"I'm Sorry For Your Loss".
How often have you said the words, "I'm sorry for your loss" in hopes of consoling a grieving person? How often have you heard those words, as you faced unimaginable grief? Did hearing "I'm sorry for your loss" comfort you? Did you feel understood and supported?
These days it seems the universal thing to say to someone grieving the death of a loved one are those 5 words. But, when that phrase is used without emotion or real empathy it sounds empty, and awkward, and ignores the real pain that grief bestows on someone. Saying "I'm sorry for your loss" does more to make the person sharing the words feel better than comforting the person who is in need.
When someone has experienced the death of a friend or loved one, be honest, don't ignore their pain, don't be afraid to say you don't know what to say! That revelation is more authentic and appreciated than "I'm sorry for your loss".
I've had two friends die in the past few months and have heard the words "I'm sorry for your loss" frequently. However, I didn't lose anyone, my friends didn't get lost, they died! I'm sad, I'm melancholy, and I miss them both. When I heard, "it must be hard to have a friend die" I felt comforted because it displayed an attempt at understanding.
People mean well when they say "I'm sorry for your loss". It's hard to know what to say in the face of death. But there's simply no canned words to use in those situations. Each death is different.
Here are some tips and suggestions to show you care:
Try something similar to these phrases to offer comfort:
Do your best to speak from your heart, that's the best gift you can give someone who is hurting.