You've just heard of a dear friend's loss. Maybe you're at work, or in another town, or ready to drop everything and come over to be there to comfort someone close to you who is grieving.
Or, perhaps the funeral is over and you want to continue showing your support. Life goes on, but for your grieving friend or family member, life doesn't really go on, at least right now.
One of the simplest yet most important ways to comfort someone who is grieving - in our digital age - is through text.
How to Comfort Someone Who Is Grieving Through Text
You might not know how to process death and think that nothing you can say will make them feel better. Yet, the opposite is true. When everyone else has moved on, your words of condolences can have a real impact. A shoulder to lean on during this time goes a long way in helping your family member process their grief. There are several things you can say that will leave a lasting impression.
Here are words to comfort someone who lost a loved one over text:
"I'm sorry to hear the news of your brother's passing. Please accept my deepest regrets for your loss."
"I was deeply saddened to hear of your mom's passing. She was such a great inspiration to me. Please let me know how I can help you during this difficult time."
"Please accept my heartfelt condolences to you and your family on your uncle's death. I’m sure that his memory will forever live on in your hearts."
"I’m sorry for your loss. My deepest sympathy goes out to you and your family."
"I am sorry for the loss of your dear Fluffy, Aunt Mary. I cannot imagine the pain you are going through right now. Please let me know how I can help you during this difficult time."
A few tips on how to figure out what you want to say:
· The important thing is you just say something. This is the biggest thing in their life, and will be for a long time. So, even if you feel weird about it, just say something.
· Avoid using cliches like “everything happens for a reason” or “God must have wanted them in heaven more than on earth”
· Volunteer your help but instead of saying "Let me know if there's anything you need," you should instead offer to help with something specific like "I'd like to bring some food so you don't have to cook, what's your favorite?".
What to Text a Grieving Friend or Family Member
Here's what to say in a text to a grieving friend or family member:
· Acknowledge their loss ("I'm so sorry to hear about Angie!")
· Say the decedent's name (this is a form of validation of their grief)
· Offer condolences/express sympathy ("I can't imagine what you're going through")
· Support them (offer to help, thinking of you/praying for you, etc)
Comforting Texts When Someone Dies
Here are some examples of texts for when you first hear about the death.
· I have no words... But I want you to know I love you and am here for you.
· Oh friend! I just heard about [name], I'm so sorry!
· I heard about [name] and want you to know I am thinking of you in this difficult time.
· Dear friend! I'm coming over as soon as I get off work. I love you and will help with anything you need!
What to Text Someone After a Funeral
Here are some examples of texts to comfort a grieving friend after the funeral, or at least after the initial period of shock and grief. These would be second, third, etc, texts to send after the death of their loved one.
· That was a lovely funeral. I'm sorry you had to go through this. [Name] was an amazing person.
· It was a privilege to attend [name's] funeral. Our hearts are with you in this time of loss.
· We're organizing some meals for your family for the next few days. What is a good time for someone to drop off a hot meal tomorrow?
· Can I arrange some meals sent to you? Any requests?
· I'm coming over to help out. Need anything from the store? When I'm there we can sit and talk or you can take a nap while I do the dishes, whatever is helpful
· Just wanted you to know that I'm thinking of you.
Make a note of the day the loved one died. Set a reminder for yourself for a month, or six months, and especially a year after the person's death, reminding you to send a comforting text to your friend.