Selasa, 04 September 2012

Expressing Sympathy

Sympathy messages for funerals to be attached to a gift of flowers or food or just to send to a grieving family isn't always easy to write. There are several things to keep in mind when either writing a note or having a conversation with someone in mourning.

  • The bereaved person or persons emotions are at their most raw.
  • Your expression of care or sympathy is about them and not you or even the deceased for that matter. I know that might sound strange but condolences are really for comforting the family member, spouse, or friends that are left behind.
  • You can't fix it. Time will begin to lessen the hurt but there is nothing that you can say or do that will make that immediate.
  • Every one grieves differently. Some people want to be close to others a lot while some people need more space and want to be alone.

A few things Not to say or do.

  • Never say "I know how you feel". You don't. You might have lost someone possibly even someone that was the same relationship to you as the bereaved was to the deceased but every relationship is unique. Make it clear that you understand and respect their need to grieve.
  • Never say " They are in a better place" They might very well be but the family and friends they left behind are hurting and the last thing that they need to here are cliche platitudes.
  • Don't let the grieving families feel like they have to entertain you or take care of your needs as a guest.

A few things to do.

  • Empathize if you can. Let them know that you understand that they are hurting and that you are there for them.
  • It is OK to tell them that while you have experienced loss you can't imagine how they must be hurting.
  • Offer to run errands or better yet just run them without having to be asked. Carry out the trash, run to the store,cut the grass, cook a meal, wash the dishes, anything to take a burden off of the one you are trying to comfort.
  • Bring a meal for the family so they don't have to cook. Send a fruit basket
  • Send flowers. A gift of flowers is always an appropriate expression of sympathy. Flowers can be sent to the funeral home or to the home or homes of the grieving family.

Suggestions for card messages:

Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this most difficult time.

Your ___________ was such an inspiration to me/us and they will be missed more than you could imagine.

Please know that your mom/dad meant so much and it was a n honor to have had them as a part of our life.

____________ was a good friend and valuable addition to our company/organization and he/she will be missed more than you can imagine.

"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." Rev. 21:4 May God wipe away your tears and give you the peace and comfort that only he can.

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matt 5:4

May God comfort you in your loss and be with you as you go through this season of grief.

We pray that this gift of flowers will bring a small measure of comfort for you and your family at this difficult time.

We hope that these flowers convey the care and love for you and your family that we don't have the words to adequately express.

As this plant (outdoor plant gift) grows I hope that it will bring back sweet memories of your life with your husband/wife/child.

I want to express my deepest condolences at the loss of your friend. If we can be of service to you in any way at this most difficult time please call. We are here for you just as your ____________ (family member, loved one friend) always was for us.

The above are just a few ideas. Let your heart speak and consider sending flowers or a gift of food or plant to express feelings that your words are able to adequately convey.

Obituaries often included the phrase (in lieu of flowers donations may be made to... what ever charity). This is a nice sentiment and a good way to support many good charities but it is important to remember that this is often verbage that is standard in many news papers or releases from funeral homes to the paper for obituaries and sometimes the families aren't even consulted. In any case flowers always add a warmth to a funeral service that is just missing when they aren't present. They also are a welcome gift at the home of hurting families. Flowers and food are very traditional and appropriate expressions of sympathy and caring.

I hope that this article is in some measure helpful the next time you or someone you love has to face grief and loss.

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