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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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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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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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Grief & Self-Care: 44 Tips for Healing, Comfort, and Peace

50 Tips for Comfort, Health, and Healing

A death in the family deals a tough blow. If you were close to the one who passed away Рa spouse, parent, or child Рyou will need time to grieve and heal. You will also need to care for yourself throughout the grief process.

In this article, we address grief & self-care by offering 44 tips for healing, comfort, and peace while you do the difficult work of mourning.

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Christmas Memorial Gifts (Gift Guide + Etiquette Tips)

Christmas Gifts for Those Who Grieve

Let’s talk about Christmas memorial gifts and how to give them in a sensitive, caring way.

It’s the holiday season, and someone close to you has lost a loved one. The natural tendency, for many of us, is to emit some generic phrases of condolence, then avoid the topic altogether. Don’t do this.

Take the effort to learn a few things to avoid when someone has lost a loved one. Then, even if you mess up and stick your foot in your mouth, take the time to show them that you care by your words, actions, or gifts.

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7 Tips for What to Say to Someone Who is Grieving

Grief & Loss: Words to Say

If you know someone who has suffered a loss, and you’re looking for what to say to someone who is grieving, here are seven helpful suggestions from Goings, Graces. These quotes are taken from the thoughtful post entitled, “What to say when there is nothing to say.” Continue reading 7 Tips for What to Say to Someone Who is Grieving

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Talking to Children About Death

Death conversations

Handling grief when a loved one passes can be difficult enough for us grown-ups, and talking to children about death can be more difficult still. Yet children too must grieve, and helping a child through the loss of a loved one, be it a sibling, parent, grandparent or friend, doesn’t have to be intimidating. Continue reading Talking to Children About Death