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When someone close to you experiences a loss, it can be hard to know what to say. You can see that your friend or coworker is hurting, and you want to express your sympathy in a graceful way. Finding the words to tell someone that you care and that you want to be there for them in their time of hurting is a struggle for many people. We worry about saying the wrong thing or that what we say won't mean very much during someone's time of need. Remember, even simply being there to listen to your hurting friend can be a great gift.

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1. I'm Sorry for Your Loss

This phrase is straightforward to use at any time. You acknowledge that your friend or acquaintance has lost someone dear to them, and you're offering shared sympathy. Telling someone that you're sorry for their loss is a simple way to share your sympathy when you aren't sure what else to say. "I'm sorry for your loss" also helps open a conversation about the positive things that the deceased brought to your friend's life. Perhaps she was a loving aunt, or he was a supportive father. You might say something like, "I'm sorry for your loss. I know that your aunt meant a lot to you and your family."

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