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Saying the Right Thing: How to Offer Condolences

Published: October 24, 2022
by John L. Ziegenhein and Sons Funeral Home

Affton, MO, funeral home

As an Affton, MO, funeral home, we understand when someone you know experiences a loss, it can be hard to know what to say to them. Condolences express love and concern and express support and recognition of the loss that person has suffered.

A few simple phrases might not seem like much, but they can have a tremendous impact on someone who has suffered from a loss. Saying the right thing doesn’t require any special skills or vocabulary, but it does call for sincerity and care about the other person’s feelings.

Read on for helpful tips on how to offer condolences in different situations.

Loss of a Child

If someone you know has experienced the death of a child, you can express your condolences in various ways. You can say something like, “You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers,” “My heart goes out to you,” or “I’m so sorry for your loss.”

If you know the person’s child who died, you should refer to them by name. You can say something like, “I’m so sorry for the loss of [insert name],” or “[name] had a beautiful spirit. I’m here for you if you want to talk.”

If you don’t know what to say, listen. Many people who have experienced the death of a child don’t feel like they have much to say to other people.

Loss of a Spouse

When someone experiences the death of a spouse, they are likely to experience feelings of loss and loneliness. You can offer your condolences by letting the surviving spouse know that you are there for them and that you care.

You might want to say, “I was so sorry to hear of your loss. Remembering your great love story today and always,” or “Your loving marriage was an inspiration to me. I’d like to help in any way I can.”

You can also help by organizing meals or other forms of support for the surviving spouse and their family members.

Loss of a Brother or Sister

Affton, MO, funeral home

Losing a brother or sister can be especially difficult because they are often the closest family members. You can offer your condolences by letting the surviving sibling know that you are there for them and that you care.

You might want to say, “I was so sorry to hear of your loss. Please know that I’m here for you if you need anything,” or “Your brother/sister was a blessing to me, and I feel blessed to have known him/her.”

You might also offer to do something such as run errands, watch a child, or prepare meals for them, so they don’t have to worry about such things right now.

Everyone experiences losses at some point in their lives. When someone you know has suffered a loss, it can be difficult to know what to say to them. Offer your support, and know that how you offer your condolences will mean more than the words you choose.

It’s okay if you’re not versed in funeral etiquette. Contact us if you have additional questions about funeral services. And if you need a funeral home in Affton, MO, call us now. Our staff is waiting to assist you.

 
John L. Ziegenhein and Sons Funeral Homes South County Chapel
|
4830 Lemay Ferry Rd
| Saint Louis, MO 63129
|
Tel: 314-894-8444
| Directions
John L. Ziegenhein and Sons Funeral Homes South City Chapel
|
7027 Gravois Ave
| Saint Louis, MO 63116
|
Tel: 314-352-2600
| Directions
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