Welcome Our New Guest Columist, Chelsea Hanson

Written by Chelsea Hanson on August 8, 2011

Today I’d like to welcome grief support expert Chelsea Hanson to the Five More Minutes With family as our second guest columnist. Chelsea offers books on coping with grief and other items at her website.

Like our other guest columnist, John Paul Carter, Chelsea will be writing for us about once a month. We are thrilled to welcome her to our ranks, and know you will enjoy reading her sage advice for many years to come.

Her first column for us helps answer the question, “What words of sympathy should you say to someone who’s lost a loved one?”

Your presence alone with your friend or at the service says how much you care about the family and the person who died. However, to verbally express your sympathy, one of the best things you can do is speak from your heart.

Below are some words that can be helpful to show your heartfelt sympathy and concern:

• “We will miss Mary very much. She was very important to us.”

• “We are here for you.”

• “You are not alone.”

• “Words cannot express our sympathy.”

• “I cannot imagine how you must feel.”

• “We will never forget Mark. He was so liked by everyone who knew him.”

• “I can already see that your children are becoming such nice young adults, just like their mother/father.”

• “I hope it is some comfort to you to know how highly regarded Jim was by all who knew him.”

• “Even though I didn’t know your wife/husband, I heard such wonderful things about her/him from other people.”

• “I don’t know what to say.”

• “I am very sorry for your loss of Robert.”

Be sure to offer condolences to everyone in the family, and introduce yourself to family members who may not know you.

By having a sense of how your friend is feeling at that particular moment, you will better understand how to express your sympathy.

Whatever you say, the family will appreciate your comfort and support at their time of loss.

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