Knowing what to say when someone you know has suffered the loss of a loved one is tough, especially if you’re stuck sending a card or note where tone can be hard to convey. Here’s what to say to bring comfort during an overwhelming time.
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Even if you don’t know the person well, like a coworker or acquaintance, you can still send a condolence note or card to show you care. Besides your condolences, here are some things you can include to make your note personal and meaningful:
- How You Can Help: Let them know specifically how you can support them during this tragedy, like dropping off easy to heat meals, offering specific skills they may have need of or being a reliable listener when they need to talk.
- Your Favourite Memories: Share a story or two about the person who has passed. Even if it’s just a line or two recounting the last time you saw them, it’s a reminder of who they were and how they touched other’s lives.
- What the Person Meant to You: Tell them the impact their loved one had on you and how that continues even though they’re gone. Knowing that they’re not the only one missing their loved one brings comfort.
Your friend or family member is already thinking about their lost loved one, so any happy memories or consoling words you share will only help. If you can, continue to reach out to them as time goes by because they will still be grieving, and listen to them and follow their cues. If they’d prefer you do something to take their mind off of things, pivot to that instead of fond memories. Remember, the goal is to help and add comfort, not to prove your presence with a card or a note.
How to Write a Condolence Note [Cup of Jo]