Let's Talk About Sympathy
North American Precis Syndicate
sympathy doesn’t have to be scary.
your loved ones heal by giving them time to talk and share memories.
1-800-Flowers.com developed a sympathy advice and
etiquette online resource guide.
by Jim McCann
(NAPSI)—When someone you know loses a friend or family member, it’s
not easy deciding when and how best to respond. You may find yourself unsure
of what to say or do. Sometimes, a simple phrase such as “I’m
sorry for your loss” can be extraordinarily meaningful. Here are six
more helpful tips on how to approach someone who is grieving:
Allowing a grieving person to express how he or she feels can be a huge
help. Try to listen without offering advice or interrupting. Letting people
share memories and talk about their loved one can be a part of the healing
Be Specific When Offering Help
Make a specific commitment to being with the person who needs you.
Offering assistance with day-to-day matters can be very comforting but be
sure to offer something specific, such as “I’m coming over with
groceries on Saturday.” That way, you’re offering help without
placing the burden on the grieving person to figure out what to bring and
Navigate Social Media Appropriately
When acknowledging the news of a loss, stick with the communication medium
through which you initially received the information. If the news came by
phone, return the call. If you learned about the death through social media,
it is appropriate to reply on social media; just be sure to keep your message
brief on public pages. More-detailed expressions of sympathy should be
conveyed in private posts.
It is normal for people who are grieving to experience a range of
emotions. It takes time to heal, so be patient and allow them to grieve at
their own pace.
Send a Card
Show your concern and support by sending a card. You can even put your own
personal message inside.
Don’t Minimize Their Pain
It is important to keep the focus on the grieving person. Resist the urge
to share stories of times when you’ve lost a loved one. Let your friend
or family member share his or her own stories and memories and listen.
To further help, 1-800-Flowers.com
has created an online sympathy hub for tips and advice, directly from
experts, on how best to express sympathy and condolences. Topics include
Appropriate Sympathy Etiquette Across Different Religions, How to Write a
Eulogy, How to Create a Memory
Garden and How to Cope
With Grief Around the Holidays.
This is a resource for people in their time of need and making their
experience a little easier to manage. The goal is for people to have a
greater understanding of how to help their friends, family and co-workers in
coping with a loss.
For further information, visit www.1800flowers.com/sympathyadvice.
On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)