The passing of a mutually loved friend or family member is one of the best opportunities to reconcile. Unfortunately, we all have to convey our condolences to someone at some point or another. When we get to that point, freezing up and mumbling something that makes no sense is the last thing you want to do. You know how that happens from time to time and how you will beat yourself up about this mistake after that. Below are some things that might help you when you want to convey condolences to someone.
First of all, you should be prompt if possible, without waiting too much and thinking about it. Ideally, you should express them in person, but if that’s not possible you can also do it over the phone or with a nicely written letter (paper, not email).
When conveying your condolences, use some of your memories with the deceased. This way you don’t move away from the grieving family immediately after you start talking with them. Let them know how the deceased touched your life and the great memories you have with them.
After that, offer your help, in case they need anything from you. Make it a sincere offer, so they know they can depend on you if needed. You can also give clear examples of how you can help, from taking care of their dog while they’re busy to offering your car to drive people to the funeral.
When it’s time to leave, after you offered them your condolences, try to end it on a comforting note. If you decide on what to say in advance, try to make it a bit special, so you can comfort them as you express your condolences.
Both experts and science will agree that most people will find meaning and comfort in the condolence flower arrangements. These flowers, together with some sympathy cards, will help them to cope a little bit better with their recent loss.
Flowers are a well known symbol for the life and death cycle. People use them all the time to express sorrow or happiness, and they communicate well in times when things just can’t be expressed with words. Sending flowers depends on the religion of the deceased though.
There are many religions that have certain traditions when it comes to receiving flowers or gifts during condolences or services.
For Christians and Mormons, using flowers during religious ceremonies is common. In the case of Orthodox Christians, the deceased’s body will usually be displayed for up to 72 hours, before the funeral takes place. In this case, sending the flowers to the location where the body is kept might be the best idea.
In the case of a Muslim funeral, sending flowers isn’t a good option, as it’s though to be inappropriate. Instead, you can send food gifts.
For a Jewish funeral, sending flowers is also not a good choice, as it can distract mourners from their grieving process. Asking the family of the deceased might be a good idea, in case they want a contribution done to a charity instead of flowers.
If you send flowers to a Buddhist funeral, you shouldn’t send them in the color red. This is because red means happiness in the cultures of Asia. Sending red flowers wouldn’t be appropriate for a funeral.
If the funeral is Hindi, usually gift baskets with fruit are preferred to flowers, when it comes to expressing condolences.