What to say when someone dies? It’s a common question I get asked by people.
And rightly so, their heart is in the right place.
They don’t want to offend their friend or loved one. They want to offer support.
In this article, I will give you lots of ideas on how to show you care, by saying the right thing, and also avoiding bad things to say.
I’ll share my own advice and experience on what to say depending on the situation.
What To Say When Someone Dies
There are some things you can say or do to encourage or start the conversation:
- I’m deeply sorry for your loss.
- They’ll be deeply missed.
- We will keep them in our thoughts and prayers.
- I’m heartbroken to learn of this tragic news.
- This shocking news both shocked and saddened me.
- I can’t imagine how you must be feeling.
- I’m available at any time if you want to talk.
- During this hard time, I’m thinking of you.
- She/he was wonderful, and I’m so sorry she/he is no longer with us.
How To Act When Someone Dies
When someone you care about is grieving after a loss, it can be hard to know what to say or do. They experience extreme and painful feelings, including depression, frustration, remorse, and deep sadness.
They frequently feel isolated and alone in their grief because people are hesitant to offer support due to the intense pain and complex emotions.
Many people find it difficult to seek help. They may feel guilty for trying to attract so much attention, they may be afraid of being a problem to others, or they may simply be too depressed to reach out.
Instead of saying, “Let me know if there’s anything I can do,” make specific ideas to help a grieving person. You could say, “I’m going to the market this afternoon.” “Can I bring you something from there?” or “I made beef for dinner; when can I come over and get you some?”
Actions speak louder than words
There are numerous practical ways to assist a bereaved person. You could propose:
- Run errands or go grocery shopping.
- Deliver some food items.
- Assist with funeral arrangements.
- Stay at your loved one’s home to answer the phone and greet visitors.
- Assist with insurance paperwork and billing.
- Do the cleaning and laundry.
- Take care of their children or pick them up from school.
- Take care of the pets.
- Take them for a nice walk.
- Take them to the movies or out to lunch.
- Take part in a fun activity (sport, game, puzzle, art project).
Be prepared to sit in silence. If the person in mourning does not want to talk, don’t put pressure on them. Often, simply being in your company brings them comfort. If you can’t think of anything to say, make eye contact, squeeze their hand, or give them a reassuring hug.
Offer your help. Inquire about what you can do to assist the bereaved person. Offer to assist with a specific task, such as funeral arrangements, or be available to hang out with.
What Not To Say When Someone Dies
- Be strong; you’ll get through it.
- This was his fault; he brought it on himself.
- She is in a better place now.
- Isn’t it been a while since you’ve seen her?
- He lived a long life; at the very least, he did not die young.
- Because she was such a good person, God must have wanted her to be there.
- I suppose it was time for him to go.
- I completely understand how you feel.
- Everything happens for a reason, and life should go on.
- You’re still young. You will have another child.
What To Say To Someone Who Is Dying
- How are things going today?
- Is there anything I can help you with today?
- Would you like to do anything today?
- What would you like to talk about?
- How do you feel today?
- All I wanted to say is how much you mean to me.
- You’ve been the most incredible friend, and I consider myself extremely fortunate to have you in my life.
What To Say For Specific Circumstances
What To Say When Someone Dies That You Don’t Know?
Personalizing messages of understanding and support in difficult times is difficult if you do not know the deceased. You didn’t know the person who died, but you did know someone who loved them, so make use of that. Use your knowledge to express your feelings.
- They were extremely fortunate to have you in/her life.
- (Name of the deceased) has passed away, but his spirit lives on in you.
- I am deeply sorry for your suffering.
- I know you gave your all to (Name of deceased) when they were alive.
- I know you were a wonderful friend to me because you are a wonderful friend to me (deceased).
- This isn’t easy, but you are so strong. You’ll make it through.
- (Name of the deceased) I would be very proud of how you handled this loss.
- The bad times do not define you; how you deal with them does. You embody what it means to be resilient in the face of tragedy.
What To Say When A Father Or Mother Dies?
- I wish I could say something appropriate, but I can’t. Please know that I am always available to you, whether it is next week or next year.
- Do you want some company right now? I can come to stay with you, or you can come to stay with me.
- If you need to talk, I am always available. I’m also available if you don’t want to talk and require company or a distraction!
- If you’re not interested in responding, please don’t feel obligated to do so. And if you get tired of it, tell me to back off! (Do not offer this if you are not going to follow through! I’ll check in with you weekly to see how you’re doing and what you need.
What to say when a child dies
- “I love you and am here for you,.”
- When you don’t know what to say, say, “I don’t have words to fully express how sorry I am to hear about your loss.”
- “I’m here for you if you ever want to talk,” you can say.
- Provide ongoing assistance: “May I call or text you later to check in?”
- Offer practical assistance: “May I bring you some dinner tonight?”
What To Say When A Pet Dies
- I’m thinking of you and [pet’s Name]. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do for you.
- We never have enough time with them! We are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.
- During this challenging time, I wish you comfort and peace.
- Your loss deeply saddens me. [Name of pet] will be greatly missed.
- [Pet’s name] was a wonderful [dog/cat/etc.]. He/she was fortunate to have chosen you as his/her family.
- It is never easy to lose such an important family member.
- It is never easy to lose such an important family member. I’m thinking about you.
- I understand how much you miss him/her.
- I’m thinking of you and sending you my best.
- You and him/her were extremely lucky to have met. He or she will be greatly missed.
What To Say When Someone Dies Unexpectedly
- I was devastated to learn that He/She had died.
- I have no idea how you must be feeling.
- We adore you and want you to know that we are thinking about you.
- I just wanted to let you know that I’m available if you need to talk.
- I understand how much you loved him/her.
- This must be very hard for you. If you need somebody to talk to, feel free to contact me.
- I don’t know what to say. There are no words.
- Your mum/dad was such a kind and thoughtful person. He/She’s going to be missed so much.
- We all loved Him/Her. She/He had a way of making people smile. We’re going to miss her/him.
Just Reach Out
Remember that grieving the loss of a loved one is the most agonizing pain anyone can experience. Be courteous and respectful. Don’t ignore anyone’s emotions. Even if someone puts on a brave face and appears to be handling things well, don’t assume that person is.
Actions speak louder than words. Offer to take them grocery shopping, watch the kids for an afternoon, and assist around the house. These gestures mean a lot to someone whose entire world has been turned upside down.
We were created to connect. We require people to survive. When we are happy, when we are just getting along, and when we are bereaved, we need people to share our lives with.