Dying Matters Week: our suggestions for what to say to someone who is bereaved | Cruse Bereavement Care

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One of the most common pieces of advice when it comes to supporting someone who is bereaved is that those around them reach out. However, even during periods of relative stability, people can feel uncomfortable about what to say. 

Durning Dying Matters Week Hospice UK released new findings from Savanta ComRes this week that showed that 72% of those bereaved in the last five years would rather friends and colleagues said the wrong thing than nothing at all.

To help and encourage people to reach out to others, we at Cruse have published some tips on what to say to someone who is bereaved. Some of the tips include suggested phrases such as:

•    “I don’t know what to say but I am so sorry to hear this news.”
•    “I’m so sad to hear this and I’m here if you need to talk.”
•    “He/she was such a wonderful person/so selfless – full of positivity/kindness [whatever feels appropriate] – they will be hugely missed.”
•    “He/she will be missed so much – they were so special. You are in my thoughts.”

You can read the full page of tips here.

Andy Langford, Clinical Director at Cruse Bereavement Care, said:

“The coronavirus pandemic has meant it is an incredibly distressing time to be bereaved, whenever your bereavement occurred. Our advice in ‘normal’ times to anyone who wants to support someone who is bereaved is to reach out, to talk to them. That hasn’t changed.

“However, we know that many people struggle with what to say. We also know that often there aren’t the right words, but simply being there and reaching out can make all the difference. It’s about showing them that they are not alone, which is more important now than ever. 

“We hope our tips will help people in reaching out to those around them. Cruse are there for anyone who needs us, but it’s hugely important that people are reaching out if they know someone who may be struggling.”


  • Dying Matters Week runs from 11th to 17th May 2020, and encourages people to talk openly about dying, death and bereavement. This year the theme is Dying To Be Heard.
  • Methodology: Savanta ComRes interviewed 2,039 adults in Great Britain online from the 22nd to 23rd January 2020. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of adults in Great Britain by age, gender, region and social grade. Savanta ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Full tables at http://www.comresglobal.com/polls/hospice-uk-dying-matters-awareness-wee...