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30 Heartfelt Sympathy Messages to Alleviate Sorrow

30 Heartfelt Sympathy Messages to Alleviate Sorrow

Loss hurts like hell, and it’s something that each and every one of us will experience at some point in our lives. Everything that lives must also die, and as the years roll along, it’s inevitable that we will lose those close to us, including friends, family members, animal companions, and mentors.

Sorrow may not only be caused by death, but can also be a side-effect of relationship deterioration, be that a romantic connection or a friendship. Although there isn’t any balm that can heal our pain completely, reading messages of sympathy and reassurance may help a great deal. If someone you know has experienced the pain of loss recently, sharing one of the sympathy messages below may lighten their spirits a little bit, and remind them that they are cared about by others. Feel free to re-word them in any way that feels right to you.

Expressions

“I’m sorry. I know those words are inadequate, but I am truly sorry for what you’re experiencing right now. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.”

“Wishing you peace and strength during this difficult time.”

“I cannot take away your pain, but I can listen if you’d like to talk about it.”

“My home is open to you whenever you need it, even if it’s just for a change of scenery and a cup of coffee. You are always welcome.”

“Although no words can really help to ease your loss, know that you are in my thoughts.”

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“I cannot even begin to imagine what you’re going through and how difficult all this must be for you. Please know that I am always there for you, whether you need to talk or cry or even just sit in silence with someone.”

“Words, however kind, can’t mend your heartache, but those who care for you share your grief and wish you comfort and peace of mind.”

“I want to help but have no idea how. Please let me know how I can help you?”

“I still miss those I loved who are no longer with me, but I find I am grateful for having loved them. Over time, gratitude has finally conquered the loss.”

“Know that you made an incredible impact on _____’s life, and that they were better and happier for having known you.”

“I am at a loss for words during this sorrowful time, but please know that I am thinking of you and praying for peace and comfort for you and your family.”

“Your emotions are important during this time, and as your friend, I’m happy to help you shoulder them.”

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“I’m here for you during this dark time, and will be here for you when the light begins to shine for you again.”

“May the sorrow you feel in your heart lighten by the love that surrounds you.”

“Remember ______’s stories, and how they made you feel; by doing that, part of _____ will always remain with you.”

Quotes to Share

“I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love.” – Leo Buscaglia

“There are no goodbyes for us. Wherever you are, you will always be in my heart.” – Gandhi

“I used to have a sign pinned up on my wall that read: ‘Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us’.” – Pema Chödrön

“What we have once enjoyed we can never lose; all that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” – Helen Keller

“In time, it will be the the small, everyday occurrences that you’ll remember most: the laughs, the stories, the smiles. Although it might seem like the pain will never go away, it is these very memories that will help push the sorrow away and bring back happier feelings, in time.”

“Oh heart, if one should say to you that the soul perishes like the body, answer that the flower withers, but the seed remains.” – Kahlil Gibran

“Learn to get in touch with silence within yourself, and know that everything in this life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.” – Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

“You can’t truly heal from a loss until you allow yourself to really FEEL the loss.” – Mandy Hale

“Perhaps they are not just stars, but rather, openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.”

“Let children walk with Nature, let them see the beautiful blendings and communions of death and life, their joyous inseparable unity, as taught in woods and meadows, plains and mountains and streams of our blessed star, and they will learn that death is stingless indeed, and as beautiful as life.” – John Muir

“It isn’t what happens to us that causes us to suffer; it’s what we say to ourselves about what happens.” – Pema Chödrön

“Everyone who lives long enough to love deeply will experience great losses. Don’t let fear of loss, or the losses themselves, take away your ability to enjoy the wonderful life that is yours.” – Barbara Cooper

“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together…there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think, but the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.” – Winnie the Pooh

“Like a bird singing in the rain, let grateful memories survive in time of sorrow” – Robert Louis Stevenson

“The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering.” – Ben Okri

Time will eventually alleviate some of the pain that loss brings, but it’s important to remember that sorrow and pain needn’t be suffered alone: there are always people who are willing to help. If you or someone you care about is suffering, please take advantage of counselors at your school or workplace, or call a help line. Don’t face it alone.

 

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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