A condolence message, also known as a sympathy note, is a thoughtful and meaningful way to let the bereaved know that you realize what they are going through, that you are thinking of them and are there for them. They provide support to those who are grieving since even the tiniest amount of support is precious during such difficult times.
If you know anyone who has lost a loved one, make sure to send them a condolence message. If you’re not sure how to go about writing it, here are some tips to help you out.
It doesn’t have to be long
Keep in mind that a condolence does not have to be long and made up of complex words. It’s best when it is short and simple as it is easier to process at a time of grief. What matters most is that it is honest and comes from your heart.
Make sure to acknowledge their loss but don’t compare
At the start, express your sadness over their loss using phrases like "I was sad to hear" or "I am thinking of you and your family at this time." This establishes that you acknowledge their loss. However, make sure that you don't compare their loss to yours, even if you have experienced something similar. This is about them, not you.
Share a heart-warming memory you have of the deceased
If you knew the deceased in person, make sure to write a few lines on a positive memory you have about them. This makes the bereaved feel better since they now know that their loved one brought happiness to other people.
Avoid saying things to explain the death
In your condolence message, never try to explain the death. So avoid phrases like "This is for the best" or "This is a part of God's plan." These are not the most pleasant things to hear when someone is grieving.
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The expectation of the death of a loved one, whatever the reason may be, is not a good feeling at all. Knowing that you will have to say goodbye to them can make your conversations with them extremely uncomfortable or heart-breaking. However, it is important to remember that what matters most is to make your last moments with them count. So, even though it may be difficult, here are a few things to keep in mind when talking to a loved one who is dying.
When talking to a person who does not have much time left, the most important thing is to listen closely to what they have to say. From the words they use and the tone of their voice you will be able to know how they want the conversation to be. Remember that it is about them. Be open to talk about what they want to talk about.
If there is something you need to forgive them for, make sure you let them know clearly. And if you are the one who has to ask for forgiveness, put away your ego and do so. Also, remember to thank them for all they mean to you. Hearing such things from people who matter help them go in peace.
You may think it insensitive talking to people who are dying about everyday, mundane topics such as what happened at work, or a TV show that you both like to watch. However, this is not always the case. He/she is still the same person and still likes the same things. Besides, discussing such topics will remind them that they are still alive even though they may not have much time left.
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When writing a eulogy, you should always remember that you are not writing a book about the deceased. So keep it short and sweet, and make your words count. If possible, write a eulogy you can deliver in no more than five minutes.
To help you out, we have listed some useful tips to help you write a beautiful, meaningful eulogy that everyone can appreciate:
Make sure you choose a positive tone
Focus on the positive qualities of the deceased. If he/she lived a difficult or troubled life, you don’t have to talk about that. The audience probably already knows it, and it will only make mourning that much more difficult. So choose to focus on their positive traits.
Keep it personal by sharing anecdotes and stories
Remember to include humorous or heart-warming stories and anecdotes about the deceased, maybe something that both of you experienced. You can use these stories to support a point that you are trying to make, like how they possessed a positive quality. For example, if you want to share that he/she was someone who was giving and generous, you can share a story to support that.
Don’t talk about yourself for too long
Always keep in mind that even though you are the one delivering the eulogy, it is not about you. Just give a brief introduction, stating your name and how you are related to or know the deceased. Avoid using too many first person pronouns like “I” and “me”.
Close it with comforting words and say your last goodbye
Finally, make sure to close your eulogy with words that lend peace and comfort. You can talk about valuable life lessons the deceased taught you, or something similar. Then, end it with one, last goodbye.
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Funeral planning is not an easy experience. You have to make necessary arrangements and do what you must despite having lost a loved one. This is why, understandably, most bereaved often do not think straight or make rational decisions with a clear head.
At National Memorial Planning, we understand this ordeal that many people go through. So to make the experience easier for you, here are the top five questions you should always ask before deciding on a funeral home.
With experience comes expertise. So, don’t forget to ask the funeral home how long they have been in business. Enquire if it is family-owned because usually family-owned funeral homes are passed down from generation, meaning that they have years of experience.
Knowing how big the chapel is and how many people can fit in will help you plan the funeral in an organized and systematic manner. If possible, visit the funeral home yourself to see how well it can accommodate your plans.
All kinds of services like cremation, embalming, viewing and burial should be provided to you regardless of your faith or personal beliefs. It should be noted that embalming is not legally required.
Remember to ask what kind of offers or packages they offer so you can get the best deal possible. Funeral homes should have packages ranging from basic to all-inclusive.
Funerals can be expensive. Make sure to ask what payment options are available to you. For instance, the funeral home may be open to working with an insurance company or arranging for financial assistance.
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We all know that picking out music for any occasion is no simple task. The songs or pieces we choose will set the mood and tone of the entire occasion, whatever it may be. But, it’s even more difficult to choose a song for a funeral, whether we are planning our own funeral in advance or it’s for the funeral of a loved one.
As difficult as it may be, the music played at someone’s funeral is an important and memorable part of the entire service, and often what people will remember most. So, if you want a meaningful song that people will remember you with, or you want someone you have lost to be remembered with a particular song, here are some tips on how to choose the perfect funeral song:
The most important factor to consider is that the song or music you choose should be meaningful. And for that, it has to be personal. It doesn’t matter if it does not sound like your usual funeral music. What matters is that it has meaning, and the deceased will be remembered with that music.
It is well-known that music has the power to make us feel a certain way. The kind of music we listen to can effectively influence our mood. Before choosing a song, consider how the song will make people feel at the funeral. Will it make them feel the way you want them to?
Before you settle with a song, make sure to go through the lyrics first and understand the meaning. Lyrics are as important as the tune. For example, the words of a song may not be ideal for the kind of funeral you want, or the ideas presented in the song may not match yours or the deceased.
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