Grief And Loss: 3 Ways To Positively Express Your Condolences

July 23, 2016

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By: Suzie Kolber | Edited by: Anna Agoncillo

One of the most difficult things for a person to express is the feelings of empathy, sympathy, and condolences to someone who has lost a family member, a friend, a co-worker, or a significant someone.

Searching for the "right" words to say can be a serious struggle! This is why Suzie Kolber collated three tips to make this situation easier for both you and the person you want to comfort.


It may not be intentional yet, you can come across as insecure when you say something that you do not mean. "I understand exactly how you feel!" is a prime example of this. 

Although you went through the similar situation, you cannot fully know how the other person actually feels. Everyone has a distinct personality and so are their emotions and actions. It is much better to say: "I cannot fully measure how you feel right now, but I am here for you."

Reflect upon the last time you experienced bereavement. Think about those people who bombarded you with unsolicited advice on how to deal with grief. For many people, this approach can be very annoying. Remember that everyone deals with grief in their own way. Thus, you cannot determine the "best" way for your loved one to get over the loss.

You can suggest a healthy behavior in a form of a friendly offer. Simply say statements that are along the lines of: "give me a call if you need to talk to" or "let me know if you would like to go for a walk outside". This warmer phrasing allows you to help your loved one without having to command him or her when handling this personal situation.


When someone has lost a loved one, others often feel that they must say something. They immediately search through the web to find inspirational words that will make the situation better. Unfortunately, you do not have a magic wand to make the pain disappear and in many cases, your words can wound them more. So feel free to say nothing!

Sometimes silence is the greatest way you can express your condolences to someone suffering from a significant loss. In fact, the person may not feel like talking either. The solemn "exchange" may aid the process of healing because your non-verbal cues are golden! Sit beside the person, hold his or her hand, and offer a hug.

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Your mere presence is more than enough to let the person know that you really care.

Suzie Kolber is a writer at The site is a complete guide for someone seeking help for writing words of condolences, sympathy messages, condolence letters, and funeral planning resources.

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