Why do so many of us have trouble finding the words to say to someone who is grieving a death? All of us have seen someone loose a family member in our facebook feeds and chances are if you have scrolled through the comments, likely you will see “sorry for your loss” dozens and dozens of times. I believe because this phrase has been over used, it comes across as insincere.
Take this point for an example:
There were about 150 people at my father’s memorial service.
Standing in the receiving line afterward it seemed like every conversation, whether it was with an old friend or a total stranger, began with the exact same phrase, “I’m sorry for your loss.” Most conversations didn’t go far beyond that, partly because there’s not much to say in response except, “thank you.” A few people managed to mix in another platitude like, “He’s in a better place now” or, “At least his suffering is over,” but it all started to sound like a broken record pretty quickly;………..now it was being played for me at one of the most painful moments of my life. Read more at elephantjournal.com
Often times the person who is going through the grief just wants to know that you are there for them, and that they have people who care for them. If you think about those two thoughts as you compose a reply, your regards will come through as sincere.