When you know people who are having funerals at funeral homes in Macomb, MI, one of the things that you need to do is communicate sympathy to them. Acknowledging someone else’s loss of a loved one is one of the kindest and most empathetic things we can do after someone dies.
However, many people may feel sympathetic, but they don’t find tangible ways to express it to the bereaved family. You would be surprised how few people take the time to explicitly give their condolences to grieving families as they deal with the death of their loved one.
That lack can often lead the bereaved family to feel very alone, to feel as if nobody cared about their loved one, and nobody cares about them. While feelings may not reflect reality, they certainly can form lasting impressions in the minds of the people who are experiencing them.
That’s why, no matter how inadequately you may feel about communicating your sympathy to them, you should make an effort to do it anyway.
You don’t have to get prosaic or elegant. A simple “I’m sorry for your loss” is more than enough. If you know the grieving family well or you knew their deceased loved one well, then a good way to communicate your sympathy to them is to include a fond memory or a comforting story with your message.
However, there are some things that you should absolutely not say when you are communicating sympathy. They include:
- “They’re better off.”
- “I know how you feel.”
- “At least they’re not suffering anymore.”
- “Now you can get back to your life.”
- “You should be happy they are not sick anymore.”
- “I’m surprised they made it this long.”
- “It’s all for the best.”
These things indicate a lack of sensitivity about the bereaved family’s loss and a lack of understanding about death in general. It’s important to remember that you will never know exactly how anyone else really feels when someone they love dies. While you may have experienced a similar loss – a child, a parent, or a sibling – you reacted in your own unique way to that loss and the grieving family members will each react in their own unique ways to their loss.
If you want to empathize, two of the best phrases to use are “I can’t imagine how you must be feeling…” or “I can’t imagine what you’re going through…” because these acknowledge the uniqueness of loss and grieving from individual to individual.
What ways can you use to communicate sympathy?
If you’re a person who likes to talk on the phone, your first instinct when you hear the news of someone’s death is to pick up the phone to call one of their family members. Don’t. That last thing anyone who has just lost a loved one wants to do is talk on the phone.
Instead, you can sit down and write them a short note of sympathy (you do not have to go out and buy a card – if you wait, you may forget) and get it in the mail as quickly as possible.
You can also send flowers or plants with a short sympathy note attached to the family home. Plants are often a more thoughtful gift because they can be transplanted by the family, who will remember your kindness after their loss.
You can also communicate your sympathy by a short visit. Be sure to bring a little food and keep your visit short. Other people may be visiting at the same time, or there may be a steady stream of visitors in and out, which, while appreciated, can be very tiring.
For more information about communicating sympathy at funeral homes in Macomb, MI, our compassionate and experienced staff at Lee-Ellena Funeral Home can help.