How To Comfort Someone In Mourning
When someone is dealing with the loss of a loved one, no words can heal their pain. However, kind words and thoughtful actions while they’re mourning can help them cope with their grief during this difficult time.
If someone you know is currently grieving and you’re looking for some tips to help you send them your condolences, read on – we’re unpacking the art of a warm, thoughtful condolence message and gift.
How to comfort someone in mourning
There’s no single set timeframe or formula for grief. Everybody grieves differently. The key to comforting someone during this period is to remain sensitive to their emotional pain, choose your words carefully so as not to cause them any additional anguish and, through small, thoughtful actions, let them know that they have your full support while they recover.
Tips when helping someone through the grieving process
Listen with compassion
Providing a comforting shoulder to cry on, without forcing them to open up if they don’t want to, will allow them to express their feelings and begin working through the trauma at their own pace.
What to say to a person who is grieving
It’s best to pop in for a visit with the person who is mourning. They appreciate the comfort and that you have come to show your respect, it also provides them with a much-needed distraction from their grief. If you can’t be there in person try to phone them rather than texting your condolences.
Many of us feel awkward when someone we know is dealing with loss – it can be tough to find the right words to when someone is in mourning. If you’re struggling to find the right words in this situation, you can try using the following steps:
1. Acknowledge their pain and speak openly
Allow the grieving person to steer the conversation and if they speak about the deceased, don’t try to avoid the subject. Tiptoeing around the situation will only make the person feel uncomfortable and worsen their pain.
2. Be sympathetic to their loss
Saying things like “I’m terribly sorry that you are going through this,” can make the world of difference for the person in mourning.
3. Be authentic
If you don’t know what to say to the person, rather be honest and say “I’m not really sure what to say but I want you to know that I’m here for you if you need anything”. This lets the person know that you care and that they can lean on you during this difficult time. Remember, as we mentioned above, that listening to the bereaved is more important than speaking at this point – so it’s okay if you don’t know what to say to them.
4. Ask them how they are doing
Don’t make assumptions about how the person is feeling. Grief can cause moods and emotions to come in waves. Avoid saying things like “I’m sure you’re feeling terrible, I would be feeling XYZ…” While you may have the best intentions, the dialogue during this time should be about them – making these assumptions could trigger more pain.
When words fail, try sending a sympathy gift instead
Sending a small gift hamper allows you to keep your message in the card simple and straightforward, while still being thoughtful and compassionate.
You can use some of the following messages as inspiration to help you convey your sympathy:
“My deepest sympathy to you and your family during this difficult time. With love (insert your name)”
“Please accept our condolences, we are saddened to hear of your loss. With love (insert your family or company name)”
“We are thinking of you during this time. Please accept our warm and heartfelt sympathy. With love (insert your family or company name)”
“I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. I will miss (deceased’s name) and look back on our time together with fond memories.”
“You are in our thoughts and we pray for your comfort during this time of mourning. Please know that we are only a phone call away if you need anything.
Sympathy gift etiquette
Whether you have a gift delivered or take one with you when you visit the bereaved, fruit baskets and hampers with savoury and sweet snacks are the most practical gifts you can send. Those in mourning often suffer from a loss of appetite or don’t have the energy to cook. Soothing teas and hot beverages are also a thoughtful way to provide some comfort.
Be sure to keep the person’s religious practices in mind:
The Eastern Orthodox Faith
Close relatives may stay home from work for one week and avoid social gatherings for two months.
The Hindu Faith
After the cremation of the deceased, Hindu people observe 13 days of mourning where they will stay home to receive visitors.
The Jewish Faith
Shiva is a period of mourning which takes place over seven days immediately after the funeral. During this time, they receive guests who are responsible for bringing meals and acts of service for the family members who are not permitted to work or participate in the routine of their normal lives.
The Islam Faith
The Islam mourning period lasts 40 days during which the Muslim believer goes through the process of grieving.
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