In times of tragedy or grief, it can be incredibly difficult to know what to say in order to express your sympathy. While it is important to show people suffering a loss or tragedy that you are there for them and willing to offer support, it is equally important to respect the boundaries of grief and not to intrude on a family’s private mourning. Whether it’s showing solidarity through sending a gift basket or flowers, or contributing in a practical way to the issues facing the bereaved, we’ve put together three suggestions for showing you care without intruding.
Often, when tragedy or severe illness strikes, the rest of the world can feel like it’s on hold. The difficulty is, this is an illusion. The world keeps on turning, and practical obligations and considerations, however alien they can seem to a person suffering tragedy, still need to be taken care of. In the case of an unexpected death funerals need to be planned, people need to be notified and a whole list of other things that can seem totally insurmountable. Something useful you can do to help someone who is suffering is to ease some of the burden from them in terms of practical considerations. Even if it is something as simple as collecting their mail or preparing some meals for them so that there is something fresh for them when they need to eat, you will be helping them in a very real way, and letting them get on with their grief without added stress.
What to Say
Finding the right words to say to someone who has recently suffered a loss can be indescribably hard. After all, what can you possibly say to someone who is going through one of the hardest times of their lives? The thing is, there is nothing to say, and sometimes simply acknowledging that fact and letting them know that you are there for whatever kind of support they need is exactly what a grieving person needs to hear.
In some cases, a gift hamper or basket is the perfect way to show sympathy, especially in the case of an illness. Sending treats, a pamper package or even a selection of fresh produce is an excellent way to show you’re thinking about them, and judging by the food on offer in most hospitals, a little bit of gastronomic decadence might be just what the doctor ordered!