s O.K. Some people don’t want to talk about it. It’s not good for them to bottle it up, but don’t force them to talk.
Remember the family has needs too.
You can be helpful to the whole family – not just to the person who is dying. For example, you can ask questions that the family might feel uncomfortable asking. It’s perfectly O.K. to ask the dying person if they’ve made any preparations for their death. Somebody’s got to find that out, and you’d help the family by asking. Friends take care of friends, and they take care of friends’ family as well.
Turn them to Jesus.
More than anything else, you want the dying person to accept God’s free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. You want them to be at peace with God.
Tell the dying person that Jesus loves them, that he died for them, that they can spend eternity with him, and that you’d be glad to pray with them about this.
It’s the most important prayer the person will ever pray – one that turns death to life.