What to Say to a Grieving Person

It’s often hard to know just what to say when you know someone who’s grieving. The first step is not to think you have to say some words to cheer them up – it’s perfectly normal and natural for grieving people to feel sad, angry, numb, scared, lonely or down in the dumps. Saying something like, “I’m sorry” is simple but can mean so much to someone who is grieving. They often just need someone to talk to, someone who’ll let them share their feelings and their memories.

DO allow the person to cry and show how they feel – grief is for men and women, boys and girls, young and old.

DON’T say “Be brave” or “Be strong” – this encourages grieving people to bottle up their feelings.

DO talk about the person who’s died – say their name and be willing to hear about the circumstances of the death – this all helps the reality of the loss to sink in which is an important part of grieving.

DON’T say, “I know how you feel” – we can never feel another’s inner feelings, or fully know all the things that are part of someone else’s grief.

DO offer practical help – buy groceries, mind children, mow lawns, do the ironing, cook meals – not just in the days straight after the death but in the months to come when the real effect of the death is often being felt.

DON’T forget special days like birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas – these can be very lonely when someone special has died. A card or phone call on a day like this could be very special.

Writing A Eulogy

Some helpful notes that may be of assistance in
preparing a Eulogy:

Academic or trade qualifications and achievements
Any special stories, sayings, qualities that are significant to others
Brothers and Sisters
Details of any war or military service
Details of marriages, divorces, children, significant relationships
Details of grandchildren/great grandchildren
Details of any Club memberships, position held
Details of sporting achievements
Details of any hobbies or interests, travel, crafts etc.
Details of historical significance
Details of activities e.g. music, theatre etc.
Early childhood - localities and interests
Nicknames and/or names known to others
Parents names - where they met and married
Preferences, likes and dislikes
Schools attended, awards gained
Some interesting items about childhood days
Special readings, music or poetry to be included
When and where was the deceased born


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