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  1. #1

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    How do you give your condolences?

    Just curious how you all deal with giving your condolences when someone you know has a relative/person close to them that has died.

    I got an email from a friend today that his dad died last night. He’s been sick and so it was a blessing. He seems to actually be doing quite well and all, accepting that he led a long happy prosperous life and hasn’t been healthy lately.

    I remember back in college I was taking a psychology class and I’ll never forget what the professor said, and to me it actually makes sense. She said never tell someone you are “sorry” because, what are you sorry for? Always use the word "sorry" when you are apologizing for something, never in this context. The best thing to say is “If there’s anything I can do let me know” and mean it. If you’ve been through a death of a person close to you, offer your shoulder. Tell them you know what it’s like to loose a (insert person here i.e. parent, sibling etc) and then give them some hints of what to expect.

    This seems to be the thing that I do. Since I went through all this when my dad died, it was nice when people offered their sympathy. I wasn’t offended when someone said that they were sorry by any means, but when someone took a little more time to offer their help or anything like that, it just helped me get through it easier. And if I personally knew the one who died, I try to say something like “He sure did make me laugh whenever he would ….” or “I remember when she told me such and such…” Good memories to be shared of course. And I always let them know that I am thinking of them and their family.

    Anyway, I was just curious to see what everyone else does when they are in this situation.

  2. #2

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    Re: How do you give your condolences?

    If it's a close friend, I usually take a plant (because flowers are pretty, but they die). If I can, I try to attend the funeral to show my support. But, I had a friend that had his wife die, and he said from the start, people were always bringing flowers and whatnot, but after the funeral, everyone just went away. He said that the most important thing would be to show continued friendship and support.

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  3. #3

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    Re: How do you give your condolences?

    Thank you Onut, At these times I am at a loss for words, it good to know what to say, but I just feel so bad for that person and the family. I usually just say " I am truly sorry for your loss, I will keep you and your family in my prayers. if I can do anything for you, anything please let me know. I want to be here for you . I hope this is a good way to say my condolences.

  4. #4

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    Re: How do you give your condolences?

    There's not much you CAN say -- usually it goes along the lines of "I wanted to offer my condolences about your [loved one]. If there's anything I can do to help, please let me know." If the person wants to talk, then just listen to what they have to say.

    I mean you could also tell the person "they're in a better place now" to comfort them, but... really there's nothing you can do to but surround them with love and concern. It can be strange and awkward because you'd LIKE to make the person feel all better, but short of injecting them with demerol, it ain't gonna happen just like that.

    Showing up for the funeral is a good idea too, of course.
    I am grateful... grapefruit! ~ Bjork (upon winning Best International Female Artist at the BRIT Awards)



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  5. #5

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    Re: How do you give your condolences?

    I think the main thing is to not say "I know how you feel" because you 1.) Don't want to switch the focus back to yourself, and 2.) You can't assume how someone else feels.

    I think it's nice if you have a special memory to share.

    A 4th grade boy at my son's school died over vacation, so I'm pretty sure I'll be having this conversation again when JP gets home.
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  6. #6

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    Re: How do you give your condolences?

    Let the person know you're there for them and then actually BE there for them. Too many times have I heard that (whether it be to me or other people) and then when those people are called on, they are never there.
    "I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it. "Groucho Marx

  7. #7

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    Re: How do you give your condolences?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chernabog View Post
    If the person wants to talk, then just listen to what they have to say.
    Yep, and then be there. For real.
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  8. #8

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    Re: How do you give your condolences?

    Everyone here has given you great great information. Death is a very tough thing to deal with - my Grandmother died last February - and just the fact that the entire office got together and signed a condolence card was probably one of the sweetest things. Those that have lost need love and support.

    What I might tell you is that I have found that you will never ever know how that person feels - best thing is not to say "I know how you feel." Because the reality of it is that you don't.

    About two weeks after Grandma Teresa died, I was talking to my Grandpa and he told me, "Mijo - you just can't imagine how I feel losing your Grandma - we were married 55 years and 7 months......." My reply to him was 'Grandpa - I don't know how you feel, but I do know you have lost the love of your life. I have lost my Grandma - we've both lost the same person and feel differently, but we've both lost." That's just what I told Grandpa - not something you have to get indepth with.

    Sorry - I ramble. Grandma's passing is still pretty fresh - just spent the first Christmas w/o her - was sort of rough.

  9. #9

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    Re: How do you give your condolences?

    Wow. Its hard to express condolences via email or over the phone. I try to call as much as I can especially if the family/friend was close to me. If they are near me, I won't say anything but give them a hug. Sometimes there are no words to express the sorrow you feel that your friend is going through something so traumatic.

  10. #10

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    Re: How do you give your condolences?

    I agree, everyone has offered up really good things to say. I just went through a death in the family recently, and the people that comforted me most were the people who cared about how I was doing. Of course they said they were sorry for my loss, and I appreciated that. But it was the ones who seemed genuinely interested in how I was holding up. It was those people that usually brought me to tears when I usually felt like I was strong and could carry through it. I can't tell you how many people said "If there is anything I can do for you, let me know." At times, it seemed almost like an automated response, but some people really ment it, and I could tell.

    Tell your friend that you know that they are going through a very hard time, and that you wish you could understand the emothions that were going through them right now. But to know that you, and many other people, are there to help and support thm whenever they should need it. To not hesitate to call on them.

  11. #11

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    Re: How do you give your condolences?

    I need advice on this too. My 2nd aunt died last night from the result of Brain Cancer, leaving behind her husband and my two cousins (14 and 9 Y.O.)
    Im not sure wht to say to either of them at th funeral this weekdn..,

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    Re: How do you give your condolences?

    Quote Originally Posted by pveticket View Post
    I need advice on this too. My 2nd aunt died last night from the result of Brain Cancer, leaving behind her husband and my two cousins (14 and 9 Y.O.)
    Im not sure wht to say to either of them at th funeral this weekdn..,
    Hug them. That's all you need to do.

  13. #13

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    Re: How do you give your condolences?

    Quote Originally Posted by frecky View Post
    Let the person know you're there for them and then actually BE there for them. Too many times have I heard that (whether it be to me or other people) and then when those people are called on, they are never there.
    That is the truth, frecky.

    My experience has been on both sides. Don't just offer to help, take it upon yourself to give in some way. Because in most cases, when someone says.."let me know of anything, I can do to help", most grieving people don't take them up on it. Any little gesture helps family and friends of the departed one. Go to the grocery store, make a casserole, mow the lawn for a month, do a few loads of laundry...you catch my drift and will know what's most appropriate.

    As to what to say....Simple is best. What's in your heart will be the most meaningful to the family.

    Hugs to you, O-nut for comforting your friend during his difficult time.

  14. #14

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    Re: How do you give your condolences?

    Hugs work, and so does offering continual support and comfort when they need it, even after the funeral.
    If you knew the person, just say that "so and so was a wonderful person, had a great personality, and he's in a good place." or something along those lines.
    Press today is so concerned with cool vs. not cool that they're starting to forget good vs. bad. I'm not sure I'll ever be "cool", but I will always tirelessly strive to be "great". - Josh Groban

  15. #15

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    Re: How do you give your condolences?

    I would talk to them personally or over the phone and let them know I care.

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