What to say when you don’t know what to say.
I received a customer email desperate for help, she told me she’d left her copy of Love Never Dies in the basket on my website for ages out of fear of what to say on the gift card. She asked me if I could suggest what to say as she was just lost for words. I suggested she start there. If you're struggling to express your condolences and everything sounds trite, I think acknowledging that you're lost for words is a perfect place to start.
None of us are equipped with the ‘right words’ when a loved one is going through a difficult time. Be kind to yourself if you don’t know what to say. Be kind to yourself also if you might feel like you said the wrong thing. I think the best thing is to say something... anything. Just knowing you're there will be so comforting in itself. And if you’re really worried you’ve unintentionally said the wrong thing, just explain that too and start afresh. Showing up for someone at a time they need you, they will only remember the fact that you were there for them. You can be there in so many non-verbal ways too, showing up with hugs, a gift, listening, watching tv together, helping with errands, whatever feels right for you.
Turning things around to an opportunity to listen or ask a question are often helpful when you're stuck for what to say:
Some simple words for a condolence card might be:
My book Love Never Dies will come with a gift card for your own words if you decide to add in a gift note at the checkout. If you leave that blank and this book is the only thing in your order, a card will be enclosed which says: