What do you say to a colleague when they’ve suffered a loss of a loved one? It can be tricky to navigate this, since the relationship is likely to be mostly professional. We do often get to know our coworkers on a personal level, sometimes even going for an after work drink if not attending holiday parties together. We may know some information about their lives, but not think of these people as close friends. It could feel like more of a fairweather acquaintance. But, we interact with these people on a daily basis and so we want to create a comfortable and supportive environment for them and ourselves. When we’re given the information that a coworker’s family member or friend has passed away, we feel the need to pay our respects yet remain professional. Whether or not the relationship is such that you feel the best thing is to attend the funeral or memorial services, then a message is a great way to show you are thinking of them during this difficult time. Below are examples of 15 condolence messages to send to a coworker. Feel free to take what you read and change it if you need.
When it comes to a coworker’s loss, you can also send a message for the entire office if you choose. The wording can be changed to “we”, as seen above in some examples.
Whomever it is in your life who is going through the death of a loved one, condolence messages are considered standard. They are offered either through email, text, phone call, or an in-person visit.
When your friend loses a loved one, whether it’s a parent, grandparent, child, or other close relation, a natural reaction is to support your friend however you can. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to know how to comfort someone who’s grieving. Even if you have a similar experience, the heartbreak in someone else still can feel inaccessible or impenetrable. One of the best things to remember is that you’re not going to make the pain go away. Your primary purpose is to show your friend how much you love and care for him or her, and that you’re there to give support in whatever way you can.
There’s a lot of things you can do if someone you’re really close to loses a loved one. Some actions you can take include bringing food over to your friend’s home, sending flowers or chocolates, or being a shoulder to cry on. What you decide to do depends on your level of comfort and how intimate your relationship is with this person. It might also depend on how much pain this loss is causing. Your friend may just want to be alone. A great way to find out how you can be supportive during a difficult time in your friend’s life, is to ask. “What do you need right now?” or “How can I support you through this?” are great examples for questions you can ask.
If you have an acquaintance, or a friend who you aren’t particularly close with, you can still show consideration for what they’re going through. This is where condolence messages come in and can be a perfect way to get your sentiment across. Condolence messages are of course not limited to people who aren’t as close to someone who is grieving, but if you are in a more involved relationship then understandably you may want to do more. It is simply difficult to know what to say to someone, especially if you haven’t experienced a massive loss or shattering grief. We’ve compiled 15 examples of condolence messages that you can send, whatever your relation may be to the person who has suffered a loss.
With respect to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic we’re living in, times are tragic, traumatic, and tricky. We are left with so many questions about how to console one another, and ourselves. People we love are passing away, friends are losing their loved ones. In addition to people we love dying of COVID-19, we are unsure how to lay to rest our departed and how to appropriately comfort those we love who are mourning. So, let’s take a minute to address the elephant in the room — should we be attending funerals during this pandemic?
There are two answers to this. First, it depends on your level of comfort being around others or if you prefer to stay at home for safety. Second, and even more importantly, it depends on what the family has decided to do for the funeral arrangements. Families are deciding between a few options for funerals. If the family does decide to hold an in-person service, they may limit the number of people in attendance or keep the gathering to immediate family members. Some might even postpone services until after social distancing guidelines are lifted.
Funeral home staff members have been particularly helpful with providing alternative solutions for funeral arrangements. Some funeral homes are offering virtual services, such as live streams of memorials or other tributes. Others are providing online guest books where friends can leave notes of condolences and other personal anecdotes.
If the family prefers to hold an in-person funeral service, whether you choose to attend in person will depend on your level of comfort. For instance, if you have a family member at home who is immunocompromised, you may not feel comfortable attending the service and potentially increasing you and your loved one’s exposure to the coronavirus. However, if you do feel comfortable with personally attending the memorial to offer your condolences and pay your respects, the funeral home will most likely be observing social distancing measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to increase the safety of all those in attendance.
Most likely, yes. However, beyond the practice of wearing masks, the most important factor to preserve yours and others’ safety while attending an in-personal funeral service is to engage in social distancing. In adherence to social distancing guidelines, you may be attending an outdoor funeral with seating, six feet apart from one another. You will want to keep distanced from anyone who does not live with you in your household. Make sure to wash your hands often as well. It is an unfortunate and difficult fact of these sensitive circumstances to not be able to show affection as support for your family members and friends, but it’s best for now. You can hug and kiss those in your household who are accompanying you to the service, but otherwise your presence will serve as the best demonstration of love and support you can give.