What to Say to Someone Who is Grieving

With the heightened circumstances due to COVID-19, more families are grieving the loss of their loved ones. The world is facing bereavement on a massive scale. Therefore, it may be possible that people you are close to are going through the pain of losing someone close to them. In times like these, you may find […]
Jul 19, 2020
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With the heightened circumstances due to COVID-19, more families are grieving the loss of their loved ones. The world is facing bereavement on a massive scale. Therefore, it may be possible that people you are close to are going through the pain of losing someone close to them. In times like these, you may find yourself strongly wanting to comfort them but being unsure of what to say. Below are some ideas to help you with the conversation to console those people. Remember, it does not have to be exactly the words below! The key is just to help those people feel more love and support instead of isolation.

What to say:

  • He/she was such an amazing person (+ more compliments and positive thoughts about the person)
  • It is so hard to believe that they are gone. I will miss his (traits).
  • I will always remember the time that (memories). He/She was very special.
  • I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts.
  • I am always here if you need to talk. I am just a phone call away.
  • I am so shocked and saddened by this news. I wish I could be there to give you a hug. 
  • I did (some type of favor) because I thought you might need it.
  • I’m not sure what to say, but I hope you know that I will be here to support you.
  • I know how much you loved him/her. They really loved you too. 

What not to say:

  • Did they have a pre-existing condition?
  • Did they wear a mask or practice social distancing?
  • With so many people dying from COVID-19, at least you are not alone. Everyone is grieving right now.
  • If only they were able to get better treatment.
  • I think it’s time to get over this.
  • At least he/she lived a full life. It would be worse if they were young.
  • You still have your husband
  • I know how you feel, but I think mine was even worse.
  • You can’t…
  • You shouldn’t feel guilty

Looking for additional information and resources? Read more here on Ways to Manage Grief During Covid-19 and Coping Resources During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

References:

Cruse Bereavement Care- What to say when someone is grieving

NYTimes – Opinion | Condolences for Covid-19 Deaths: A Grief Expert’s Advice

Huffington Post – What To Say (And Not Say) To Someone Who’s Grieving During The Coronavirus Pandemic

Huffington Post – What Not To Say To Someone Grieving During The Coronavirus Crisis

Henry Ford LiveWell – What To Say To Someone Who Is Grieving | 

NYTimes – What to Say (and What Not to Say) to Someone Who’s Grieving

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