Archive for the ‘what to say when someone dies’ Category

At little moments I feel the truth of that statement.  When I was very young and people would die it seemed a mystery.  Then in early adulthood death seemed a tragedy.  And now in real adulthood it seems a mystery again.

From Robert Lanza, MD on the Huffington Post:  “Your consciousness will always be in the present — balanced between the infinite past and the indefinite future — moving intermittently between realities along the edge of time, having new adventures and meeting new (and rejoining old) friends.”

If you’d like to  read the entire article  – click here.


Read Full Post »

We found this piece of prose when my mother died.  I think someone gave it to her when my father passed away.    Author is Canon Henry Scott-Holland, 1847-1918, Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral
‘The King of Terrors’, a sermon on death delivered in St Paul’s Cathedral on Whitsunday 1910, while the body of King Edward VII was lying in state at Westminster.  Thank you to http://poeticexpressions.co.uk for letting us know who to credit for this beautiful work.

Death is nothing at all… I have only slipped away into the next room.
I am I and you are you…whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone; wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.  Let  my name be ever the household word it always was.
Let it be spoken without effort, without the ghost of a shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was; there is absolutely unbroken continuity.
What is this death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner.
All is well.

Read Full Post »

    When the parent of a friend dies, or someone else close to you dies and you want to attend the funeral or the wake, you’ll want to know what to say.  Wouldn’t it be great if you could say something that is not a cliche, or say something profound, and say “the word” that will make everyone feel better?  That’s a noble goal, but for funeral situations, I’m going to suggest you go for the simpler goal. 
     If you can’t think of anything to say — don’t worry — you don’t have to say anything. 
           Let your eyes talk.  Look softly and carefully into people’s eyes.  They’ll feel that. 
          Just tell them that you love them.  Most times that is enough. 
          Or just let them hear you breathe if you’re calling by phone.
          Hugs speak much louder than words.

People can feel you.
Just let them feel your love.
Your presence speaks volumes and is usually the best gift.  Depending on the circumstances there usually isn’t much to say – and everyone knows there isn’t much to say that won’t sound like a cliche.  It’s a touching moment of humanity.  Silence can work.  Our culture needs new scripts for funerals.
If you feel that you really, really want to say something, try these:
“I love you.”
“We love you.”
“We love our memories of your father/mother/whomever has passed.”
“Your father/mother gave us such good times – and we hold those memories very close to our hearts.”
“___insert name___ was such a good friend to us and we want you to know how much we appreciate him/her.”
“Peace to you.”
“We are here for you.”
These are enough.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: