Loss is an immensely strong emotion. It can be very difficult to pay condolences to someone who’s recently lost someone. The pain they feel is insurmountable. While saying a few kind words might not reduce their pain, it can make them feel cared for and help them cope.
There are various ways to pay condolences to a grieving family. However, all of these ways need to have one thing in common – a message of sympathy and compassion. While saying appropriate things matter, it is also necessary to ensure that we are not coming off as insensitive.
Below are some ways you can pay condolences to a grieving family.
Visit them personally
The best way to show a grieving family that you care would be to visit them personally, but make sure they are expecting you. A grieving family might want some privacy, and turning up unannounced might disturb them. However, some families let others know that they would like to have family and friends around as mental support. So, visiting them might help them cope. But, to keep things courteous, send them a quick text or a call to let them know that you will be dropping by. Many grieving families also accept meals or take help with household chores while they mourn the lost one – so check with them to see if you can help in this way, too. There are also other ways to help a family cope immediately after a loss, such as, helping them arrange a funeral, being their mental support, and checking up on their health to ensure they are doing well.
Send a condolence text message
If you cannot visit the grieving family in person or if they’re not allowing visitors at the moment, you can pay your condolences by sending them a small text. Before you craft your message, it’s important to understand that the words might not erase their pain, but they can convey a sense of comfort.
Do not send a message in haste. Don’t copy a pre-written message from the internet and send it off. Every person is different. Before you craft the message, try to think of the person who has passed. Write a personalized message conveying your relationship with the deceased while being compassionate and sympathizing with the grieving family.
Send sympathy gifts
Sympathy gifts are also a good way to pay condolences to a grieving family. If you’re unsure of what to say in a message, you can send them a thoughtful sympathy gift. Although these gifts have always been around, you can find more variations of these gifts for sale nowadays.
Examples include angel candle holders, memorial bracelets, sympathy candles, memorial lamps, sympathy windchimes, sympathy note jars, and customized memorial lanterns with messages.
Pre-cooked meals are also great options for sympathy gifts. Various companies have sympathy baskets that come with pre-cooked meals of your choice. Dry fruits and fruit baskets are also popular options for grieving families accepting meals or food. You can also obtain gift cards from these companies and send them to the mourning as condolence.
Send condolence flowers
A great alternative to condolence gifts is condolence flowers. If you’re unsure about which gifts to send, you can always send flowers to pay your respect. When choosing flowers, be mindful of picking ones that seem appropriate for the occasion – as not all flowers are to convey mourning. Condolence flowers are usually not the same as the ones for celebrations and can have different meanings. Pick white, purple, soft pink, or soft blue flowers, and have them arranged by a professional. You can include a short, heartfelt message that conveys deep sympathy and compassion.
You can also prepare the bouquet on your own. Pick roses, lilies, orchids, hyacinths, or carnations for the bouquet.
Many florists have delivery services for these bouquets. If you’re not visiting the house in person, you can send the bouquet to the grieving family through these services.
Avoid being insensitive
Words are powerful, and they can heal. But on occasions, they can also come out as insensitive. While crafting messages for a grieving family, you must avoid coming off as rude. Try to craft a message that shows peace, sympathy, and compassion.
Often, we end up saying things such as, “I know what that feels like,” or, “They are in a better place now,” or, “I know someone who went through the same,” – but these are all bad examples of conveying condolence. If you’re talking to the grieving family in person, listen to them first, and then offer your condolences by saying how sorry you are for their loss. Spare a sentence or two about how you knew that person and how wonderful they were. And in the end, let them know that you’re here if they need you.