How to Comfort Someone Who Is Grieving Through Text

You've just heard of a dear friend's loss. Maybe you're at work, or in another town, or ready to drop everything and come over to be there to comfort someone close to you who is grieving.

Or, perhaps the funeral is over and you want to continue showing your support. Life goes on, but for your grieving friend or family member, life doesn't really go on, at least right now.

One of the simplest yet most important ways to comfort someone who is grieving - in our digital age - is through text.

Here are some tips on how to comfort someone who is grieving through text, plus examples of mourning texts for you to adapt.

How to Comfort Someone Who Is Grieving Through Text

Tip #1 - Just do it

First of all, and most important: Text them. Just do it.

You need to say something. This is the biggest thing in their life, and will be for a long time. So, even if you feel weird about it, just say something.

Tip #2 - If you don't know what to say, say so

You don't have to know the perfect thing to say. There really isn't any perfect words of comfort for someone who is grieving. 

The reality is, death is hard. It's a tragedy. Your words aren't going to fix everything, so don't wait until you know just what to say. Come to grips with your inadequacy but continue on, as a true friend should.

Tip #3 - Avoid cliches

You know the ones I mean.

"Everything happens for a reason."

"God must have wanted them in heaven more than we do on earth."

Just.... no.

Of course you'll have to use some cliches - I'm sorry for your loss; I'm thinking of you; How can I help?

Just steer clear of the syrupy, false-comfort ones.

Tip #4 - Volunteer your help

Offer to be there for your friend in specific ways. If you just say "Let me know if there's anything you need," well, sorry, but they're not going to. Put yourself in their shoes - anytime someone has said that to you, have you ever taken them up on the offer? Of course not.

Instead, offer specific help. And go beyond offering - volunteer. At the same time, don't be pushy or overbearing. Try to hit a good balance between imposing on them and letting them know you're really serious about helping.

"I'd like to bring some food so you don't have to cook, what's your favorite?"

"I'm going to have dinner delivered to you from [restaurant]. What do you usually get there?"

"Can I come over tomorrow and wash dishes, vacuum, fold laundry...? We can hang out or you can take a nap, whatever is most helpful!" 

What to Text a Grieving Friend or Family Member

Here's what to say in a text to a grieving friend or family member:

  • Acknowledge their loss ("I'm so sorry to hear about Angie!")
  • Say the decedent's name (this is a form of validation of their grief)
  • Offer condolences/express sympathy ("I can't imagine what you're going through")
  • Support them (offer to help, thinking of you/praying for you, etc)

Comforting Texts When Someone Dies

Here are some examples of texts for when you first hear about the death.

  • I have no words... But I want you to know I love you and am here for you.
  • Oh friend! I just heard about [name], I'm so sorry!
  • I heard about [name] and want you to know I am thinking of you in this difficult time.
  • Dear friend! I'm coming over as soon as I get off work. I love you and will help with anything you need!
  • I just heard about [name], I'm so sorry for your loss! I can't be there in person right now, but I am here for you in whatever way I can help. I'm free after Thursday, I'll be available for anything you need.

What to Text Someone After a Funeral

Here are some examples of texts to comfort a grieving friend after the funeral, or at least after the initial period of shock and grief. These would be second, third, etc, texts to send after the death of their loved one.

  • That was a lovely funeral. I'm sorry you had to go through this. [Name] was an amazing person.
  • It was a privilege to attend [name's] funeral. Our hearts are with you in this time of loss.
  • We're organizing some meals for your family for the next few days. What is a good time for someone to drop off a hot meal tomorrow?
  • Can I arrange some meals sent to you? Any requests?
  • I'm coming over to help out. Need anything from the store? When I'm there we can sit and talk or you can take a nap while I do the dishes, whatever is helpful
  • Just wanted you to know that I'm thinking of you.
  • I'm out running errands, anything I can pick up for you?
  • [Name] was a special person and I miss him too. Just wanted you to know that I'm thinking about you.
  • I'm making you some food. What's your favorite?
  • Can I take you out to coffee on Tuesday? Or would you prefer me to bring some to you?
  • I know things will be rough for a while. How can I help?
  • Just want you to know I'm here. Anytime you want to talk, text, or just get out, let me know.

Make a note of the day the loved one died. Set a reminder for yourself for a month, or six months, and especially a year after the person's death, reminding you to send a comforting text to your friend.

  • I know today is an important day. I'm thinking of you. Want to get together?
  • [Name's] birthday must be a rough day for you. How are you doing?
  • Today's the anniversary; here's something beautiful [attach picture of flowers, a pretty sunrise, etc]

Examples of Mourning Texts

  • Just wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you, praying for you, and grieving with you.
  • I'm here if you ever need to talk.
  • My heartfelt condolences go out to you and your family
  • Can I bring you anything? Tacos, ice cream...?
  • I'm sorry for your loss.
  • Just wanted to share my favorite photo of [name] with you. She had a great smile and I'll miss her a ton. [Attach photo]
  • I want you to know friends who love you surround you.
  • When my [parent/friend/uncle/etc] died, I felt so alone. I just wanted you to know you're not alone.
  • I know this is hard. I love you.
  • No words can describe how sorry I am for your loss.
  • Thinking of you in this difficult time.
  • God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1 Thinking of you, dear friend!
  • Although we are miles apart, I'm with you in heart and spirit.

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