Handprints, Summer Edition 2005, page 3










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What NOT To Say

No grief is 'merely'; a friend, a lover, a parent, a child, a pet, any being cared about is sincerely grieved.

Here are the things NOT to say when expressing your sympathy.
Generally, stay away from the cliches and platitudes that leap automatically to you lips or pen.
Never, never say: It is a good thing he or she died. 

Please!! At the end of your letter say NOT: Have a good day.

Other no-no's: 

Do Not Say: God Did It Because . . .

Don't say anything negative about the deceased. If that's all you have to say, say nothing.

Do Not Try To Fix The Survivor's Grief

There are several stages of grief everyone goes through at their own pace, in their own style, and, in their own order (which may mean going back and forth or through all the stages to varying decrees.

Do Not Try To Hurry The Survivor's Grief Along

Everyone grieves at their own pace and, if they are hurried along at someone else's pace, they don't get all the grief out and it can make them ill physically or emotionally.


You are writing to identify with their grief, not write about your own.

Author's Note:  I researched several books; here are the two I got the most from: 

"Miss Manners Basic Training: Communication" by Judith Martin
"Condolences & Eulogies: Finding The Perfect Words" by Betty Anne Gillette


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