Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sharing Condolences

Condolences.   To suffer together.  The expression of sympathy with a person who is suffering sorrow, misfortune, or grief.

This is difficult for many of us.  And instead of expressing our sympathy well, we often end up pulling away and doing nothing at all.  Or, maybe worse yet, saying and doing things that are hurtful or inappropriate.

Writer Rebecca Stark shares 10 sensitive, yet practical ways to respond when someone dies.  Having been on the receiving end of condolences, she's in a very good position to share what is helpful for the families of those who grieve.

1. Send a card or letter.
Just a signed card is fine, but a card with a short personal note is ...

2. Send flowers.
Yes, they may get too many, but ...

3. Give food.
It doesn’t have to be a whole meal, or even a main course ...

4. Give to a good cause in the deceased person’s name
and let the family know of your gift. If they died of a particular disease, you can ...

5. Visit.
Or at least call to see if you can make a brief visit. A short visit will let them know ...

6. Tell them your memories of their loved one.
Stories are good, but doesn’t have to be a story. It might be just a remembrance of ...

7. Offer to do something specific for them.
Think about what chores they need done and ask if you can do one or two of them ... 

8. Go to the funeral or memorial service.
You don’t have to stay around after the service, and you don’t have to go through ...

9. Invite the family or spouse of the deceased over for coffee
or out for a walk a couple of weeks after the death. It may be hard for them to ...

10. Pray for them.
Pray that they will be comforted; pray that God will give ...

Read every detail of her valuable, wise counsel here.  Yes, life comes with suffering, sorrow, and heartache.  May we all be better prepared to grieve well, even as we care for others with Christ's tender compassion.

"Jesus wept"
- John 11:35.

- photo by JimGillhouse -


  1. great advice! Love, Traci @ Ordinary Inspirations http://www.ordinaryinspirations.blogspot.com

  2. Gleaning wisdom from someone who's been there, done that, is usually the best counsel you can receive. Yes, Rebecca sure hit the nail on the head ...

    Thanks for dropping by, Traci!

  3. I had a very close friend who was due around the same time I was, she lost her baby at 38 weeks. I couldn't bring myself to do anything for fear of hurting her.

  4. An oh so difficult trauma ... and a sad situation with no easy answers.

    Is it time to take that first step toward her?

    Thanks for dropping by, KM ...

  5. There are things to consider when writing a letter for condolences. One must not say to the bereaved family, "God wanted it this way." When you are writing to a friend or associate, just keep it short and simple. Simply express your concern, sorrow, and support.


Welcome to the table, friend!

This is where we gather and hang out. I'd love for you to pull up a chair and jump right into the conversation. Or simply say 'hello.'

l'll be dropping in to visit you sometime soon ...


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