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Coping with Loss

Expressing Sympathy in Light of COVID-19

December 17, 2020

Life After Loss provides you with helpful ways to cope with tragedy and loss. From advice on dealing with impossible pain to suggestions for finding incredible power, we share expert tips from grief counselors and emotionally focused therapists that will assist you through the grieving process, step by step. Whether you’re looking for self-care tips or ways to comfort a loved one, this series will help bring about comfort and closure.

Experiencing the loss of a loved one is always difficult. In our 40+ years of delivering heartfelt condolences, we have never seen a time quite like the one we’re currently living in. Now, more than ever, is the time to connect to our family, friends and co-workers, especially if someone you care about is mourning the loss of a loved one. While many of us may be adapting to new everyday routines, the etiquette of expressing sympathy by and large has not changed. Below are a few of our most frequently referenced suggestions.

  • Even if you don’t know the person well, we recommend saying, “I’m sorry for your loss.” It’s acknowledging what has happened in an honest and direct way. This also lets the person know they have permission to experience any uncomfortable emotions. Read more on tips to comforting someone who is grieving here.
  • Regarding social media etiquette, psychotherapist Hilda Burke says to follow the lead of the person who is grieving. If they haven’t said anything on Facebook, neither should you. But if they have posted about it, it is appropriate to comment. Read more about the dos and don’ts on expressing condolences on social media here.
  • Due to the regulations on large gatherings in many states due to COVID-19, many funeral services are being postponed or livestreamed over the internet making it an extraordinarily stressful time for the immediate family. If you aren’t able to express your condolences in person at this time, a delivery of a sympathy gift basket or sympathy flowers to their home are appropriate ways to let them know you are thinking of them.
  • Remember to support those who have experienced the loss of a loved one. They may be feeling a bit more aware right now, be it due to social distancing or an upcoming important date or anniversary. Rebecca Soffer, co-founder of Modern Loss provides some additional thoughts here. You can also explore free sentiment ecards for thinking of you and sympathy to let them know you are thinking about them.
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Let the people in your life know you are thinking of them with a call, note, food gift or flowers.”

Jim McCann, Founder of 1-800-Flowers.com

We know these are trying times and we are here to guide you. 1-800-Flowers.com is committed to helping our customers understand and cope with the emotional, psychological and social consequences of loss during COVID-19. We have put together additional resources on sympathy and remembrance, click here.

“During this time when we often cannot attend a service, let the people in your life know you are thinking of them with a call, note, food gift or flowers,” says Jim McCann, Founder of 1-800-Flowers.com.

If you are in need of expressing your condolences, and are not sure what to send, you can reach our sympathy specialists at 1-866-538-2259.

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