What Do I Say?


A friend’s father passes away. Your co-worker’s daughter dies suddenly. An old friend from high school loses her husband. You want to show your support but you just don’t know what to say. If you’re at a loss for words, consider one of these options:

I am so sorry for your loss. This may be a comment you hear often at funerals, but that does not diminish the sentiment.

I don’t know how you feel, but I am here to help in any way I can. Your honesty also shows that your offer to assist is genuine.

My favorite memory of your loved one is… This is a beautiful way to show how the deceased made an impact on your life.

I am always just a phone call away. Let people know you are available.

I honestly don’t know what to say, but just know I care. Admit that you can’t comprehend their pain rather than assume you do.

If those still don’t feel right, give a hug. A physical touch may be just what a grieving person needs to feel comforted.


Of course, some of the best intended words can be painful to hear. Avoid saying the following to someone who recently experienced the death of a loved one:


He is in a better place.

There is a reason for everything.

You need to get on with your life.

You’re young; you can still have another child/spouse.

She was such a good person God wanted her to be with him.

I know how you feel.

It was her time to go.

Be strong.


Words matter. Your voice has the power to comfort those who are in pain. Use it.

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