what to say when someone dies

Want to Know EXACTLY What to Say When Someone Dies? Read This!

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A close friend lost her husband in death last week! The nature of life is such that, occasionally, we all experience the pain of losing someone in death. And when a friend or close family member is grieving, it’s important to know what to say when someone dies and how to help the grieving person through the aftermath.

Without good sympathy messages you’ll feel unsure, confused, and may not know what to do or say to help.  You want to avoid saying the wrong thing to people who lost someone close.

Finding comforting words to say when someone dies can be challenging.  Keep reading to learn how to console a friend after a death or how to comfort someone who lost someone close in death.

Here are some examples of what to say when someone dies

  • I just want to express how sorry I am. I can’t imagine how you must be feeling. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.
  • I am so sorry to hear that Frankie has died. If you feel like talking, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.
  • We are heartbroken and sad to hear about your loss. We love you and we want you to know we’re thinking of you.
  • Militza was such a wonderful person. She brought joy to everyone she came in contact with. She will be truly missed.
  • I heard the sad news, and I just wanted to say that if you need to talk, I’m here for you.
  • This must be so hard for you. If there is anything I can do to help, big or small, please let me know.
  • I don’t know what to say, except that I’m so very sorry for your loss. There are no words.
  • I was so shocked to hear that Wilhelm has died. I don’t have the words to say how sorry I am for your loss. Just know that I’m here if you need anything.
  • Words can’t describe how sorry I am to hear that Frankie has died. I am here if you need anything. You’re not alone.
  • I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your mother. I don’t have the right words, but I am here for you. Please reach out if you are struggling. 

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What to Do When Someone Close to You Is Grieving the Loss Of A Loved One

Use your past knowledge of the person.

Is she usually quiet? Does she talk your leg off normally? Consider how she might respond to the troubling event she’s recently experienced.

Anticipating how your friend will behave can help you be better prepared to be the best friend you can be to your cherished loved one.

Be supportive.

be supportive to help others cope with grief and loss

When you’re near the person, think about what you could to do help them most. Focus your efforts. Does she usually enjoy going for a walk or out to coffee? Maybe she’s always loved going to lunch at a particular restaurant. You can be supportive by inviting your friend to do things she enjoys.

If she doesn’t appear interested, consider inviting her to a quiet dinner and evening watching a movie at your house. Or reading a life-changing self help book together. . Going to your home might be a more relaxing, less overwhelming experience for your friend than going out.

Allow your loved one to move at her own pace. She must experience her journey as she chooses.

Acknowledge to your friend that you’re sorry about what happened to her.

what to say when someone dies

Sometimes, a statement as simple as, “I’m so sorry this happened to you” can be all that’s necessary to give your friend the opportunity to talk openly about how they feel.

Giving this simple “sorry” also provides important acknowledgement to your friend that you recognize she’s experiencing a major loss in her life.

Doing so is at least one step closer to showing you’re interested in understanding how she feels.

Tell your friend you’ll be there for her at any time.

what to say when someone dies

Make it clear your friend is free to call you or drop by to your home whenever she feels like it. Even though it might take some effort on your part to be on stand-by for her, later on, you’ll be glad you did.

Strive to do whatever it takes to come to her aid during this difficult time

Call your friend more frequently than usual to check in with her.

Offer support when someone dies

Share information about your day or what you’ve been doing. Talk about the book you’re reading or how your kids are doing in school. Hopefully, your friend will do the same.

Be positive. Taking this step will begin to normalize your friend’s life again, which is usually welcomed, given heart breaking loss she’s recently experienced.


listening can help others cope with grief

Many times, someone who’s lost a loved one in death simply wants to talk about it. It’s not even necessary to comment or give your opinion of what your friend is going through. As long as you’re listening, she knows you care.

Have patience.

Because your friend might not recover in the same way that you would or that you expect her to, patience will come in handy. There’s no defined timeline for getting over the loss of a loved one. Therefore, having patience will enable your friend to re-blossom at a pace necessary for her.

When someone you care about experiences a death of a loved one, it might take her a long time to fully recover from it. However, you can serve as a great support to encourage your friend to gradually get back into the swing of life.

Following the simple steps above will help you know what to say when someone dies as well as what to do to help in a meaningful way.

Use the tips to provide the special assistance your friend needs to continue peacefully down life’s path.

Your optimism, confidence, and personal fulfillment will prosper when you reach out to help a loved one in need.

The Secret to Supporting Someone Who Is Grieving

When someone close to you experiences a loss, it’s likely to affect you too. Even if you want to help them through the grieving process, you may be unsure about what to do.

In fact, the situation may be more complicated than you think.

Most experts believe that the popular theory about the 5 stages of grief is a myth. In reality, the experience is different for each individual.

Skillful support can ease the burden on family and friends who have lost a loved one. Study these suggestions now so you’ll be prepared to help them in their time of need.

Short Term Strategies

helping others deal with loss

It’s natural for the bereaved to feel overwhelmed at first. They’ll probably appreciate you for being there for them even if they’re unable to respond effectively for a while.

Use these strategies to help:

  1. Reach out. Maybe you’re tempted to pull away in case you say something inappropriate. However, if you can deal with your discomfort, any effort you make will probably be comforting.

  2. Keep it simple. Sincerity matters more than being profound. Brief condolences, store-bought sympathy cards, or a thoughtful sympathy basket will be appreciated.

  3. Divide responsibilities. If you’re especially close to the bereaved, you may be able to help with the necessary arrangements. That could range from contacting other loved ones to providing care for children and pets.

  4. Offer assistance. What if you didn’t know the departed well? Depending on the situation, it might still be kind to bring food or offer to collect the mail.

Long Term Strategies

what to say when someone dies

The grieving process usually continues long after the funeral is over. Be patient as they work through their feelings.

Consider using these ideas as time goes on:

  1. Remember milestones. Special occasions like birthdays and holidays often stir up strong memories. An invitation to lunch, a picnic basket  or a Facebook post can let others know that you’re thinking of them.

  2. Listen closely. Talking is an important part of healing. Give your time and attention to the bereaved, so they can tell their story.

  3. Share memories. Did you have your own happy or meaningful experiences with the deceased? You might contribute to the conversation by providing your own perspective.

  4. Validate emotions. Grieving often involves feelings that make us uncomfortable, such as anger and sadness. Let the bereaved know that you accept them as they are without making any judgments.

  5. Address secondary losses. On the practical side, your loved ones may also be dealing with legal and financial issues related to their loss. They might be grateful for someone to act as a sounding board or provide information about relevant resources.
  6. Encourage self-care. Someone who is grieving might forget to look after their own wellbeing. If you’re concerned, talk with her about her daily routines or ask someone she trusts to intervene. Give her a self-care journal to help walk her through a daily self-care routine.

  7. Honor your needs. Any death might trigger feelings about your own past experiences. As much as you care about your family and friends, you may need to step back if helping them is having an adverse effect on you.

  8. Consider counseling. Talking with a professional therapist or joining a support group has helped many families through the grieving process. Let your loved ones know that help is available if they seem open to the idea.

Adjust your expectations.

Death is a natural part of life. Research suggests that most families reach some level of acceptance within about 6 months. Be patient with your loved ones and their unique needs.

Social support plays a major role in helping someone to move on after experiencing a major loss. Staying in touch with family and friends who are grieving can give them hope for the future and bring you closer together.

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