Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Offering Sympathy

Rejoice with those who rejoice;
mourn with those who mourn.
Romans 12:15

 When a lady offers sympathy to those who are grieving the death of a loved one:

  • Her message is SIMPLE.  She makes no attempt at flowery speech.    
  • Her manner is SINCERE.  Her tone is heartfelt and genuine, not hurried or perfunctory.
  • Her mode is PERSONAL.  She mentions the deceased by name and recalls a brief, pleasant memory of him or her when possible.  
  • Her method is PRIVATE.  She extends sympathy in person, by telephone or by handwritten note.  
A Sample Note of Condolence:

Dear Anne,

I was very saddened to hear of your dear grandmother Nora's death.  I still remember the tender kindness she showed me that weekend we stayed in her home during our days at Agnes Scott, the special care she took to make me feel welcome ... and the three pounds I gained from her famous peach dumplings!  Nora was a lovely woman, and I see so much of her wonderful spirit in you.  I know you will miss her terribly.

With loving sympathy,

Guidelines Regarding Social Media:

  • A lady may offer condolences by way of social media or text only when a family member of the deceased has chosen to announce their loved one's death through that channel.
  • A lady never writes "Sorry for your loss", which appears rushed and much less sincere than "I am very sorry for your loss."  For the same reason, she never uses texting abbreviations when conveying sympathy, such as, "SRY 4 UR loss."
  • Under no circumstances does a lady ask for more information than what has been given concerning the details of the death.
  • Under no circumstances does a lady interject her own experiences of grief into the conversation, detracting focus from the original news.
  • A lady never takes it upon herself to spread news of a person's death by posting it on social media.  Likewise, when she happens to be privy to detailed information concerning a death, she keeps it private.

Photo: found on Pinterest


  1. I love reading your blog posts.

  2. I love reading your blog posts.

  3. Greetings, we all need to be reminded of how to offer true condolences to someone who has lost a loved one!
    I do hope to remember to use their name and a thoughtful memory of them.
    Blessings. Roxy

  4. This is awesome!

    Thank you kindly for the introduction of a sensitive topic and tackling it in such a kind and ladylike way.

    Guess I can say I did well as you recommended. Since the lady was my hairdresser my daughter and I both go to, I purchased a simple sympathy card and we signed our names to it. Since we rescheduled a haircut, she and I were the only ones at the place and naturally she spoke on any topic she chose. She remarked about some funny things that happen while they stayed at a local hotel, to what she wore at the funeral, to some ladies that complimented her on her fashion forward taste. She is very animated when speaking so she had me gently laughing and, or smiling in agreement.

    I did not ask, suggest, or hint at any details regarding the funeral, nor the trip. I allowed her to share with me whatever she felt comfortable telling me about as a customer and a concerned human over one's loss of a family member.