Appropriate Ways to Offer Condolences
It is terrible when a loved one experiences the death of someone close to them. There will be lots of thoughts in your head. You want to be there for them, show them that you care, but at the same time you are mindful of giving them some space. They will need some time to grieve in their way, let out their emotions, do whatever they need to do and have some alone time. So, although you want to be there for them, at the same time you don’t want to be too pushy, show your love and offer your support too soon. This begs the questions, when is the right time to offer condolences?
If you are struggling with what to say, what to send, even a simple note will suffice. The family will appreciate being contacted in some manner and will also understand that it could be difficult to get the right words out. No big gesture is required. A little note, perhaps along with a little gift such as funeral flowers, will let the family know that they are in your thoughts.
When you offer condolences largely depends on how well you knew the deceased and how close you are with the family. If you are a member of the family, or you are close to the family, you should offer your condolences right away. This also holds if you are a family friend. It will help the family to know that people close to them are there for them and are thinking of them during the difficult time.
If you are a friend or acquaintance of the family, perhaps not close but you still have a relationship with them, it is better to wait for the gathering at the time of the funeral for you to offer your condolences. Perhaps you are a work colleague or knew the deceased through someone. Wait until the funeral, then you will be able to go up to the family and offer your condolences personally. That being said, there is no harm in offering your condolences sooner. Perhaps send funeral flowers to the family’s home with a note. It is sure to bring the family some level of comfort to know that people are thinking of them.
Decided to reach out, but unsure about how to do it? Arranging funeral flower delivery to the family’s home will make a fine gesture. At such a time, sympathy flowers really can say a lot. There are certain symbolism and meaning attached to different funeral flower arrangements. But make sure you choose the right flowers. There is a certain etiquette involved when you send flowers. Don’t go for wreaths or tributes. Let the close family organise these arrangements. Stick to posies, baskets, sprays and bouquets and the flowers will be the loving gesture you intended them to be.
An alternative to flowers is a food basket. Why not consider sending a basket of fruit to the family’s home? Alternatively, give the family some of your time, perhaps help to get things in order, although bear in mind, this may seem like an imposition and is only permissible if you are a family member.
It is important to know that whether you do so right away or after some time, perhaps even after the funeral, your heart is in the right place, and the family of the deceased are sure to appreciate that. Whenever and however you offer your condolences, it is the gesture that counts, and it will let the family know that they are in your thoughts at such a difficult time. Offer your condolences, reach out and show the family you care.