Knowing what to say to someone going to a funeral can be difficult, to say the least.
There is nothing wrong with preparing yourself so you don’t get stuck for words or say the wrong thing.
Here are examples of what you can say to someone who has a funeral to attend to express your condolences and let them know you’re there for them:
What to Say to Someone Going to a Funeral
Keep in mind that exactly what you say will depend on your relationship with the person you’re talking to and the exact circumstances.
The goal, however, is to let the person know that you care about them, understand what they’re going through, and offer your sincere condolences.
Some of the things you can say are:
- “I’m so sorry for your loss, my thoughts are with you.”
- “If there’s anything I can do to help, please don’t hesitate to let me know.”
- “I can’t imagine how you’re feeling, but I’ll be here for you if you need to talk.”
- “This must be so incredibly difficult for you. I’m here if you need to talk or just want some company.”
- “I wish I had the right words, just know that I care about you and am here for you.”
- “There are no words to describe how sorry I am, just know that I am thinking of you.”
- “Please accept my deepest sympathies for your loss.”
- “I really cared for [name], too, I miss them so much and know how much pain you must be in.”
- “I’m at a loss for words – I just want you to know that I’m here for you, ok, any time of day or night.”
- “I still can’t believe it’s true, my thoughts are with you and your family. Please call me after the funeral when you’re ready so we can talk.”
As you can see it’s OK to admit that you don’t know what to say, that’s totally normal under these circumstances.
The important thing is that you say something, and you let them know that you’re there for them.
What NOT to Say to Someone Going to a Funeral
There are some things that might feel like you’re being helpful and comforting someone attending a funeral, but can actually be misinterpreted.
Some of the things you should NOT say to someone going to a funeral are:
- “Everything happens for a reason.”
- “They’re in a better place now.”
- “It was just their time.”
- “Now they’re free from pain.”
- “God needed another angel.”
- “Don’t worry, your pain will go away.”
While all of these things might be meant as a comfort, they can actually come across as insensitive or even angry.
When in doubt, just stick to expressing your condolences and offering your support, and let the person grieving decide what comforting words they need to hear.
How You Can Support Someone Going to A Funeral
If you want to go a step further than just saying the right thing to someone going to a funeral, there are some things you can do to show them how much you care.
Offer to Give Them a Lift to And/or from The Funeral
If you live close by, why not offer to give them a ride to and from the funeral.
This can be a big help if they’re coming from out of town or if they just don’t feel up to driving.
It’s one less thing for them to think about on the day and might mean a lot to them.
Help Them Choose What to Wear
If they’re struggling to decide what to wear, offer to help them pick something out.
Again, this takes one less thing off their plate and can be a big help.
You could even offer to go with them to pick something out if they want the company.
Send Them a Bunch of Flowers
A beautiful bunch of flowers can really brighten someone’s day, and they’ll be a lovely reminder that you’re thinking of them.
You could even send them a bouquet to take with them before the funeral so they have one less thing to worry about on the day.
Invite Them Round When They’re Free
The one thing most people who are grieving want is good company and someone to talk to.
Let them know that you’re there for them and invite them round when they’re feeling up to it.
You could even offer to cook for them or buy in a takeaway, whatever you think will put a smile on their face.
Just be there for them and let them know that you care!
Image credits – Photo by The Good Funeral Guide on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.