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How do you express your condolences to someone?

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Quick Answer

Condolences can be expressed in person, in a letter, over the phone or via electronic means like text or email. It is customary in many instances to send a card, flowers or other token of sympathy to the bereaved.

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How do you express your condolences to someone?
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Full Answer

Whatever medium a person chooses to use for expressing a message of condolence, experts agree that one should be thoughtful in their selection of words. Some appropriate things to say to a person who is mourning a loss include "I am sorry for your loss," "you are in my thoughts" and "please let me know how I can help." Bereavement experts agree that saying less is often better. If it is appropriate for the relationship, a simple "I love you" or "I am here to talk when you are ready" can provide comfort to the bereaved.

Experts advise against using religious language, or proposing to have transcendental knowledge by saying things like "he is in a better place now." Be careful not to say things like "I know how you feel" or to try and minimize the loss in any way by making statements like "at least he didn't suffer." It is also not advisable to tell a grieving person that they will feel better after a certain amount of time or that they will "move on."

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