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Words of condolence can serve as a lifeline, especially in times of crisis and/or grief. Personal loss can be extremely devastating for people on many levels–psychologically, mentally, and even physically, particularly if there is bodily trauma or injury involved. This is especially true of circumstances involving death and dying. The grief can be overwhelming as well as mentally and physically painful. It is, at times, like these that words of condolence can serve as a lifeline or harbinger. While words of condolence may be well-intentioned at times of crisis and/or sorrow, they are not always perceived that way.
Pain, trauma, and/or personal grief can profoundly change an individual and their perspective on life, especially when it is chronic in nature and occurs over an extended period of time. Traumatic events have been shown to alter an individual’s perception, sense of reality, ability to distinguish time, and reconfigure their neural pathways. As such, people affected by significant trauma and/or grief can experience severe, long-term physiological and mental ramifications. Thus, it is important to gauge the environment of the bereaved and express your sentiments in an appropriate manner.
When expressing tributes or words of condolence, people can found themselves conflicted over what to say or how to express themselves, so they turn to standard and/or common expressions in order to convey their thoughts and/or feelings. The following outline includes appropriate and commonly used terms of sympathy to express your remorse in times of crisis, sorrow, and/or loss. Here are some examples of common expressions of condolence for various circumstances:
General Condolence Sayings:
–With deepest sympathy
–You are in my thoughts
–Our thoughts and prayers are with you
–We are thinking of you
–With heartfelt condolences
–We are thinking of you during this difficult time
–Please accept my condolences
–Our warmest condolences
–With caring thoughts
–Our hearts go out to you in your time of sorrow
–With loving memories of (insert name here)
–Peace, Prayers, and Blessings
–Sent with love and remembrance
–May your heart and soul find peace and comfort
–(Insert name here) will remain in our hearts forever
Condolences for Departed Children:
1. I gave birth to you I loved you first. I love you still. I always have and I always will.
2. Those we have held in our arms for a short while remain in our memories forever.
3. We weep that one so lovely should live a life so brief.
Condolences for Departed Parents:
1. Those things we have once enjoyed can never be lost. All that is loved deeply becomes part of us.
2. “Grace was in all her steps, heaven in her eye, in every gesture, dignity and love.” —John Milton
3. “Say not in grief ‘he is no more’ but in thankfulness that he was.” —Hebrew Proverb
4. “He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.” —Clarence Budington Kelland
5. A mother holds her children’s hands for a while and their hearts forever.
Condolences for Departed Pets:
1. “His ears were often the first thing to catch my tears.” —Elizabeth Barrett Browning
2. Many who have spent a lifetime in it can tell us less of love than the child that lost their beloved dog yesterday.
3. Dogs are drawn to the people who need them, Filling an emptiness we do not even know exists.
It is important to remember that condolences and tribute messages should be crafted by the individual to reflect their own thoughts and feelings. They must be heartfelt, natural, and organic to the speaker. One key aspect to keep in mind is that your tributes acknowledge the grief of your friends and/or loved ones, as well as pay homage to the deceased.
In most cases, it is recommended that well-wishers compose a tribute message that includes memories of the dearly departed. This allows friends and family members to recount long forgotten memories or learn unknown tidbits about their recently departed loved one. It can even help loved ones left behind feel closer to the deceased.
Personal grief and/or trauma can be devastating for people on several fronts–physically, mentally, and even psychologically. As such, words of condolence can serve as a lifeline, especially in times of grief and/or crisis. This is especially true if there is bodily injury, trauma, and/or disability involved, particularly in circumstances where death and dying are considerations. These situations can be overwhelming on many levels, as well as mentally and physically painful. It is at times like these that words of condolence can serve as a lifeline or harbinger. Thus, it is extremely important that your sentiments are chosen with care and express the appropriate vibe. You want to make certain that the words of condolence selected are reflective of your thoughts and feelings while honoring the deceased, as well as loved ones left behind. As such, clarity is key and it is so important to speak from the heart. In times of crisis and/or sorrow, you do not want your sympathy messages and words of tribute to be misconstrued or misunderstood. Instead, these words of condolence can and should serve as a lifeline, as well as a source of comfort.
Blog and Opinion Written & Edited by Leigh Haugh
Personal Experiences and Observations of the Author
ObituariesHelp–Choosing the Perfect Words of Condolences
Acknowledgements–Words of Sympathy
All Article Images Courtesy of WikiMedia Commons – Creative Commons License