Expressions of Sympathy

This week­end I co-ordinated a memo­r­ial ser­vice for a young child  although a cel­e­bra­tion… this was a cel­e­bra­tion of life.  It was a beau­ti­ful ser­vice, the par­ents strength was incred­i­ble. But, there were moments of akward con­ver­sa­tion which is under­stand­able since peo­ple seem to strug­gle with what to say or how to act when some­one has lost a loved one. The worse thing you can do is act like noth­ing has hap­pened. Here are a few tips to help you.

 As soon as you hear about the loss you should call or send flow­ers but, it is impor­tant to let the fam­ily know you are think­ing of them and share their sorrow.

If you call you may want to say “I’m Sorry” or “My Sym­pa­thy to you”, “he will be greatly missed”.

Don’t:

  • Share your own story by say­ing ” I know how you feel” or ” I remem­ber when.….” keep your expressions brief.
  • Tell them they need to be strong for the family
  • They need to stay busy

Do:

  • Be there for your friend or rel­a­tive not only dur­ing the memo­r­ial (or funeral) but, also in the future.
  • Remem­ber the deceased birthday
  • Offer your assis­tance by cook­ing, cleaning, etc.