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What to Say When Someone Dies (And What NOT to Say)

What to Say When Someone Dies

What do you say when someone dies? It’s an age-old question. No matter how much time passes – or how many people you know that have lost a loved one – it never seems to get any easier to know what to say.

If you need help figuring out the best way to

  • Talk to a grieving friend or family member
  • Avoid saying something stupid and hurtful
  • Offer condolences
  • Write a sympathy card or note
  • Have a few helpful phrases ready
  • Handle unfamiliar situations like when a child or parent dies

… you’ve come to the right place.

Below, we have tips for what to say, and what NOT to say, when someone you knew – or perhaps didn’t know all that well – dies.

It’s never any easy topic, but keep in mind these tried-and-true tips and you have the confidence to say just the right thing at just the right time.

Let’s take a look.

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21 Sad Funeral Songs

21 Best Sad Songs for Funerals

For this article we collected twenty-one of the most appropriately sad funeral songs we could find.

These songs are ideal for playing during a slideshow, a time of contemplation, a candle lighting, or any other memorial event during the funeral service.

Some of the tracks have sad lyrics yet more upbeat tunes. Others have more somber melodies with comparatively uplifting, perhaps even hopeful, lyrics. The point is that these songs have a sound and feel which is appropriate for a funeral service.

Funerals are mournful occasions, and the songs you choose should suit the moment. Whatever kind of sad funeral song you want, we’ve got it here.

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22 Tips on How to Help Someone Who is Grieving

Tips on Caring for Mourners

Let’s talk about how to help someone who is grieving.

Someone you know has lost a loved one. It might be a spouse, a parent, a child, or a close friend or relative. How can you support them in real, tangible ways during this time of mourning?

This sort of loss is devastating, and you want to be there for your friend. And you want to go beyond sending flowers and lame offers (that they’ll never take you up on) of “How can I help?” or “Let me know if you need anything.”

Here are 22 simple – yet meaningful and effective – tips on caring for someone who is grieving.

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How to Find Comfort in a Time of Loss

Finding comfort in the midst of grief

I awoke from a vivid dream around four in the morning. Though my eyes were swollen from all the tears I cried earlier, I began quietly sobbing again, in the stillness of the night. Nobody else was awake in my house. It was just me and my tears, replaying memories in my head like a music player replays my favorite song.

My dream was about my dad, who was very ill. At the time, he appeared to be near death. The day before I visited him at a hospice care center with my husband and two young daughters. We brought him yellow flowers, something cheery to brighten up his cold, stark room. Then, we said our good-byes.

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Missing You: 22 Honest Quotes about Grief

Missing You

Grieving over and missing someone you love is a big deal. It’s not always easy to give voice to the thoughts and emotions inside you.

These swell up to tears and down to numbness, then repeat, and it seems like no one else understands or can fathom.

The 22 honest quotes about grief are provided here to help you find the right words to express just how much you miss your loved one. Feel free to share, pin, or save as your background or screen saver, just be sure to link back to this post when sharing online.

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What Grieving People Wish You Knew (Book Review)

What grieving people want you to know

So, do you want to know how to help a grieving friend or family member? While you may never know exactly the right thing to do, this book is the next best thing.

Here’s our book review of What Grieving People Wish You Knew by Nancy Guthrie.

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Sympathy Card Messages: Sympathy Quotes for Loss

What should I say in a sympathy card?

What should I write in a sympathy card? If you’re carefully thinking about sympathy card messages as you try to console a grieving loved one, well, this is a good thing!

It is very wise and loving to be thoughtful about what you say or write to someone who has suffered a loss.

For anyone who has lost a loved one, you know that there are many things people say with good intentions that are still insensitive and even hurtful.

For those who have not lost a loved one, you cannot fathom what it is like. So it is doubly important to be considerate in how you express your love and sympathy to those who are grieving as you write your sympathy card messages.

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101 Classic Books for Children About Death, Grief, Pet Loss & More

Classic Children's Books to Help Young Ones Grieve

If your family or a family you know with young ones has recently experienced a loss, you will want to have resources to help children grieve.

Reading is one of the best activities to help a child address grief. Stories are especially powerful in highlighting truths about what we humans feel and experience when dealing with a loss.

The books listed below are generally regarded as classics. Well written and highly regarded, these books are appreciated equally by parents, grief counselors, and (most importantly) children.

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