How to Support a Bereaved Person: Tips and Resources
A bereaved person is someone who has suffered the death of someone they loved. The death of a loved one is one of the greatest sorrows that can occur in one’s life. People’s responses to grief will vary depending on the circumstances of the death, but grief is a normal, healthy response to loss.
If you know someone who is going through bereavement, you may wonder how to support them and what to say or do. Here are some tips and resources to help you offer comfort and care to a bereaved person.
What to Say to a Bereaved Person
There is no perfect way to express your condolences when someone passes away, but it’s important to say something. Sharing your sympathy lets them know you care and offers comfort in one of the hardest times they’ll ever experience.
Here are some examples of messages you can use to comfort a friend or family member experiencing a loss:
- I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m here for you.
- My heart goes out to you and your family.
- You are in my thoughts and prayers.
- What a beautiful life s/he lived. I’m going to miss her/him too.
- I wish you peace and comfort as you grieve.
You can also personalize your message with names, memories, or details that are meaningful to you and the bereaved person. For example:
- I was so sorry to hear of John’s passing. He was such a kind and generous person. I’ll always remember his smile and his jokes.
- Laura was a wonderful friend and colleague. She inspired me with her passion and creativity. I’m honored to have known her and worked with her.
- I can’t imagine how you must be feeling right now. Losing a child is the most heartbreaking thing anyone can go through. You have my deepest sympathy.
- David was a great husband and father. He loved you and the kids so much. I’m grateful for the time we spent together as friends and neighbors.
- Mary was a beautiful soul who touched so many lives. She was always there for me when I needed her. I’ll cherish our memories forever.
What to Do for a Bereaved Person
Besides expressing your sympathy, you can also show your support for a bereaved person by offering practical help or emotional comfort. Here are some examples of things you can do for a bereaved person:
- Send flowers, a card, or a gift basket to their home or the funeral service.
- Call, text, or email them regularly to check in on them and let them know you’re thinking of them.
- Offer to help with household chores, errands, childcare, or meals.
- Invite them to spend time with you, whether it’s for a coffee, a walk, or a movie night.
- Listen to them when they want to talk about their feelings or their loved one.
- Respect their wishes if they need some space or time alone.
- Remember important dates, such as birthdays, anniversaries, or holidays, and reach out to them on those days.
- Share your own memories or stories of their loved one.
- Suggest some resources that may help them cope with their grief, such as books, websites, support groups, or counselors.
Resources for Bereaved People
Grief is a complex and personal process that can last for months or years. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, but there are some resources that can help bereaved people cope with their loss and find hope and healing. Here are some of them: