How to Express Sympathy When Someone Dies

Posted on June 10, 2019 by Bagozzi Twins Funeral Home under blog, cremations
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After Camillus, NY cremations offering sympathy and support to the family of the deceased is something that people can do to comfort them and to help them as they adjust to the reality that someone they love has died.

Sympathy and support are about more than words, but the words we say can having a lasting impact – positive or negative – on the family, so we should think carefully before we speak.

Camillus, NY cremations

Let’s first talk about a couple of things we shouldn’t say. “They’re better off now,” may, from an objective view of the pain and suffering that often comes with death, be a technically accurate statement, but from the subjective view of the family, it can seem insensitive and dismissive. “You’ll be fine in time,” is statement that ignores the family’s present state of grief and can seem to imply that, at some point in the future, they’ll forget about their loved one and the loss will be a thing of the past.

What can be helpful in providing sympathy and support to a bereaved family is simply saying, “I’m sorry for your loss.” We don’t have to elaborate or go into any detail. Our statement implies that we are mourning with them and we are sharing in their loss of a loved one.

Instead of asking the grieving family how they are, to which they will likely, out of habit, respond, “Fine,” which is not true, ask them how they are coping with their loss. This will enable bereaved family members to talk about their feelings and express their grief without worry. There may be tears and there may be laughter, but this is a critical part of the grieving and healing process.

Another way to express sympathy and support is to talk about their loved one. People often shy away from this for fear that it will cause pain, but it actually has the opposite effect, because it means their loved one has not been forgotten. Talk about good memories and good times with the deceased loved one, because these are the stories the family will cherish.

Be sure to keep in touch with the family even as time passes after the death of their loved one. Often, there’s an avalanche of support at the very beginning when someone dies and then it suddenly – and quickly – disappears and it’s as though no one remembers anymore. And that can be upsetting to the family and it can be very lonely.

Another way that’s truly impactful in showing sympathy for a bereaved family is to do something for them. Whether it’s organizing and providing meals for a while after the death, or stopping and buying groceries for them on your way home from work, or asking them what specific needs you can provide for them, actions are an incredible gift.

Many people will say, “Let me know if there’s anything I can do for you,” but the family doesn’t even know what they need and they’re unlikely to follow up on a phrase that has become a cliché and usually doesn’t mean the person actually will do anything (their intentions may be good, but intentions don’t always lead to action).

Just jump in, instead, and help where you see the needs. If the family doesn’t want or need your help, they’ll let you know, but more than likely, they will be very grateful.

If you’d like to know more ways to express sympathy after Camillus, NY cremations, our compassionate and experienced team at Bagozzi Twins Funeral Home, Inc. is here to help. You can visit us at our funeral home at 2601 Milton Ave., Solvay, NY 13209, or you can call us today at (315) 468-2431.

Bagozzi Twins Funeral Home

Serving families in Solvay, NY, the Greater Syracuse area, and all of Central New York for over 90 years, we are honored to have earned many awards for service excellence and customer satisfaction.

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