What to Say When Someone Passes Away

What to say when someone passes away

What to Say When Someone Passes Away

Whenever anyone close to you dies, it can be challenging to know what to say or do. You might feel like you’re walking on eggshells or don’t want to upset the bereaved further. You may be afraid of talking out of turn and accidentally offending them in many cases. These are five things never to say when a loved one dies. Anyone must cope with their loss as best they can, regardless of how terrible it may be.

Offer condolences

No matter how well you knew them, death is always shocking. We look for ways to express our feelings and find comfort in sharing them with those around us. When it comes time to offer condolences, don’t just say I’m sorry for your loss. Offer specific memories about what you appreciated about that person or ask a question that lets them talk about their loved one. I loved hearing stories about (their shared interest) from (your friend). What did you love most?

Be sensitive

Give your friend space. People who’ve lost a loved one need time and space for themselves, so make sure you respect that. So unless you really shouldn’t know what to say or do, it’s perfectly all right to communicate, make a gesture, and avoid discussing their loss. Avoid saying anything that could make your friend feel worse or guilty (e.g., How are you going to be OK? or This must be hard for you.). You also don’t have to try and cheer them up, as it can be equally as upsetting if they try to act happy instead of expressing their sadness.

Avoid saying something offensive

For many of us, death brings out anxiety and uncertainty. We want to be sensitive and respectful, but we don’t always know what to say. This can cause us to become tongue-tied or even blurt out something that feels insensitive. Suppose you know someone who has experienced a loss. In that case, it’s better to remain silent than risk making them feel worse by saying something disrespectful. But if you are looking for guidelines on how best to respond during such a difficult time, these tips can help. Try not to make assumptions about their relationship with the deceased. If they were close friends or family members, they would let you know, says Grossman. If they weren’t close, there’s no need to ask. Instead, express your condolences in your own words: I’m so sorry for your loss.

Don’t push your beliefs onto others

Anybody that has lost a loved one knows how tough it is to figure out how to deal. Even though you think in an afterlife doesn’t mean you have to impose your beliefs upon everyone else, especially those dealing with organized religion at a difficult time. It might be easy for some to pretend that death isn’t natural. Still, most people need to remember that it is, and everyone deals with it differently. If your beliefs differ from others, be understanding and allow them their space even if they don’t necessarily agree with yours. Pushing your thoughts on those around you can do more harm than good in times like these.

Don’t tell them what they should do with their life now

Please don’t feel that you have to teach them what they should do with their life now. It isn’t your part of the role to advise them on how to push ahead or how to improve their quality of life. It is also not your job to tell them what kind of person they were or why it happened. You don’t know either of those things, and it will only make them feel worse for even thinking about her life up until that point. In short, your friend doesn’t need another judgmental adult in their face right now; he needs comfort, support, and kindness. That is all you need to focus on.

Don’t tell them everything happens for a reason

This is one of those statements that have no meaning in it. When something terrible happens, saying It was meant to be isn’t make anyone feel better. Instead, make them feel like they aren’t alone and support them through it. Offer your help so that they don’t have anything else on their mind and can focus solely on what happened.


You won’t focus on how sad or upset you are or how much you miss that person/loved one if you think about other things. The most important thing to do is listen and talk to them about whatever they want. Everyone deals with grief differently, but being there for them will let them know you care. Be available with them in any way individuals can. You are letting people know that you care about a big difference, not only with grieving but also with everyday life.

Tell them you are there if they need anything

It’s a given that you’ll express your condolences. It’s also natural for friends and family to reach out with questions, comments, or need a listening ear. To express your support, keep in mind that you don’t have to say I know how you feel because no one can relate unless they have experienced it themselves. Instead, try saying I care about you and am here if there is anything I can do for you. Which would be the most beneficial but at the time? Can I offer rides? Cook meals? Help plan a service? Write an obituary? Your friend will be grateful for your help as they deal with these next steps.


There are myriad ways to describe your love and support for someone in mourning. Try saying these kind words aloud and see how it feels: I am so sorry for your loss. I will miss them as well. Thanks a lot during a particularly rough phase. I’m grateful for your friendship/kindness/and love during a difficult time like this. It means a lot to me. You have been such an essential part of my life. Even though we didn’t talk very often, I still think about you and remember our good times together. You’ve quickly become one of my favorite consumers to spend time with. I know that they are with God now, but please let me know if there is anything that I can do for you right now or in the future.