Offering words of sympathy is one of the most difficult things we do and so few of us know how to do it in a supportive way. We find ourselves procrastinating instead of getting that card in the mail. The fear of saying the wrong thing can leave us…at a loss for words.
We know that nothing we say or do can take away the pain. We know that grief cannot be fixed with a gift or flowers. We can’t imagine what they are going through.
We may want to avoid the whole depressing situation altogether.
Did you know that most bereavement forums have a section devoted to venting about the rude and insensitive things people have said?
Did you know that many grieving people feel isolated from their friends and family?
Here’s the amazing thing about all of this. The things that we could do to really help and be supportive are actually very simple.
It’s the simple things we do to express sympathy actually mean the most.
Things like offering a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, a comforting card, a phone call, a song, a poem, a thoughtful gift, a prayer, or simply giving a hug.
Things That Get in the Way
When we start to make it complicated by trying to fix things or provide explanations we get into trouble. This is when we are most likely going to put our in our mouth, as the expression goes.
Simple sympathy is all about doing the little things that really make a difference.
- No advice
- No solutions
- No easy answers
There is an easier way.
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
- Leo Buscaglia
Sympathy Cards Made Easy
One of the very best things that we can do is sending a card.
What can a sympathy card do? I know that a card doesn’t seem like a lot, but many people are comforted by kind words hand-written in a beautiful card. Sympathy cards and letter are oftentimes kept, treasured and re-read during sad times.
What should you write in a card?
It can seem overwhelming, but looking at sample messages can give you a lot if ideas for your own message.