It is often difficult to find the words to express sympathy to a friend or family member who has just experienced the death of a loved one. Heartfelt condolences can bring comfort to those left behind, yet expressing your sympathy inappropriately may hurt the person you most want to help. Thinking through exactly what you want to say ahead of time can help you navigate through these times of sorrow and grief. Preparing words of sympathy may seem like excessive planning, however, knowing what you want to say and how to say it can ease your way during times of sorrow.
Here are seven simple ways to convey sympathy when comforting those left grieving. These phrases can be used in multiple settings when someone has died. They are kind and caring phrases that can be memorized and genuinely spoken in different situations.
One of the most simple and succinct ways of expressing sympathy is simply to say, “I’m sorry for your loss.” While this phrase has become a cliché, if you are at a loss for words, telling a person “I’m sorry for your loss” can let the person know that you care.
Having difficulty knowing what to write in a card or letter of condolence? We have ideas for you in that regard as well.
It is important to avoid saying the following as these phrases can be hurtful when that is not the intent of conveying sympathy.
Reaching out to friends and family when someone has died can be difficult. With a little preparation, these conversations can happen much more easily. It is important to remember that the grieving person may be hypersensitive to the words of sympathy spoken as part of their grieving process. Hopefully, the ideas above give you some ways to extend condolences in a simple, genuine, heartfelt manner without unintentionally offending the grieving person.