Writing words of sympathy and comfort
It’s never easy when someone you know loses someone they love. We go to the funeral home, attend the wake and meet people we haven’t seen in a while. It is during this time that we say sympathy words and do things that are meant to comfort those who are grieving. Some people are not able to attend any kind of gathering, and may instead choose to put their thoughts and wishes of comfort into a sympathy letter or card.
Writing Sympathy Words is Not as Difficult as You May Think.
All it takes is a little empathy and some reflection. Chances are pretty good that you knew the deceased at least well enough to have had some good memories involving that person. After their passing, it is often comforting to others to hear or read about these happy times.
Another important thing to keep in mind when you are writing sympathy words and condolence letters is to be sympathetic. In order to find the right words, imagine yourself in their situation and try to imagine how they must feel.
Definitely don’t try to pretty up your letter too much. So many people think that it will help someone to read flowery and over descriptive language, but going overboard with that kind of style can come off as a bit insincere.
Keep Your Sympathy Words Simple
A lengthy letter or card can discourage a grieving person from reading the whole thing. Reading a long letter takes energy, and nobody really wants to spend that kind of effort to read a lengthy letter while crying. Instead of writing a lot of words, try choosing a few words wisely. You can communicate a vast amount of information with a simple sentence or two about how you will miss the deceased and will always remember the good times that you shared together.
Don’t forget to mention that happy memory of the person. Mention how that person affected you in life and what his or her death means to you. Family and friends of the deceased like to hear about how that person affected or changed someone else’s life, hopefully for the better. Use positive words to describe that person or their personality, such as devoted, faithful, patient, or kind.
Of course, you know that when someone is grieving, they must do it in their own way. Don’t offer them unhelpful advice like ‘Keep your chin up’. That’s the last thing anybody wants to hear at a time like this. Aside from being the wrong thing to say, they probably will have heard it several dozen times anyway, so it can actually end up sounding a bit contrived.
When Offering Your Sympathy, Words May Not Always Be Enough
Offering help of some sort is also useful. For many grieving family members simply doing household chores can be more difficult than normal. Offer to make dinner, go to the store with them, or help out with yard work. They will appreciate the extra help while they are going through this difficult time.
No sympathy words can truly take the pain of a loss away, but finding the right ones can let someone know that you are thinking of them and you know how they’re feeling.