Offer Empathy to Someone Experiencing Grief With These Tips
Someone you know has lost a loved one, and you want to offer your support. Sharing your condolences through a handwritten note or card is an effective way to give support in a sincere manner. Still, it can be overwhelming to think of the right thing to write.
Many experience stress thinking of how to say the perfect thing in a condolence card, but there's no reason to panic. Your goal should be to offer as much support as possible, rather than to erase the grief entirely.
Consider these tips while writing your condolences.
Appropriate Ways to Make Your Condolence Card Effectively
Acknowledge The Loss Carefully
When writing about someone's passing, many wonder whether they should or should not directly reference the loss. In most cases, we recommend being direct in a delicate way. Why? An honest reflection of the loss will make your card more sincere, while hiding the loss does nothing to retain the memory of the deceased.
Indicate Why The Deceased Matters To You
If you knew the person who passed away, illustrate your connection to them. By sharing the joy they brought to your life, the card's recipient will be relieved to know that their loved one is remembered by others.
Describe The Deceased
What admirable qualities did you notice in the person who passed away? Write them in your card! Avoid using mild adjectives like "nice" – instead, use powerful, descriptive language to uphold the memory of the deceased.
Offer Specific Examples of Support You Can Provide
It's reassuring to know that, during a period of grief, your loved ones offer their support. It's even more helpful when they offer specific examples of support they can provide. What ways can you offer assistance or support? For example, if the deceased was responsible for completing particular errands or tasks, you may offer to help out with those tasks.
Avoid Cliches and Pitfalls
Some phrases seem like good inclusions, but they've been used so frequently that they've lost their meaning. Phrases like, "everything happens for a reason" or "I know how you feel" should be avoided.
You May Choose To Attach a Gift
It is not necessary to pair your card with an item, but you may choose to. It's common to send flowers to someone who is grieving, or send an item that has a meaningful connection to the deceased.
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You may not be able to eliminate your loved one's grief, but with a well-written card of condolences, you can offer a glimpse of hope and empathy. The sentiments above can transform a simple card into a powerful token of love and support.