pen and paper for writing down your words of sympathy

How to Find the Right Words of Sympathy

It’s hard to know what to say to someone who is grieving the loss of a loved one, but it’s important to find words of sympathy that let the mourners know you’re thinking of them. They need to know that they are loved and supported during this difficult time. If you feel stuck, here are five ways to jump-start your thought process.

1. Remember the Words of Sympathy You’ve Received

If you’ve ever lost a loved one, think about or read through some of the sympathy cards you received at that time. You probably remember that the words were generally comforting, and it felt good to know people cared. You appreciated the outpouring of love, no matter the specific words that were written in each card.

2. Think About the Person Who Passed Away

How did that person make you feel? What memories do you have of him or her? What qualities about him or her stood out the most to you? Come up with a memory you want to share, or just share how much you appreciated having the person in your life. The family will feel comforted knowing the impact their loved one had on your life.

3. Relax

This isn’t an essay, and it won’t be judged or graded. It’s simply an opportunity for you to express how much you cared for someone who has passed on and that you’re thinking of the people who were left behind.

There’s no need to write a lot. In moments like these, the gesture of taking the time to write a note means the most.

4. Journal

Before writing in the card, take a moment to write your thoughts on another piece of paper. Sometimes your ideas become clearer as you write.

5. Speak and Write From the Heart

You don’t have to be especially eloquent or strive to impress the person who will read the message. Simply be yourself and write from the heart.

Remember: sometimes, no words are needed. When face-to-face with mourners at a funeral, a hug might be enough.

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