Compassionate Words: What to Say at a Funeral

What to Say at a Funeral


Losing a loved one is one of the most challenging experiences a person can face. It’s a time of grief and sorrow. Knowing the right words to say at a funeral to comfort someone can be daunting. We often struggle to express our condolences, fearing that we might say the wrong thing. The last thing that we want to do is inadvertently cause more pain. 


Offering support and kind words to someone who is grieving doesn’t always require grand gestures or profound wisdom. Sometimes the simplest words can provide the most comfort.


What to Say at a Funeral

Here are some gentle and compassionate things to say to someone who has lost a loved one:


  • “I’m so sorry for your loss.” – These simple words convey empathy and acknowledge the pain the person is going through. It shows that you are there to offer support and understanding.
  • “I can’t imagine what you’re going through, but I’m here for you.” – It’s hard to know exactly how someone else feels. Expressing your willingness to listen and support them through this difficult time can be very meaningful.
  • “Your loved one will always be remembered.” – Remind them that the memories of their loved one will live on, offering a sense of comfort and validation to their grief.
  • “It’s okay to feel however you’re feeling right now.” – Grief is a complex and individual experience. Letting them know that it’s okay to feel a range of emotions, whether it’s sadness, anger, or confusion, can alleviate some of the pressure they may feel to appear strong.
  • “I’m here to help with anything you need.” – Offering practical support, whether it’s running errands, cooking meals, or simply being a shoulder to lean on, shows your willingness to ease their burden in any way you can.
  • “Would you like to talk about your loved one?” – Sometimes, the bereaved may want to share memories about the person they’ve lost. Giving them the space to do so can be incredibly therapeutic.
  • “Take time for yourself as you grieve.” – Encouraging them to prioritize self-care and not rush the grieving process can be reassuring.
  • “I’m lighting a candle for your loved one tonight.” – Small gestures like lighting a candle, sending flowers, or offering a heartfelt prayer can be comforting reminders that they are not alone in their grief.
  • “I remember when your loved one…” – Sharing a fond memory or anecdote about their loved one can help keep their memory alive and even be a bright light during a sad time.
  • “I’m here to listen when you want to talk.” – Sometimes, all they need is a sympathetic ear. Assure them that you’re available to listen when they are ready to talk.
  • “I’m thinking of you and sending you love.” – Sometimes you cannot physically attend services. Letting them know that you’re thinking of them can provide a sense of comfort and connection.
  • “Surrounding you with our thoughts/prayers.” – If you both share a similar faith, offering a prayer of peace and comfort can mean a lot to them. You can specifically say that you are praying for peace and comfort during this hard time.
  • “Your loved one’s legacy will live on through the lives they touched.” – Remind them of the positive impact their loved one had on others and how their memory will continue to inspire and influence those who knew them.
  • “They made such an impact in my life. I will always be grateful.” – Were they a teacher, coach, mentor, or someone else special to you? Reminding them about the impact their loved one had on others can be powerful. Ultimately, it also lets them know that the their loved one is not easily forgotten.
  • “I love you.” – Sometimes, the simplest expression of love can provide immeasurable comfort to someone who is grieving.


It’s important to remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to offering condolences. Everyone grieves differently. The key is to offer genuine support and empathy sincerely and without expectation. Just being there to show you care can make all the difference in someone’s grieving process.


After the Funeral

Most will go back to their normal lives after the funeral or memorial service. But, the one who has lost someone has had a major change to their life. Staying in touch is one of the kindest things that you can do so that they do not feel alone.


Here are some things that you can do after the service:

  • Take them a meal
  • Send them a card or text to let them know that you are thinking of them
  • Light a candle for their loved one
  • Invite them to lunch
  • Ask them to join you for a walk


Keeping in touch can mean the world to them. Even the smallest gesture, like sending a nice text, can brighten their day and let them know that they are not alone.

After the funeral, take them a meal.

Grief Comes in Stages

Know that grief is a process. It’s important to understand that everyone processes grief differently, and at different paces. Certain times of the year may be more difficult:

  • The holidays
  • Their anniversary
  • Birthdays
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Mother’s of Father’s Day


Reaching out near these days to touch base can help them to not feel alone. Also, it helps them to know that the one that they lost is not been forgotten.


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About Green Hills

We believe that every end-of-life celebration is as unique as the person being celebrated. We’ll help you create a memorial that honors your loved one in a way that feels special and authentic. If you’re planning for the future, our Advance Planning advisors will help you remove the burden from your family members and organize a ceremony that allows them to gather, heal, and reminisce.


To learn more about how advanced funeral planning can protect your loved ones, find out what to do if a loved one is ill, or just say hello, contact our team today. Celebrate a life well-lived in a beautiful, serene environment.