The phrase, “I am sorry for your loss” is something that you will have to say, someday, to someone. It’s a simple phrase, but a necessary one. I know it is hard saying it. It is hard hearing it too. In the weeks following my father’s death, so many expressed their condolences by saying, “I am so sorry for your loss.” Others, family members, friends, people who had known my father and my family for years, chose to say nothing.
I know it sounds strange, but I wondered about the people who knew my father, but who chose to stay silent. Did they think it was appropriate to be silent? No one can take away the grief at that moment. I think everyone understands that. The grieving seek comfort everywhere. I know that I felt comfort, knowing that people took time out of their day, to pause and honor my father’s memory at his funeral service. I also felt some solace by the e-mail and facebook condolence messages, the phone calls, sympathy cards and flowers that were sent to the home.
For someone who has experienced a loss, the smallest gestures matter. When in doubt, if you can, attend the funeral or send a message or make the phone call. At the very minimum, say “I am sorry for you loss.” Six words. That’s it. In times of grief, we want to know we are not alone.