If you know someone who has lost someone from the Coronavirus or are concerned about potential losses, you may be wondering what you can say to those grieving that loss. Knowing the right words of comfort to the family that lost someone from coronavirus certainly isn’t easy or simple. However, there are some guidelines that can be helpful to implement when having those conversations.
Make an Effort
Unfortunately, the loss comes with its sense of awkwardness which can make you feel like pulling away.
Since it seems like there is nothing to say, then it may be easier to say nothing at all. Unfortunately, this
can be even more harmful to the grieving person than saying the wrong thing. People who have
experienced loss and received condolences often write about how much they appreciated the small
gestures of caring that they received.
This doesn’t have to be a conversation in all cases. Consider cards, small notes, letters, phone messages, and even physical forms of affection such as a hug when providing condolences. Just showing up makes a big difference to most people.
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Keep Condolences Personal
This may be challenging if you didn’t know the deceased person well but what stands out in words of
comfort is their personal quality. It may be easy to fall back on platitudes and trite sayings but these feel
hollow in the face of a loss.
If you had any interactions with the deceased, this is a great time to bring up personal moments or memories. You could mention how much you appreciated the person’s consideration and mention a specific time or scenario when you witnessed it. By sharing these details, you help the grieving person to round out their memories of a life shared.
Include an Offering of Help
Although it’s always a good idea to have a conversation with someone or provide condolences either
written or person, it’s often helpful to include an offering to help out in some way. For example, after
you’ve suffered a loss, you often feel too tired to go about the normal activities of your life.
Consider asking if you can help the person with chores around the house, bring them a homecooked meal, or help them in another practical way. Words of comfort are appreciated but when accompanied by actions, they often make a great impact.
Practice What to Say
If you don’t feel prepared to offer words of comfort, then try practicing what you’re going to say. Start by
offering condolences for the loss and then consider a small anecdote or personal memory. It’s then often
a good idea to round out what you’ve said by noting that an individual will be missed. Additionally, make
sure that you pay attention to the personal cues.
Some people may not want to have a conversation at the time. When this happens, give them space but offer to have a conversation when they’re ready.
Although many people have passed as a result of the coronavirus, knowing what to say in the face of a
loss is not a new phenomenon. Start any approach from a place of compassion and respect and use this
guide to develop a few sample scripts to guide your conversation.