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Losing a loved one is an incredibly hard thing to experience and life after their death is difficult to adjust to. The current pandemic has claimed the lives of so many and unfortunately, we do not know how many more will lose their lives before it is "over".

When offering condolences to the bereaved, it is very easy to come across as insincere or just plain insensitive so I am here to tell you the things you must absolutely avoid doing in order for your empathy to come across as intended.

  1. There's nothing worse than being told "It will be alright" right at the moment when your life has fallen apart. Especially when it is not followed up by some actionable steps to make the statement true. I know you mean well but please avoid making such comments.

  2. There is nothing comforting about hearing "It was for the best" or any variation of that statement that implies that the dying of a loved one was necessary. I can assure you that the bereaved do not see it that way. Don't do it.

  3. Do not push for details around the cause of death unless you and the bereaved have a close enough relationship. Even then, bear it in mind that discussing such details can be incredibly painful so ask yourself if satisfying your curiosity is worth it.

  4. Having faith in a higher power is a beautiful thing but nobody wants to hear your theories on how and why the person died unless you have a time stamped letter from God with a detailed explanation. Didn't think so; zip it! Further more, this is most definitely not the time to force religion down the throat of a non-religious person. Have some decorum!

  5. Do not promise to be there for someone through their grieving process unless you are truly committed to doing so; uncertainty and instability is the last thing they need.

  6. Sending your condolences by announcing the death of someone to the masses before speaking to their immediate family has got to be *the* most distasteful and disrespectful thing a person can do. Youtuber Nella Rose spoke about this in a recent video and I was angry about the way she was robbed of her chosen grieving process for quite some time after watching it. TMZ also publicised the death of Kobe and Gigi Bryant before their family was notified. Disgusting.

Kobe and Gigi Bryant
Rest in peace Kobe & Gigi Bryant 💛💜

I hope this list has made you sufficiently nervous about saying the wrong thing and that you are now wondering what the best ways are to offer your condolences. I gotchu.

  1. A simple "My condolences"and/or "I'm sorry for your loss" will suffice. No clichés, no nonsense, just clear communication.

  2. Listen if, and when, they need to talk.

That's it. The purpose of offering your condolences is to express your sympathy and show support during an emotionally laden time so keeping it simple it the best way to go.

Many people around the world are grieving the loss of a loved one due to COVID-19 and my heart goes out to each and every one of them. This pandemic is not over so let's continue to take every precaution to avoid becoming infected; that includes avoiding the irresponsible people who are willing to gamble their lives, and those of others, for a turn up. 🚮 #NotRudeHonest


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