How to pay condolences appropriately?

11 Aug
Shruti Gupta Delhi

Someone I know recently lost one of their parents. I do not know how to react or say anything in this matter. I feel really sad and want to empathise with them but I fall out of words as soon as I open my mouth and end up saying, 'I am sorry.' This is far from what I mean but I am not great at giving condolences. How can I let the person know that I feel more than just sorry, that i feel really bad for them, and I really wish I could do something?

Any suggestions regarding the same would we welcome. Thanks!

Responses 2

  • Ayushi Jolly
    Ayushi Jolly   Sep 16, 2017 09:07 PM

    hey there I hope you're doing well. It is nice to see somebody so concerned about someone special in these times. I know it is the hardest thing to control ourselves and not lose a rational when we lose a loved one. I can understand that it gets very difficult when we are not very open about expressing emotions specially when in these situations. The best thing we can do regardless of how we are able to empathize is to actually be with that person as much as possible in her difficult times since nothing can give more support and love. That person has just lost somebody so close and we cannot really compensate even 1% of that true words to the best thing we can do is to be with that person and Rai to help him out genuinely maybe sit with her for a while they go on a walk or maybe try to change your environment for a while so that she might feel better and helper rehabilitate. Also it is ok to not feel very expressive about her emotions because I believe that is also not very appreciable. And it is OK everybody has their own comfort zone and their boundaries with Ok not to be very and the Pathak but you can always show by your behaviour and compensate on your words by your helpful behaviour towards your friend.

  • Heena Sheth
    Heena Sheth   Aug 22, 2017 08:42 PM


    Trying to make a conversation with someone who has just lost someone dear to them is a difficult task. Often simply saying "I'm sorry" doesn't feel appropriate. You get this feeling that those two words don't really help you convey your empathy towards the situation and somehow it doesn't feel right. Recently, one of my classmates lost her mother and I was at a loss of words to tell her. Saying "I'm sorry for your loss" didn't suffice the circumstances, for these were just 5 words that somewhat seemed to convey condolances, but in reality, I did have a little bit more to tell her. Moreover, they've already heard the same "I'm sorry" and "Heartfelt condolances to you and your family" too many times that those phrases are unable to convey your feelings to her. 

    What you can probably say is that: Words fail to describe the feelings that we expereince presently and this loss is a void that can only be felt by someone who has lost someone dear to them. And I know that we are far from feeling the intensity of the pain that you must be going through, it can only be felt when someone faces this situation.

    Also, many a times actions speak louder than words, and nothing conveys your empathy for the person when you actually help them in these dark times, helping them to get their mind off it for a while.

    Hope this helped.

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