College Park, MD funeral homes

What to Say to a Grieving Family

Before, during, and after funerals at College Park, MD funeral homes, it can seem like a daunting task to offer support and comfort to the grieving family with words that help and heal, not hurt and wound. Here are some things you can say that will let the family know you are truly there to help them as they are grieving.  

One thing you can say to help the grieving family is, “I’m here for you to lean on. I have an open heart and time to listen.” Because it’s difficult to know what the grieving family needs or what the right or wrong thing might be to say to them, it’s a gift to just offer a shoulder to lean on and an ear to listen to whatever they need to express about their loss.  

Another thing that you can say to the grieving family is, “I can imagine how hard it is to be strong right now.” A grieving family is at its weakest point when it loses a piece of family to death. Their foundations of strength are shaky and need to be rebuilt one step at a time. Acknowledging that to the family lets them know it’s okay to not be strong and it takes the pressure off of them to act and be something they don’t feel at that moment.  

A third way to help the grieving family is to say, “I know others who’ve lost loved ones and how much they grieved. That has made me aware of what a fight this is for you.” Instead of minimizing the family’s loss by reminding them that they’re not the first people to lose a loved one, this statement acknowledges that grief is hard when it hits people personally and it is a natural part of accepting the death of a loved one.  

A fourth thing that you can say to the grieving family is, “I know it will take time for your pain and grief to be less acute, but I am with you and beside you for the long haul.” Grieving, even within a family, is a unique process for each person. Some family members may be able to move more quickly out of that piercing grief and pain that follows the loss of a loved one, while others may struggle with it for months or years. There is no time limit on grieving and it is very comforting for the family to know they’ve got someone in their corner, no matter how long it takes to get to a more peaceful acceptance of a loved one’s death.  

A final thing you can do to help a grieving family is to say nothing. Offer them long, tight hugs instead. Physical touch can be a very powerful way to support a family who is grieving, and it reminds them that they are loved and cared for, which is often the very thing they may be feeling is gone with the loss of a loved one.  

At College Park, MD funeral homes, our experienced team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. can offer you additional guidance on what to say to a grieving family. You can see us personally at our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can call us today at (301) 937-1707