Home Smart - Jude Creamer

For more information about the author, click to view their website: Jude Creamer / HomeSmart

Posted on

Jul 09, 2024


Florida - Sarasota, Bradenton & Charlotte Counties

Share This

Knowing how to console a grieving widow is not easy.  I find I’d rather say nothing than say the wrong thing. 

This is Part II of a two-part article providing suggestions of ways to convey your support for them in their time of need.  This portion is offering phrases that are positive and kind to use and explains why.  Part I dealt with things one shouldn’t say when consoling a grieving spouse.

Knowing that there are times when words are absolutely necessary, it helps to have the right ones at one’s fingertips.

Part II – Phrases that Work well

Aim to say the right thing from the start so that you can avoid unintentionally hurting your loved one at a time when they’re already in so much pain.

When you do it right, they may not remember what you said years later, but they’ll remember that you were open to supporting them during one of the toughest times of their lives.

“I’m sorry for your loss.”

This is the most common and universally accepted phrase that acknowledges their loss without saying too much. Although sometimes feeling rote, it’s direct and to the point.

“I can’t imagine how you feel.”

When you tell someone that you “can’t” understand how they’re feeling, this opens up the opportunity for dialogue. They may choose to tell you how they’re feeling, or they may acknowledge you with silence. In either instance, allow them to take the lead without forcing the conversation.

“We all share in your grief.”

Expressing that you share in your loved one’s grief is a show of love and support for them. These words are kind and giving without having to say too much. 

“Let me have the kids.”

A grieving widow might benefit from time alone to sit with their grief. A person experiences a lot of emotions and different types of grief when saddled with the death of their spouse.

It takes time to process and figure out exactly what they’re feeling. Offering to take the kids out for the day or the weekend will likely be appreciated.

“I’ve prepared some meals for you.”

A person who’s grieving will likely not have an appetite for days following the death. If left alone, they may forget to eat until reminded to do so. Preparing and delivering meals to your loved one will help them by taking the guesswork of what to eat away from them. 

“I’m here to help you.”

There’s a huge difference between offering to help someone and doing things to help them. Most people who are grieving find it difficult to ask for and receive help. You can make it easier on them by showing up ready to take on any necessary tasks or chores. You’ll need to practice your assertiveness when it comes to helping your loved one. Try not to take no for an answer in a loving and caring way. 

Helping your loved one can also come in the form of spiritual and emotional help. It may be that they need a little extra help coping with their loss. Offer to join them in prayer, meditation, or accompanying them to a widow support group. 

“Take time for yourself.”

Giving someone permission for a little self-care can do wonders for them especially when they may be feeling guilty over their spouse’s death. Let them determine how they’ll use their time without filling their schedule with your agenda or ideas. 

“You’re doing a great job.”

We all need a little motivation and encouragement to keep us going at times. Offer praise for a job well done without sounding condescending. A simple “you’re doing a great job” reminds them that they’re doing the best that they can under the circumstances.

“They’d be really proud of you.”

This is another way to encourage your loved one to keep moving forward while acknowledging their loss. Find a reason or reasons to say this to your friend every now and then so that they don’t lose hope as they learn to cope with their grief. 

“I know it must be really hard without them here.”

This works because you’re acknowledging that their death has created an irreplaceable void in their lives. 

When facing the loss of a spouse it’s important for the surviving spouse to have a support team around them.  After the initial shock has subsided, the time comes when taking action on what’s next is imperative.  Having support partners like a well-trained and compassionate Estate Attorney, Financial Planner and Real Estate Agent can make a huge difference.   If you would like recommendations on local Bradenton|Sarasota area Estate Attorneys, Financial Planners or Grief Counselors, please email me at Jude Creamer, Broker Associate, HomeSmart, specializing in facilitating real estate transactions for people in life transitions.

A special thanks to for the guidance contained in this article.

Other Articles You May Like


Knowing how to console a grieving widow is not easy.  I find Id rather say nothing than say the wrong thing. Sometimes though, words are required.  Like any skill, having the right words to say at the right time takes practice and understanding of the situation.  To help you prepare for an uncomfortable situation, read on empathetically.  Preparing now will lessen your fear of hurting the grieving spouse or possibly ruining your relationship over saying the wrong thing and adding salt to a wound.Often, when in public, the grieving widow or widower offers a strong front for the time being.  In doing  so, they often find themselves consoling those who came to comfort them.  The days and weeks following the death of a loved one is the time when emotions run high and even the most well-intentioned words can be misconstrued.  It is our responsibility to be ready to support them.  This is a two-part series to review phrases to avoid (Part I) and phrases that are generally safe to use (Part II).   Review them, learn them.  Knowing what to say in the right circumstance will set you up to provide the kindness and compassion thats needed in that moment.PART I Phrases to avoid using, why you should avoid them, and alternate options to use insteadFinding the right things to say can be just as hard as it is easy to say the wrong things.  Take care not to fall for it when your loved one tells you that its better to say something than nothing at all. Saying the wrong thing can be damaging to your relationship. If you find that youre uncomfortable around death and dont know what to say, here are some examples of what not to say. Dont say: Theyre in a better place.Undoubtedly, when hearing this, the widow will wholeheartedly disagree with you. To them, it may not matter that Heaven needs another angel. Theyll tell you that they need them here, or that their kids need them just as much.A better option: I know it must be hard without them here. This works because youre acknowledging that their death has created an irreplaceable void in their lives. Dont say: Everything happens for a reason.A natural part of grieving is comprehending the loss. This phrase is very insensitive.A better option: Sometimes well never understand the reasons why things happen the way they do.This works because it acknowledges that theres no comprehensible reason for why their loved one had to die.Dont say: What are you going to do now?This well-intentioned question may be the breaking point for someone who really doesnt know what theyre going to do now that their spouse has died. They may be feeling overwhelmed with whats next and how to take care of everything on their own. A better option: Lets talk about how I can help you with the next steps.This works because youre offering a solution to them that will help them figure things out instead of sending them into panic mode. Dont say: Thats too bad the kids wont have both parents.This is a very insensitive and unkind thing to say to someone. Theyre faced with having to move forward without the person that was supposed to be there to help them. They already know its going to be difficult not having them there. A better option: Im sorry that they wont be here to see the children grow up.This works because youre expressing lamentation over something that is regretful in a more caring and loving way.  Dont say: Youll feel better in time.When you say this to someone, you imply that this is only a passing thing. Your loved one may resent how quick you are to dismiss the relationship they once shared with their spouse. A better option: Take all the time you need to heal from your pain and grief. Ill be here for you.This works because youre acknowledging that this is one of the most painful experiences of their life and youll be there to help them through it. Dont say: Youre still young, someone else will come along.The last thing a widow is thinking of when theyve just lost their spouse is going out and finding a replacement. A better option: Youre lucky to have found love with someone as wonderful as them. Im truly sorry for your loss.This works because youre reminding your loved one that love is difficult to find and theirs is irreplaceable. Dont say: They werent the greatest anyway.Keep the negative comments and opinions to yourself. There is never a right time to give your take on your loved ones choices in love, and especially not the period when theyre grieving the loss.A better option: Im sorry that youre having to go through this pain and suffering.This works because youre expressing solidarity with your loved one in their pain and suffering without any negative feedback. Dont say: Now I have you all to myself.This is a selfish way of saying to your friend that you love and support them through their loss. A better option: Ill be here for you through thick and thin.This works because youre able to get the same point across without celebrating the fact that your loved one is now free to spend more time with you. Dont say: I know what youre going through.It can be highly offensive to a bereaved widow when you say that you can relate to what theyre going through. Even if youve also been widowed and have experienced this type of loss, it can be hurtful when you compare their pain to yours. A better option: It must be very difficult for you right now. I cant imagine what youre going through.This works because youre recognizing that its not easy losing their spouse without making this about you and what you went through. Knowing what NOT to say to a grieving spouse is a good primer (especially now that you have decent alternatives).  Be sure to read next weeks article Consoling a Grieving Spouse Part II, which will outline more phrases that generally work well to comfort, and why theyre good.When facing the loss of a spouse its important for the surviving spouse to have a support team around them.  After the initial shock has subsided, the time comes when taking action on whats next is imperative.  Having support partners like a well-trained and compassionate Estate Attorney, Financial Planner and Real Estate Agent can make a huge difference.   If you would like recommendations on local Bradenton|Sarasota area Estate Attorneys, Financial Planners or Grief Counselors, please email me at   Jude Creamer, Broker Associate, HomeSmart, specializing in facilitating real estate transactions for people in life transitions.A special thanks to for the guidance contained in this article.

A Heartfelt Commitment to Compassion: Volunteering at Doctor's Hospice of Idaho

"A Heartfelt Commitment to Compassion: Volunteering at Doctor's Hospice of Idaho"In the picturesque landscapes of Idaho, where the rugged beauty of nature meets the compassionate care of healthcare professionals, Doctor's Hospice of Idaho stands as a beacon of hope and comfort for individuals facing life-limiting illnesses. At the heart of this remarkable institution lies a group of dedicated volunteers whose selfless contributions play a crucial role in enhancing the quality of life for patients and their families. This article delves into the noble world of volunteering at Doctor's Hospice of Idaho, shedding light on the impactful work they do to make a difference in the lives of those in need.The Essence of Volunteering:Volunteering at Doctor's Hospice of Idaho is a noble endeavor that goes beyond the realms of traditional healthcare. It involves individuals from diverse backgrounds, united by a common purpose to provide comfort, companionship, and support to patients and their families during challenging times. The essence of volunteering here lies in the belief that every person deserves to live their final days with dignity, surrounded by warmth and understanding.Roles and Responsibilities:Volunteers at Doctor's Hospice of Idaho engage in a myriad of roles, each tailored to meet the unique needs of patients and their families. These roles may include:Companionship: One of the primary responsibilities of volunteers is to offer companionship to patients. Whether engaging in conversation, reading a book, or simply providing a comforting presence, volunteers create a supportive environment for patients who may be experiencing isolation.Emotional Support: Dealing with end-of-life situations can be emotionally challenging for patients and their families. Volunteers lend a compassionate ear and offer emotional support to help individuals navigate the complex array of feelings associated with terminal illnesses.Respite for Caregivers: In addition to supporting patients, volunteers play a crucial role in providing respite for caregivers. By offering to assist with daily tasks or providing relief to family members, volunteers contribute to easing the burden on those caring for their loved ones.Assistance with Activities: Volunteers may engage patients in various activities, such as art and music therapy, to enhance their quality of life. These activities aim to bring joy, creativity, and a sense of accomplishment to patients during their hospice care.Bereavement Support: After the passing of a loved one, volunteers extend their support by helping families cope with grief. This ongoing support is a testament to the lasting impact volunteers have on the lives of those connected to Doctor's Hospice of Idaho.The Impact of Volunteering:The impact of volunteering at Doctor's Hospice of Idaho is immeasurable, leaving a lasting impression on both volunteers and those they serve. By fostering an atmosphere of compassion and understanding, volunteers contribute to the overall well-being of patients and their families. The positive ripple effect of their efforts extends beyond the hospice setting, creating a supportive community that values the importance of dignity and empathy in the face of life's most challenging moments.How to Become a Volunteer:If you're inspired to make a difference in the lives of individuals facing life-limiting illnesses, Doctor's Hospice of Idaho welcomes individuals from all walks of life to join their volunteer program. The process typically involves an application, orientation, and training sessions to equip volunteers with the necessary skills and knowledge to navigate the unique challenges of hospice care. Prospective volunteers can find more information on the official website or by contacting the volunteer coordinator directly.Conclusion:Volunteering at Doctor's Hospice of Idaho is a profoundly rewarding experience that transcends the traditional boundaries of healthcare. Through their dedication, compassion, and selflessness, volunteers become integral members of a team committed to providing comfort and solace during life's most delicate moments. As they weave a tapestry of support around patients and their families, these volunteers embody the spirit of humanity at its best, making a lasting impact that extends far beyond the walls of the hospice facility.Please contact us at (208) 985-2260

How To Plan A Funeral

Planning a funeral for your parents is a difficult and emotional process. It can be overwhelming and confusing, with so many decisions needing to be made. However, by being organized and methodical in your approach, you can ensure that the funeral is a meaningful and respectful celebration of their lives.Choose a funeral home.The first step in planning a funeral is to choose a funeral home. While this can be a difficult decision, it's important to find a funeral home that you trust and feel comfortable with. Look for a funeral home that is reputable and has experience in planning funerals. You may also want to consider the location, price, and accommodations offered by each funeral home.Notify family and friends.Once you have chosen a funeral home, it's important to notify family and friends about the funeral arrangements. You may want to send out an email or phone call to let people know about the funeral date, time, and location. This will give people plenty of time to make travel arrangements and plan accordingly.Plan the funeral service.The funeral service is an important part of the funeral, as it provides an opportunity to honor and remember your parents. When planning the service, you may want to include music, readings, and personal anecdotes about your parents. You may also want to consider hiring a minister or celebrant to lead the service.Choose the burial or cremation option.Another important decision to make is whether to have a traditional burial or cremation. Consider your parents' wishes and religious beliefs when making this decision. If you choose burial, you will need to select a cemetery and purchase a burial plot. If you choose cremation, you will need to select an urn for their remains.Consider other services.In addition to the funeral service and burial or cremation, there may be other services that you need to consider. For example, you may want to have a wake or visitation period to allow friends and family to pay their respects. You may also need to arrange transportation for the remains, as well as flowers and other funeral decorations.Deal with financial matters.Finally, you will need to deal with any financial matters related to the funeral. This may include paying for the funeral home services, burial or cremation, and other related expenses. You may also need to file any insurance claims or arrange for payment from your parents' estate.In conclusion, planning a funeral for your parents can be a difficult and emotional process, but by following these steps, you can ensure that it is a meaningful and respectful celebration of their lives. Remember to take your time, be organized, and seek support from loved ones throughout the process.Article Written By: Seniors Blue Book