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Best Way to Tell Someone a Loved One Has Died

Wednesday, June 6, 2018
Losing a loved one can be a gut-wrenching experience. When you have to be the bearer of bad news, it can be even more difficult. Talking about death can be a struggle no matter how many times you've dealt with it in the past. It's natural to feel stressed or anxious when having to break the news to others. However, itís important to share this information sooner than later.

Telling Others About a Death

Know that no matter how you tell others about a death, no one is ever really prepared to hear it. To prevent misinformation, speak clearly and explain the situation the best that you can. Remember to use a caring and supportive tone and be genuine in your communication. While it can be hard, donít delay or draw it out as this can make the deceased loved oneís more distressed.

Use language that is easy to understand to avoid confusion and if necessary, repeat yourself. By sharing the news as soon as you can, you can also avoid people having to hear rumors of the death from inferior sources like rumors or gossip.

The Right Place at the Right Time

In addition to choosing the right time to tell them, you will also want to choose the right place. If you do not live nearby, it may be necessary to tell the person about the death over the phone. While this is not ideal, itís important to remain calm and do your best to help them cope with the news.

If possible, tell family members in person. Meet the person in a quiet, private place that is free of distractions and lingering eyes and ears. Sit the person down and break the news. Give the person some time and space to react in their own way.

Dealing with Shock and Grief

When youíre dealing with the initial shock of a death yourself, it can be tough helping others do the same. Before sharing the news of a death, take a few moments to compose yourself. Get into an emotional state that will allow you to remain calm as you pass on the information. If you feel like youíre not ready to take on the responsibility or think someone else is more equipped for the job, ask someone else to break the news.

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