What to say when someone dies unexpectedly?
A loved one dies, and now what do we say? How do we talk to family and friends who are grieving? Here are ten things you can speak to anyone who has experienced a loss. You never really reach the end of grief. Like a long road, you keep going.
A death from somebody connected to you can significantly affect your emotional fellow human but instead ability to cope with daily life. When someone dies unexpectedly, the shock and sadness can lead to feelings of confusion and bewilderment as you try to understand what happened and how to move forward from this tragedy in your life. Say when someone dies unexpectedly, depending on the scenario and the level of comfort it brings you emotionally and physically.
It was sudden
Whatever you do, don’t tell them it was too soon. That implies that there is such a thing as the right time, and there isn’t. The fact is that we all must die eventually, even if not under these circumstances. And we all want to be remembered fondly by our loved ones, whether we pass away early or later in life. There’s not even much to do but say regarding dying about how it was unexpected—and everyone has an opinion about what they would have done differently (e.g., visit more often) if they had known death was coming sooner rather than later anyway. In short, saying it was too soon will make your friend feel worse. So keep your condolences straightforward: I am so sorry for your loss. I understand that however much she intended to you.
Give them time
People who have experienced a loss often feel like everyone is moving on and want them to do so. The truth is that grief can’t always be rushed, and it may take time for your friend or family member to get back into their routine. The next few months will likely feel tough for them, especially if they were close to their lost loved one. Ask how you can help without pressuring them too much. If you sense that they’re ready to talk about what happened, listen carefully and try not to judge. If it seems appropriate, offer your condolences; but know that some people might not be ready to hear those words just yet. Don’t give up on checking in regularly—and don’t forget about asking how things are going from time to time. It’s okay if sometimes you don’t know what to say; being there for them can make a difference in their healing process.
Respect the grieving process
Dealing with the loss of a friend or loved one can be difficult. Many may not know what to say to people during such trying times. Certain things can be helpful, and some can be dangerous if you have already unexpectedly lost a loved one. Saying something as simple as I’m sorry for your loss is more than enough. Remember that silence is often better than saying something wrong or inappropriate if you don’t know what to say.
This will give you time to think about what needs to be said later on after you have been able to take some time for yourself first. It also offers others around you time to process what has happened and come up with their own words. Remember that almost everyone grieves uniquely, so just because they aren’t crying doesn’t mean they aren’t sad. It might be hard for them to show their emotions at that moment, but they still need support from those around them. Never underestimate how much love and support means to those who have lost a loved one suddenly; it helps them get through an already difficult situation even more so than anything else could at such a time.
Offer practical help
You can’t fix grief, but you can be a source of comfort and practical help. People often need things like transportation or food after they’ve suffered a loss. Offer to help with these errands while taking care of more complicated tasks such as making arrangements. Just listening: It’s okay if you don’t know what to say. It’s okay if you don’t have a shoulder for them to cry on. People grieving simply want someone who will listen and let them talk about their loved ones and how much they will miss them, even though it feels uncomfortable for people who haven’t been through it themselves.
If you can’t visit, send a card
When a loved one passes away, don’t forget about your friends and family who live far away. Sending them a card is a thoughtful gesture that lets them know you care. A card isn’t just an option for distant relatives; sending cards to friends and coworkers you haven’t seen in years also sends an important message of support. When someone loses a loved one, they’re often surrounded by people who have known that person much longer. If you can only send a card, that’s still enough—it shows them that not everyone forgot about their friend or family member, even if they didn’t always get along with them.
Death is a fact of life. It’s natural to feel befuddled and disoriented after losing a loved one. While we grieve our loss, that doesn’t mean we have to stop living our lives. Acknowledging dying as a normal part of life can help locate new value and meaning in our daily lives. That’s why it’s so important for friends and family members to learn how to start a conversation about death without making it seem taboo or scary—and without adding any additional stress at an already difficult time in their lives. The best way for us all to cope with grief is by showing compassion for those suffering; learning to discuss death could be precisely what you need to do!