When someone you know has lost a loved one, you may find yourself at a loss for what to say. It’s not uncommon to feel helpless or worry that you might say the wrong thing. Unfortunately, this can cause people to avoid interaction with the person who is grieving, which is not at all helpful. People who have suffered a loss need human contact, and having someone to talk to is a wonderful way to ease their pain. If you know someone who is grieving, don’t hesitate to talk to them. Try to listen more than you talk, and choose your words carefully.

This video offers some good examples of what to say and what to avoid saying when comforting someone who has suffered a loss. For instance, it’s not very helpful to say, “I know exactly how you feel” or “He’s in a better place.” It’s better to simply say something along the lines of “I’m sorry for your loss” or “I’m here if you need me.” You can even just be honest, and admit that you wish you had the right words to say. Whatever you do, make sure you remain present because just being there for someone who is grieving is the most important thing.

One way to show your support for someone who has suffered a loss is to attend the funeral ceremony. In Oakland, Chapel of the Chimes Oakland has been serving the community for more than a century, creating life-honoring services that respect the wishes of each unique family. For more information, call us at (510) 654-0123.