The Proper Decorum When a Loved One or Friend Passes Away

The Proper Decorum When a Loved One or Friend Passes Away

Finding the right words to express our sympathy can be difficult when someone close to us dies. Reaching out to someone who has just experienced such a profound loss can be intimidating, but ignoring them in their grief is far worse. Here are some tips to properly present your condolences the next time you’re in a funeral home. 

Acknowledge Their Passing

Expressing sympathy when someone dies can be difficult. It’s okay to express your sadness and acknowledge that it’s an awful situation to have happened. Start by expressing your condolences and expressing how terrible the situation is. An example could be: “I’m so sorry for your loss. This is such a difficult time for everyone.” 


No matter how much sadness you are feeling or how much of an experience you have had with someone you love dying, you should not assume that someone who has lost someone feels the same. Saying, “I can’t understand what you’re going through,” shows that their grief is something that only they can understand, not that you don’t sympathize with them. 

Ask Specific Questions

Asking questions after someone passes away can allow a person in mourning to express themselves. Rather than general queries like ‘How are you?’, asking more specific questions tailored to the situation is better. Questions like ‘What is your day-to-day like?’, ‘How do you feel when you start the day?’ and ‘Do you have the right kind of help?’ can help to open up a conversation and provide a space for someone to talk about their feelings.

Honor the Dead through Conversation

It can be difficult for those who have lost someone to cope with the fact that others may not talk about them anymore. However, allowing people to share stories and memories about the person who has passed away can be a fantastic conversation starter to keep their memory alive. Doing this in a funeral home can comfort those grieving and help them cope with the loss. 

Share Your Sadness

When somebody passes away, it can be a devastating event for many people. You can express your sorrow, but don’t assume your emotions are on par with those closest to the deceased. 

Don’t Worry about Upsetting Someone

When someone close to us passes away, reaching out to the grieving person can be difficult. It can be tempting to back away from them and avoid the subject, but it’s important to be sensitive and understanding. It’s better to reach out and offer your condolences than to stay distant and silent, as it can help the bereaved person to feel supported. 

Give the Bereaved Family Time to Cope

After a loved one dies, remaining calm is not necessarily a sign of strength. It is important to check in with the person to see how they manage their grief and if they need support. Offering them the space to share their thoughts and feelings can help them process their emotions and feel better. 

When someone close to us passes away, it can be difficult to express what we need. We may be too overwhelmed to say if we want to talk about our feelings, even if that is what we need. It is best to support the grieving person and let them decide if or when they want to talk about their loss.


Never attempt to redirect the bereaved’s emotions or mindset, no matter how messy. Simply be there for them and allow them time to talk, reminisce, and grieve for the person they lost. Such compassion goes a long way in their healing process.

Usher Your Deceased Loved Ones through Evergreen JAX

At Evergreen, you can receive comprehensive end-of-life services in a single location. With us, you can save money and time while still having access to all the services you need. We provide funeral, burial, and cremation services and can help with pre-planning and other requests you may have. Our staff will help you every step of the way as you navigate through this difficult time. Contact us at (904) 353-3649 for a Jacksonville funeral home today!

Click To Call