What do you say when someone dies of cancer or any asbestos-related disease? Or of an accident or anything? The question is not easy to be answered. It is not a question you will be able to answer in a jiffy.
There really are no words that can be spoken to allay someone’s grief. The words ‘I am sorry’ always seem hollow or insufficient to say, but they are the first words that come to our mind.
If this is a person you will be seeing regularly, you can talk to them easily. Ask them how they are doing today. Each day will be a day of struggle to them. Hear them out closely and pay attention to see if there is something, anything you can do to ease their suffering.
For you this is a time for either action or inaction. If the person suffering from the tragic loss is someone close to you, hugs or a shoulder to lean on are a must. Sometimes just being there is more than you can know. They have to be assured of your solid presence. If they have kids, show up each night to help with dinner. Do some house chores such as laundry, look after the kids bath time and bed and just let them be, to grieve. Mow their lawn, tend to the garden, pick up their mail, fetch the daily newspaper. Whatever you do, it will be appreciated without words being spoken. Usually after a few days or weeks some people in grief are able to cope and deal with life. While others may need you to be there with them supporting them.
It is a different experience with different people. Some are not touchy with feelings, but just being there is enough. Getting them to eat and sleep without grumbling or words is more than what is needed.
This brings us to the words.
What to say when someone dies?
If we have to resort to words, what would be the best ones?
I am so sorry for your loss.
This has to be the foremost line to say. Most say being sorry is not enough, but being sorry is also similar to saying ‘I know what you are going through’
I wish I had the right words. Just know that I care.
Being honest and saying you rather do not know what to say will not be as bad as you’d think. Honesty and trust is what they need from you in time of their predicament.
I don’t know how you feel, but I am here to help in anyway I can.
Have you never lost someone to know what it feels like when someone you love is no more? No worries. You are here to help and that’s what matters.
My favorite memory of your loved one is….
Remember that moment? Talk about it and keep talking. It brings back the memories, and although they may not be the memories your friend shared, he or she would get to live them through you and with their loved one.
I am always just a phone call away.
The reassurance. You are close by, and will be here anytime you are needed.
We all need help at times like this, I am here for you.
I am usually up early or late, if you need anything.
These words are ideal to be said when you do not know what to say when someone dies. Remember that more than words, your actual presence is needed in times like this.