How to Provide Immediate Comfort
There are many heartfelt and useful ways to help someone who just lost a loved one.
Be There. The most important thing you can do is be present with the family. Don’t stay away because you are afraid that you may say or do the wrong thing.
Go to the Service. There is no substitute for your physical presence. It sends an invaluable message of support. If you live too far away to make a personal visit, call or write to express your sympathy.
Share your Genuine Sorrow. Don’t worry about what to say, just share from your heart. Simplicity is best.
Listen. Most importantly, the bereaved want to be heard. Just listen, and let them tell you about their loss.
Share a Memory. Reminisce and tell a fond memory about the person who died. The bereaved want to talk about their loved one. Your recollection of the deceased will be a wonderful gift.
Cry. It’s okay to cry. The family can find comfort in knowing you are sad too. Your tears show you care about the family and their loved one.
Smile and Laugh. It’s okay to laugh. There is a myth that laughter is not appropriate at time of loss. However, a friendly smile or laugh can ease the pain. Memories about the loved one can include times when he or she made others smile, laugh, or just feel good.
Use Appropriate Physical Contact. When words fail, put your arm around your friend’s shoulder or give a hug. Actions can speak instead of words.
- Sympathy Support: How to Provide Immediate Comfort (withsympathygifts.com)
- Giving the Gift of Story (storybooksforhealing.com)
- 9 Tips – Let the Bereaved Know You are Thinking of Them (withsympathygifts.com)