Sympathy Messages For The Loss of a Mother

One of the most important figures in people’s lives is their mother. No individual will be here today without her. The depth of a mother’s love is unconditional. Her sacrifices in bearing and bringing her children into this world fosters a unique bond with them. When people lose their mother, they are in for a rough journey and a devastating time. The connection between children and their mother is incomparable. Read more

What to Write in a Sympathy Card When You Don’t Know the Deceased

rose-pink-colors-3202080_640Regardless of whether you know the deceased or not, death always has a way of leaving us at a loss for words. Gathering your thoughts and writing down to express your condolences on paper is never easy. Though you don’t know the deceased, you are doing this act of kindness for the ones left behind who feel a massive loss over the death of their beloved.

Mustering up the words to show your sympathies for those in mourning is very challenging. However, don’t let your apprehension deter you from giving a sympathy card during the funeral ceremonies. It may be difficult to find the right words to say, especially if you don’t know the deceased personally, but it is not an impossible task to accomplish. If you need a burst of inspiration, consider the following ideas, to help you finish writing your sympathy card.

Keep It Simple: Go with the Classic Lines

If you don’t know the deceased and you are grasping at words not knowing what to say, here are four words for you: just keep it simple! Go with the classics. Some say they are generic clichés, but they are dubbed this way for a very good reason. They are short and straight to the point. Try the following lines: “I am sorry for your loss,” My condolences,” and “My deepest sympathies.”

These statements sum up your thoughts but do not diminish your intention. They let the bereaved know that they have your full support in a concise manner. Sometimes, it’s best to keep things short. You don’t need to write and dedicate a whole novel, just a simple gesture like sending a short note written on a card paired with a beautiful bouquet is enough to console the weary hearts who are pining for a deceased loved one.

Try Ennobling Words Taken from Songs or Poems

At a loss for words? It is okay to borrow them from another person and give due credit, of course. Take some of your favorite inspiring lines from a song or a stanza of a poem. There are many funeral poems or songs out there for you to take inspiration from. Though the words are not yours, the thought is still there.

When you write this in your card, it still very much comes from your heart. These words will hopefully uplift the mourning family members and comfort them as well. The important thing here is you are able to relay your heartfelt sympathies. It is never easy to lose a loved one, so showing your support during this very trying time is crucial.

An example of a popular funeral poem is the Warm Summer Sun written by the classic author, Mark Twain in 1896:

Warm summer sun,
Shine kindly here,
Warm southern wind,
Blow softly here.
Green sod above,
Lie light, lie light.
Good night, dear heart,
Good night, good night.

Choose Some Inspiring Quotes

Similarly to sharing lines from a poem or song, quotes effectively convey the emotions that you feel in a short and direct way. Choose insightful quotes that serve as reminders that there is hope after death. This is an ideal method to express how you’re feeling at times when nothing seems to make sense. Reading the quotes on the nature of love, life, and loss will help uplift the spirits of the bereaved.

Quotes are great reminders and mantras to keep in your life. Share quotes that are dear to you to make the message more personal. Examples of popular quotes are:

  • “Death is not extinguishing the light. It is putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.” -Rabindranath Tagore, artist and writer
  • “There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.”-George Sand, author, real name Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupi
  • “Lives are like rivers: Eventually they go where they must. Not where we want them to.”-Richard Russo, screenwriter, and author

Include Drawings and Doodles

If you are a fairly creative person who is not very eloquent in expressing yourself in words, do not be afraid to tap into your creative side. An unconventional yet great way to express your sympathies on the card is by drawing or doodling. After all, art is also a medium of expression and considered a form of language.

You may draw the family’s portrait, or draw something symbolic to the grieving family. Do they like animals? Doodle a dog hugging its owner. There are no limits when it comes to your imagination! Let your creativity flow. The most important thing is to show your sincerity and allow your feelings to surge freely from within. As long as your intention is good, your artistic work need not be filtered because this depicts your honest feelings.

Final word

Sympathy cards have always been written to console and comfort the bereaved. It does not matter how many words you are able to pen on paper, but what’s important is how you relay your emotions and condolences. It’s not how much you say, but how you say it – straight from the heart. Be genuine and allow yourself to express what is truly inside your heart.

What to Give To a Neighbor Who Lost a Loved One

sad womanIt is difficult for many of us to come to terms with the death of a loved one. It is in trying times like these where we need the support of relatives and friends. If your neighbor has recently lost someone dear to them, your concern and help would greatly be appreciated. One way to “show up” after the funeral services is through the act of giving, which demonstrates that you genuinely care. If you are feeling uncertain about what to gift to a grieving neighbor, here are some suggestions that can brighten up their day:

Provide Snacks and Meals

For many, the grief that accompanies the loss of a loved one is very draining. Usually, mourning family members have little energy left to go about daily chores like preparing meals. One way you can help your grieving neighbor is by giving food. Prepare some snacks or hot meals and dishes that suit their palate. Not only do you eliminate their need to cook, but you also give them more quiet time to mourn. Food is not just for nourishing the belly, but it serves as a comfort for the soul.

Give Hallmark Flowers

There are many methods to express your sincere condolences, and one of the no-fail ways to do that is by sending funeral flowers. These beautiful blooms carry meaning. White roses evoke purity and peace while showing that you are with them as they mourn. You can give a bouquet of sunflowers which signify happiness. The yellow color evokes sunshine and positive vibes. You can also opt to pay for an elaborate flower arrangement, and send it to the funeral parlor or their home. Some people say that flowers are costly but whither in the end. However, pretty flowers in the room also make the atmosphere less melancholic. It is something that most people don’t buy for themselves, but it is one thing that is very much appreciated when received.

Contribute Monetary Gifts

Everyone knows that the cost of holding a wake and funeral is not cheap. The casket alone can go beyond five thousand dollars. If the deceased was hospitalized, there are also medical bills to consider. One excellent way to help your neighbors lessen their financial burdens is to help them by giving money. You don’t have to give thousands, but pledging a few hundred dollars will mean a great deal of help to the family. In times of crisis, there is no amount too small.

Consider Gift Certificates

If you feel ambivalent about handing over cash, another fantastic way to help your neighbor grieve is to give them gift certificates. You can give grocery gift cards to help with their necessities. Another favorite is a certificate to the spa or the salon. This will allow them to have time for themselves to boost their mental health. A relaxing massage or a new hairdo gives them that relaxing me-time break from all the sadness and melancholy. If you want to show an even more personal kind of support, take them out on a spa date or salon make-over. Doing so will hopefully make them feel much better.

Prepare an Uplifting Music Compilation

Music is a form of poignant language that moves the soul. A heartwarming present to give your grieving neighbor is the gift of music. Gather a list of inspiring and uplifting songs into a Spotify playlist or burn them into a cd or USB. Whenever your neighbor hears it, they may feel more inspired and hopeful. Choose songs that are upbeat and have great lyrics. These songs will make those whose hearts are hurting feel better even just for a little while.

Handover an Inspiring Book 

Inspirational books make amazing gifts that you can present to your mourning neighbor. Share with them one of your favorite inspirational books to let them know that you are thinking of them. These books are great in stimulating hope and positive feelings. Books have the power to help the lost find their way, and the depressed feel better.

Offer Your Time and Presence

Nothing is a greater gift than one’s time. Showing up to the wake and funeral of your neighbors’ loved one displays your love and support. Being right by your neighbors’ side when they feel low is the best way for you to demonstrate that they are not alone and that they can count on you. Presence is one of the best presents in the world. Just be there. Period.

Final Word

When given by a genuine heart, there is no gift too big or small. It is important to show your love and support, especially to your neighbor, who lives close by. Being neighborly in this harsh world shows that the human spirit’s kindness will always triumph over darkness and death. Remember, in times of grief and sadness, we all need to feel like we are not alone, so be kind, gentle, and compassionate.

How to Cope With the Loss of a Child

8219632453_e3f5089584We all know that it is burdensome when people have to prepare funeral services for their kin. This task becomes even more difficult when a parent has to bury a child. Such a tragic notion goes against the natural law of life. After all, younger children are always expected to outlive their much older parents. Anyone who has gone through this heartbreaking experience will tell you that when a child dies, a part of your adult spirit dies along with them.

Death in itself takes a toll on those who are left grieving, most especially if the life that is lost was born from your own flesh and blood. Nothing can ever prepare a parent for this tragic fate. Though it seems unlikely as the circle of life opposes this concept, sadly, losing a child can still happen. How then, are parents supposed to cope when the unthinkable happens? Here are some suggestions to help you and your kin move on from the death of your most beloved child.

Rely On a Strong Support System

A good and strong support system is part and parcel of healing. When the world feels as if it is conspiring against you, there’s no shame in asking for help. Besides, your loved ones are surely more than willing to help you out with your responsibilities. Even just their presence and listening ear is already a great source of comfort. This maybe your family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, or even strangers in a support group. It is easier to cope with difficult times when there are people around to guide, comfort, and uplift you. Having people who listen and genuinely care for you will help you manage your loss.

Go On a Sabbatical

When your emotions are in turmoil, a sabbatical is a great way to find calm and peace. Take time off from work and your usual daily routine to grieve. You may go on a hike or go out of town for a weekend. Spending time away from home gives you a chance to rest your weary heart and mind. Grieving is a painful process that drains energy, especially when you see nothing but funeral flowers or other painful reminders of your loss. Sometimes, a change in the environment can help you cope with the pain. Being away from a sentimental place that you associate with your late child may make it easier for you to process your burdensome emotions.

Get Started On a New Hobby

Finding a new hobby is a great way to redirect your grief. Trying out new things will means channeling your feelings into a healthy coping mechanism. It is better to convert your grief into a positive outlet. The hobby doesn’t have to be fancy to be effective. It can be a simple task like baking, sewing, painting, or engaging in sports. Releasing your pent up feelings will do your body and mind a world of good. Keeping yourself engaged provides a sense of calm. Hopefully, you will be able to ruminate and reevaluate your life. A concrete output resulting from creative expression feels rewarding. It allows you to reclaim your life, instead of being consumed by grief and sorrow. Activities help you let go, so you don’t wallow in self-pity and bitterness.

Seek Professional Care 

Grief can be understandably overwhelming, especially when the loss of your child is sudden and tragic. If it becomes unbearable and difficult to handle even with the help of the aforementioned coping tools, it is better to seek professional counsel. Finding solace with a psychologist or therapist will help you understand your difficult emotions. You may be feeling confused, anxious, and depressed at the injustice of your situation. Talking with a counselor arms you with coping tools to process what is going on. Acknowledging your loss a therapist’s guidance will allow you to grasp your situation fully, so you can handle things with grace.

Spend Time in Prayer

Should you believe in religion, one effective way to help you manage your child’s loss is to spend time in prayer. When you lift your feelings to your deity, you are unburdening your heart, mind, and soul. As such, you take a huge load off your chest! Spending time in prayer will help you reflect on your situation, giving you hope, providing peace, and allowing you to come to terms with your emotions.

Final Word

Losing a child is never easy, but it would also be a huge disservice to your child’s memory if you do not let go and move on with life. Your child will not rest in peace if live the rest of your life in perpetual sadness. A child will never want to be the reason for his or her parent’s sorrow. The most beautiful thing you can do is to live a beautiful life in your child’s honor.

How Long Should a Eulogy Be?

rose-pink-colors-3202080_640One of the most difficult speeches you will ever have to make in your life is called a eulogy. This is your last tribute to a deceased love one. The term eulogy has roots from the Greek word “εὐλογία,” which is defined as praise. It is comprised of words to honor your loved ones who passed away. It is usually delivered during the funeral or memorial services.

A eulogy is typically assigned to immediate family members. However, if the death is tragic, sudden, or involves a young child, it may be passed on to a close family friend because it may be too painful for the bereaved family to put their thoughts into words. If you are wondering how to write a eulogy, there is nothing to be nervous about. There are no strict rules to adhere to, and it can be as unique as your relationship with the one who passed away.

Writing the Eulogy

Although a eulogy covers a very sad and delicate topic, it can still contain happy memories. Some bits of humor are actually good for the soul as they remind everyone listening that the deceased lived a full life. After all, there is truth to the adage that laughter is the best medicine. Besides, apart from giving praise, the other purpose of this speech is to comfort the family members in their time of grief.

As such, you can use the highlights of the deceased’s life and mention his or her contributions to the community. Do note that eulogies tend to focus more on the positive memories and great impact a person had throughout his or her lifetime. It is a very daunting task because you have the responsibility of encapsulating and summarizing a vibrant life in just a couple of paragraphs.

If you are stumped, it may be a good idea to look through your pictures with the deceased. You can also check his or her social media profiles. Going through those may jolt your memory and remind you of past events that you may have forgotten. You may also consider working together with the person tasked to write the newspaper obituary.

The Length of the Speech

Usually, funeral directors suggest that the speech be five to ten minutes long. When you think about it, that is such a short time frame to summarize an entire person’s many years of existence in this ephemeral world. There will be lots of memories and so many things to say! But you have to be mindful of the time.

If it is too short, it may seem insincere, like you didn’t know the one being laid to rest at all. Remember, this is your final farewell, so make it count. It also cannot be too long, either. Ten minutes tops are ideal because funeral services often follow a time table. You don’t want the guests to lose interest in your long draw out speech, and you also want to be considerate of the ones traveling far away.

In some services, it is common to have more than one eulogist, as well, so you have to keep the time in mind when you are drafting your speech. You may need to revise your speech and edit out some parts to ensure that you’re happy with all the details you included. If you want to be sure, ask the funeral director or the clergy how much time you have.

Delivering the Eulogy 

Once you’ve taken the time to collect your memories and jot down your thoughts to make the best speech possible, you also have to think about delivery. Make sure you have some time to practice to ensure you won’t get lost. It can be a very intense moment filled with emotion during the actual delivery, so it is best to be prepared.

Be mindful not to rush when making your speech. You want people to understand the words you’ve painstakingly prepared. Take a deep breath, speak clearly, and pronounce your words properly. Because of your practice sessions, you will be familiar with the speech, giving you confidence. Don’t forget to make eye contact with your audience as it shows your sincerity.

And most of all, don’t forget to cut yourself some slack. No one expects perfection! It is okay to make mistakes. You can even cry. The most important element is your heartfelt words that honor your deceased love one. Delivering a eulogy is cathartic, and listening to it is one of the most beautiful things that highlight any memorial service. With this humble speech, others will learn a few special things about the deceased that they may not have known. And this is how a legacy lives on!

What to Give a Grieving Family

candle in the darkThe death of a loved one is an unimaginable loss for many of us. The unfathomable uncertainty of death and the pain it leaves in the hearts of the bereaved leaves a void that cannot be filled. The gloominess and melancholy that ensue can be turbulent for the family and friends of the dead. To alleviate the heaviness of the atmosphere and reach out to the mourning individuals long after the funeral services are over, you may give them gifts and presents. Though this will not measure up to the gravity of their loss, at least you might, in some small way, make them feel a tiny bit better. Here are a few things that you can gift to people who mourn the demise of a loved one. Read more

How Do You Start a Eulogy

person reading a bookIf you were tasked to give a eulogy during the memorial or funeral services, you are given this honor because you have a close relationship with the deceased. A eulogy is a speech that you say about your beloved who passed away. A few people find this painful to do, especially if it is a sudden death or the one who died is still too young. When a direct family member finds it difficult to control their emotions, you may be tasked to deliver a eulogy on their behalf. Read more

How Can Death Affect a Family

We have all lost someone near and dear to us to a thief called death. Sadly, dying is an inevitable part of life that no one can escape. Apart from the pain directly caused by the loss, planning a funeral can take its toll on the immediate family. It is hard to write the death announcement, along with figuring out the details of the ceremony.

Whether it is a long term illness or a sudden demise, death is difficult to accept, and healing will take time. Losing a loved one has the potential to affect the lives of the bereaved greatly. It manifests in the physical and emotional aspects, sometimes with a lasting impact. Read on to understand how death can affect a family and why it is important to be kind, patient, supportive, and understanding to those who are grieving.

1. Children grow up without knowing their loved one

When a person experiences losing a loved one as a child, this can have many long term psychological effects. A child who has lost a mother or father will grow up with a missing piece because of the absence of one parental figure. This can lead to personal issues like self-identity crisis and difficulty establishing healthy relationships with people.

Studies show that children who were not able to process the death of a parent properly grow up with abandonment issues. They search for love and comfort elsewhere. They look for substitutes and may end up in the wrong relationship. Guidance is paramount for those who lose a parental figure to ensure that kids grow up in the right direction.

2. Can cause strain on relationships

Grief-stricken people often need time to process pain and emotion correctly. If the grief is not managed and handled properly, this can lead a person to feel heavy issues and volatile feelings that become an emotional baggage. One who cannot move on from the death of a family member may have difficulty maintaining other relationships because of emotional instability.

When one is moody or depressed, it can lead to withdrawal. This can, in turn, cause miscommunication and misunderstandings. Unfortunately, these things have the power to create rifts in family ties and can even sever relationships. The death of a loved one has the potential to divide a family without proper grief management. This can be avoided if a family consults a specialist or copes through healthy methods like holding open discussions or dialogues to provide an avenue for emotional expression.

3. May affect the lifestyle

There is no doubt that a family member’s death can drastically alter the household’s routine, priorities, and overall lifestyle. To many, losing a family member will cause a significant change in family dynamics, particularly if the deceased is the household’s breadwinner. How do you pay for your mortgage and basic needs when no one is earning? This poses a difficulty to grieving family members since it would mean making adjustments in spending habits and lifestyle choices.

In addition, this also means rearranging schedules and changing routines, which many bereaved family members find challenging to do. If the missing family member is used to picking up the children to and from school, who will be tasked to do it now that the person is gone? The life of the ones left behind is forever altered when their loved one passes on. As such, it is crucial to have a good support system. If you know someone in a similar situation, now is the time to offer a helping hand.

4. Posses a huge financial burden

Burials and cremation services cost a large sum of money. For many families around the world, this expenditure is too big a cost to bear. Often, people are caught off guard when someone dies, so they are ill-prepared. Families are shattered financially by a loved one’s death, especially if they find cannot afford it. Those who do not have insurance plans find themself using up their savings. This leaves the bereaved with a heavy financial burden that can strain their lifestyle and relationships with one another.

With this in mind, the heads of families need to perform proper planning, which involves getting the right insurance coverage, conducting estate management, and procuring funeral investments ahead. When you plan for the future, you secure your family in case of an emergency or other unforeseen circumstances. The last thing any person should be worrying about when someone dies is the financial aspect so that they can grieve in peace!

Final Word

It is normal for family members to react differently when they experience a closed loved one’s death. As individuals try to cope with changing roles, it can result in complicated emotions and untoward behavior. While each person is going through their journey, it can be difficult to connect with one another. The important thing to remember is always a beacon of hope that will readily offer support during these trying times.

What to do for someone who has lost a family member?

woman in grief, woman cryingThough every person knows that death is an inevitable part of human existence, it is still hard to come to terms with it, especially when the person you love is the one that passes on. This is a tumultuous period that inflicts pain, suffering, and sadness on the bereaved family and friends. After planning a funeral, it feels tragic to go back to an incomplete home where the glaring absence of the deceased is felt. How does one move on after all the funeral ceremonies are done? Read more

Fill Your Heart performed by David Bowie or Tiny Tim

Heart drawing with crayonsFill your heart with love today
Don’t play the game of time
Things that happened in the past
Only happened in your mind, only in your mind
Oh, forget your mind, and you’ll be free, yeah Read more