Some people think that the hardest thing to do when hearing about a person’s passing is choosing what kind of flowers to send out or deciding on an appropriate outfit to wear for the funeral.
But if there’s anything that you should concern yourself with, it’s coming up with the right words that will express your feelings and give comfort to the bereaved.
You don’t have to pressure yourself to come up with the perfect words, because there really are no words that will take away their pain.
Words will never be enough when someone is reeling from the loss of a loved one.
But words will always let them know that you care about how they’re doing, and that you are just here for them if they ever need anything. Words can let them know that they’re not alone in their pain and sadness, and that you are incredibly sorry for their loss.
It’s hard to know what beliefs the deceased and the bereaved have, so it’s better to side on the safe but appropriate condolence and sympathy messages.
Pain and suffering over a loss of someone you love is universal, so it’s important that you show them that you care about their grief because you are human and not because you belong to the same religion.
- How to Send Non-Religious Condolences: Some Things to Remember
- How to Send Non-Religious Condolences: Respect and Honor
- How to Send Non-Religious Condolences: Offer Help
- Non-Religious Condolences: What to Say
- Non-Religious Condolence Messages
- Non-Religious Condolences: What Not to Say or Do
- What Else You Can Do
How to Send Non-Religious Condolences: Some Things to Remember
Upon hearing the news of someone’s passing, it’s important that you let the family members know that you share in their pain and sadness. Let them know how you feel for their loss, but allow them to share their thoughts and emotions with you.
It’s important that you listen to what they’re saying and to give words of comfort and support. Let them talk about their loved one all they want and learn to be sympathetic.
If they don’t want to talk about it, don’t pressure or force them into saying anything. They will open up when they’re ready, so be considerate of their needs and their feelings.
How to Send Non-Religious Condolences: Respect and Honor
If you want to send your condolences and sympathies, you must remember to refer to the deceased by their name.
This is only appropriate and respectful.
When you share your memories of the deceased, share only stories that honor their life and demonstrate their kindness, generosity, compassion, and all other good things about them.
How to Send Non-Religious Condolences: Offer Help
Offer to help in arrangements for the funeral service. You can send flowers when appropriate, or cash donations in lieu of flowers as requested by the family of the bereaved.
If you can’t make a personal visit, make a condolence phone call. Be considerate when you call because they are dealing with a lot of things during this time.
Don’t be surprised if they don’t answer the call themselves, or if your call goes straight to voicemail. When that happens, leave your full name with your non-religious condolence message. Keep the call brief and focus on the bereaved. You don’t need to share your own experiences with loss and grief during this time because the important thing is that you reached out and extended your sympathies.
When you do have the chance to talk to the bereaved directly, listen to them and don’t interrupt. Focus on what they’re saying and what their needs are. Call occasionally to check in on them and offer whatever help you can give.
When you cannot make it to the funeral, send a sympathy card. Offer your condolences with messages of sympathy, love, and comfort.
Non-Religious Condolences: What to Say
Sending non-religious condolences is sometimes the best thing to do when a person is suffering from a great loss. You are not sure how they are dealing with their grief, and whether they are feeling spiritual at the moment.
It’s recommended to stick with non-religious condolences, especially if you are not sure what their religious beliefs are. Try to avoid using any references to God’s role in their loved one’s passing, their loved one moving on to a better place, or just anything about the afterlife. Some good examples of non-religious condolences include:
I love you and I’m here for you. I pray that your pain and sadness will become less in time.
I cannot imagine the pain you must be feeling right now, but I know that there are no words to describe it. You are in my thoughts, and you have my love and sincerest sympathies.
I know that this is a very difficult time but I cannot completely understand it all. I want you to know that I’m here for you. Even if I don’t have the perfect words to say, you will never be alone because I will be right here when you need me.
I hate to see you suffering right now, and I wish I could do something to ease your pain. All I have are words that I hope will give you some peace and comfort. I love you, and I’m just here for you and your family if you ever need anything.
I’m grateful that you had someone like him / her in your life for as long as you did. Not everyone can be as lucky. I’m very sorry that you have to live life with the big empty hole that his / her passing caused.
He / she truly made the world a better place with everything he / she did.
We are all thinking of you and your family during this very sad and difficult time.
Our lives were all touched by him / her, and we will carry his / her memories with us forever.
Words cannot express how sad we are with what happened. Know that you are always in our thoughts.
So many lives were touched and changed because of him / her, including our own. We will never forget him / her.
He / she will be terribly missed. He / she was such a positive influence and a bright ray of sunshine. We will never forget all his / her contributions to the world. If there’s anything that we can do to help you and your family, please let us know.
May the pain and sadness that you feel be eased by the cherished memories that we all share.
A loss like yours is very difficult to bear. We offer you our thoughts of strength, courage, and peace to carry through the days ahead.
No matter how old you are, you will always be too young to lose your mother. I am very sorry for your loss, and I will be thinking about you during this sad time.
Our deepest sympathies go out to you and your family in this time of pain and sadness.
The news of your loved one’s passing has saddened every one of us at work. We are sending our sincere condolences for your loss.
You were so lucky to have each other for as long as you did. I’m so very sorry for such a great loss.
I hope that you have the peace and comfort to ease your pain and dry your tears, and the courage to face the tough days ahead. My sincere condolences to you and your entire family.
May hope keep you going, may friends be by your side, and may love give you the strength and courage to face your toughest battles. I’m thinking of you during this painful period.
It’s not how long a person lives but how meaningfully he lived. In your pain and sadness, just remember that he was a great man, and that he will be missed by many. With love and deepest regrets.
We are thinking about you in your sorrow and honoring the memory of your loved one. May you find comfort in your beautiful memories and the love of your friends and family.
These non-religious condolences are short and direct to the point, but don’t forget to insert a personal message of your own.
Add a personal greeting, or share a short but sweet memory you have of their loved one. More often than not, these types of condolence and sympathy messages are what bring the most peace and comfort to the bereaved family.
If you’re still unsure about what to say or write in your condolence card, here are some more helpful examples.
Non-Religious Condolence Messages
Someone so loved and special will not be forgotten. You will always have the happy memories and beautiful moments. His memory will live on forever, and your heart will never forget. Our thoughts are with you during your time of sorrow.
Words cannot express my sorrow after hearing about your loved one’s passing. May you always treasure the wonderful times you had and the life that you created together. We’re just here if you ever need anything. Please take care.
I wish you peace and comfort during this difficult time and the courage to face the coming days. May your heart be filled with wonderful and loving memories to hold in your heart.
Even though I’m not there with you right now, please accept my sincerest condolences in this difficult time. I hope that you find peace and comfort in the company of your family and friends. If there’s anything else that you need, please don’t hesitate to let me know. Again, I’m truly very sorry for your loss.
He was a great man and he lived a very colorful life. He lived life to the fullest, and he left this world with no regrets. May that thought give you peace, encouragement, and comfort. He may be gone in this physical world, but his memories are something that you will all cherish forever. Please accept my sincerest condolences.
I don’t know how I can heal your pain, but I really wish I could. You know I will do everything in my power just to ease the pain that you’re feeling right now. I’m here for you should you need anything.
My sincerest condolences to you and your family on your loved one’s passing. Please know that we are thinking about you and we are to help you get past this difficult period.
Please accept our most heartfelt condolences. I know that you have lost someone you love so much and there are no words that can take away the pain. We are thinking of you, and we are here to help bear the load. Be strong and brave.
Love has no boundaries. Even if he’s no longer here in this world, just remember that your hearts are connected to each other forever. We offer our deepest sympathies in your time of great pain and sadness.
I can’t comprehend just how shattered you must be feeling right now over this incredible loss. My heart goes out to you during this difficult time. I’m right here if you need someone to talk to anytime.
Please accept my deepest condolences. We will all miss him. He was an incredible person who was a light to many people. If there’s anything that I can do for you during this difficult time, I will be right here for you.
Losing a loved one is never easy even when you’ve had time to prepare for it. You think you’d be prepared, but you never will be. Please accept my sincerest condolences. I will be thinking of you during this difficult time.
Non-Religious Condolences: What Not to Say or Do
When you’re not sure what the bereaved family’s religious beliefs are, avoid using Bible verses in your sympathy or condolence messages. Offer your condolences directly and avoid overly wordy sentences. Anything that implies death is the better option here, but avoid the words death, died, or dead.
Say something kind and show respect to the deceased. Hearing something wonderful about their loved ones can ease the pain that they are feeling.
Knowing that someone’s life was also touched by this person can give such great comfort.
When you are thinking about sending non-religious condolences, do not give too much information about their deaths. If you’re grieving for someone you love, you don’t want to be reminded about how and why they died.
Losing them is already painful enough, and you don’t need to torment yourself with all the information surrounding their death.
Also avoid using clichés like ‘This is probably a blessing’, ‘I know just how you feel’, ‘He’s at peace now / no longer suffering’, or ‘It was her time to go.’ Saying something like this can be met with anger or hostility, especially when the death was sudden or horrific.
Be considerate about how they’re feeling and don’t assume that you know. Just remember that no one knows exactly, but you are there for them in their time of grief and sorrow.
Another thing that you must remember when sending non-religious condolences is that you don’t tell them what to do.
You don’t tell them how they need to be strong for the family. You don’t tell them how they should keep themselves busy so that they will not focus too much on the loss. You don’t tell them how they will get over the pain soon and find someone else.
You don’t tell them how they’re young and can still have many children in the future.
Stick to what you know and just tell them that you are sorry for their loss, that it hurts you to see them hurting, and that you will help them get through their pain. That should be more than enough.
What Else You Can Do
Grieving families usually have a lot of friends and family dropping by to pay their respects. It will be helpful to bring food and drinks for everyone.
The family will not have time to look after themselves, let alone cook food and serve drinks while receiving guests.
If you must bring food, make it something that can last for days and can be easily reheated in the oven. You can put it in a large disposable container so that you don’t need to worry about getting your container back.
Also make sure that you do your research.
Check if they have any food allergies or certain dishes that they dislike before you deliver your sympathy meals.
If cooking is not your forte but you know that a good meal is something that will lift their spirits, you can always send them food from their favorite restaurant.
You can also give them restaurant gift certificates that they can use when they feel like getting out of the house for a while.
When the funeral is over, don’t just forget about them. Check how they’re doing. It’s usually the days after the funeral when the reality will set in.
There are no more friends and family around to keep them preoccupied, so they will feel the magnitude of their loss during this time.
Keep in touch and be there for them during their saddest and lowest days. Offer to help around the house and with the kids.
Ask if they want to go out to have lunch, or even a cup of coffee. And if appropriate, you can find support groups for them that will help them cope and move on with their lives.
I run this blog to bring light and joy to people across the world. When I am not coming up with new wishes and quotes I enjoy walking my dog with my husband Max and I also sing in our local gospel choir. If you like my website the best compliment you can give me is to share it with your friends and family. Thanks so much for reading, sharing, tweeting and pinning all my work! Susan xx