I am Next in Line, What do I Say?

By: Greg Hurd
Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Attending a funeral service or a memorial can be overwhelming and painful for most. Trying to find the right words to express your condolences to the family and close friends of the deceased can be difficult. You don’t want to say the wrong thing or not say enough. Here are some guidelines for speaking to the bereaved.


It is important to realize the premise of this event and not get lost in the crowd and the emotional tone in the room. You attend these services to mourn the loss of a loved one, pay your respects to the family and support them. By always speaking from your heart and being genuine with your words you can ensure that you will say the right things. Once you start trying to say more than you need to, is when dialect can be conceived as offensive.


For example, avoiding phrases like:


  • “Everything happens for a reason.”
  • “They are in a better place now”
  • “At least you were able to say your goodbyes”
  • “They are not suffering anymore”


Refrain from using any phrases that seek to find the silver lining in the situation.  These tend to sound cliché and belittle the bereaved or deny the pain and sorrow they are feeling as you speak.


Instead, try telling stories of your fond memories with the deceased or an example of the impact they have had on your life. Perhaps, they were a motivation for you in a specific aspect of your life, or they were an individual that you looked up to. Positive character traits that suggest warm comments on their personality and the individual they were is a good idea as well. Statements like these bring up good memories and feelings and you can ensure you will never say the wrong thing.


If you still feel at a loss for words, it is best to not say anything and instead shake their hand and apologize for their loss. Do what you can to offer your support and respects to the family and know when it is time to step aside and allow others to step in or give them the time they need alone. The goal is to try and make this day a little easier. If you have any other questions you can contact, Hurd Funeral Homes, here. 

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