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It’s Hard to Find the Right Words – What to Say, What Not to Say to Bereaved Families

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If you’ve taken the lead on planning a funeral for a friend or family member, you have to wade through your own grief while comforting others for their loss. If you need help planning the funeral in an appropriate, cost-conscious way, partner with funeral homes in Ottawa that respect your feelings. Additionally, online funeral arrangements allow you to make the necessary decisions from the comfort and privacy of your home. To make it easier to find the right words, we have outlined five things to say when comforting bereaved families and five things to avoid during this sensitive time.

Five Things to Say to Comfort Grieving Loved Ones

Let your friend or family member know that you care without belabouring the point. They may not feel like talking, and that’s okay. Here are five tried and true ways to express care and sympathy without deepening the mourner’s pain.

  • I’m sorry for your loss.” This is a short, effective way to express your feelings.
  • “I would like to help you with _______.” Offer to make a grocery run, walk the dog or do some light housekeeping. Your friend will appreciate the help during this vulnerable time.
  • “Can I bring some coffee for you tomorrow?” This gives your friend an opportunity to accept or postpone company. They may feel very alone, so try again in a few days if they say no.
  • “I would love to share a great memory with you.” Celebrating the life of someone who has passed can ease the pain of grief.
  • “I’m here for you.” Follow this up with phone calls to see how they’re doing.

Five Things to Avoid Saying to Mourners

Avoid suggesting that your loved one’s death is somehow a good thing or necessary. These well-meant sentiments won’t comfort someone deep in mourning.

  • “It was just her time to go.” Avoid saying anything that implies your friend’s death was necessary.
  • “It’s all part of God’s plan.” Even if your grieving friend is spiritual, it’s best to avoid these platitudes. Your friend may not recognize death as part of some divine plan. They may even be angry at God. You can offer to pray with your friend or for them if you think it will help.
  • “You have to stay strong.” Instead of giving your family members comfort, this may make them feel weaker and more vulnerable.
  • “She has gone to a better place.” This may offend your friend or make them feel guilty for their grief.
  • “I feel the same way you do.” If you are extremely close with the other person, you can offer to share your feelings, but don’t assume you know what they’re going through.

Contact First Memorial Funeral Services for assistance with online funeral arrangements. Browse through our list of locations to find funeral homes in Ottawa near you.

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