When someone in your life loses a loved one and is experiencing grief, it can be challenging to know what to do or say. One way to show compassion and sympathy for the grieving is to send a text before the funeral, letting them know that you’re thinking of them and are there to support them.
Texting someone before a funeral is an informal way to show your support, but if done with care and tact, it can provide some much needed comfort. Texts like “Please let me know what I can do for you” and “I’m here if you want to talk” are appropriate on this occasion.
In the rest of this article, I’ll discuss the appropriateness of texting someone before a funeral to help you decide if you should press “send” on that message. I’ll also provide examples of texts you can send to someone before a funeral to better grasp what you should say to the grieving person in your life.
Is It Appropriate to Text Someone Before a Funeral?
If you’re close to someone experiencing loss and grief, knowing what is proper to say and how to conduct yourself can be difficult. Some express sympathy by sending flowers or some sort of gift. If you need ideas, I have a list of fifty appropriate sympathy gift ideas you can send to show your support.
Sending a text is more informal than sending a sympathy gift or sympathy card, but it is still an appropriate way to show someone that you care about them and are thinking of them during this difficult time. Texting is an increasingly popular means of communication, so I highly doubt anyone would take offense to you texting them before a funeral to show your support, unless they are extremely old-fashioned.
Of course, if you really want to show your support, you can send a sympathy card in addition to a text before the funeral. That way, if the recipient is too busy or overwhelmed on the day of the funeral to acknowledge your text, they’ll still be able to read and reflect on your expression of sympathy.
Examples of Text Messages To Send Before a Funeral
It can be extremely difficult to know what to say to someone grieving the loss of a loved one. Before we get into the examples, here are my top tips for sending a text to someone before a funeral:
- Keep it short. The recipient is likely already overwhelmed by the day, so now is not the time to send a lengthy, paragraphs-long text expressing your love and support. Your heart may be in the right place, but it may just be too much for the person. The best way to get your message across is to keep it nice and short.
- Mean what you say. If you’re going to text someone before a funeral and offer your help or support, be prepared to actually help them, should they ask for it. If you aren’t willing to help or answer the phone when they call, don’t suggest that as an option in your text.
- Keep it simple. Again, you don’t want to add to the stress, or overwhelming feelings the recipient is likely feeling, so the best texts are simple and easy to understand.
- Don’t reference religion if the recipient isn’t religious. If you’re religious, you may be tempted to tell the recipient that God is with them or that this is all part of God’s plan. Your heart is in the right place, but someone who doesn’t believe in God is unlikely to find comfort in these messages.
- Don’t pretend you knew the departed if you didn’t. If you didn’t have any relationship with the departed, there’s no reason to pretend you did in your text to the grieving. If you pretend that you had a relationship with them, the recipient may feel more annoyed or confused than supported.
- If you did know the departed, include a brief anecdote or story. Recalling a specific memory or personality trait of the deceased may bring some comfort to the grieving or give them something else to think about other than their sorrow.
If you are in this position, I recommend looking at the following examples to give yourself an idea of what to say.
1. “I Will Be Thinking of You Today.”
Going through a significant loss can be extremely isolating, and the person may feel incredibly alone on the day of the funeral. Therefore, one of the best things you can do is ensure that they aren’t forgotten and that you keep them in your thoughts. This simple sentiment is quick and easy to digest but also incredibly meaningful.
2. “Please Let Me Know if There’s Anything I Can Do for You Today.”
Funerals are often overwhelming to organize, as there are a lot of decisions to make in a short amount of time, all while someone is experiencing fresh and unfamiliar grief. Therefore, if you are willing and able to help, extending this offer can be a huge relief. Just be sure you are willing to act if they take you up on it.
For more information about planning a funeral, I recommend reading my article on how long it takes to plan a funeral from A to Z.
3. “I’m Here if You Want To Talk.”
Sometimes, all a grieving person needs is a shoulder to cry on or someone to talk to. They may want to call someone immediately before or after the funeral, and if you can be that person, let them know that you’re there for them. Even if they don’t reach out and want to talk, you can know that you likely provided some comfort by giving them the option.
4. “If You Want To Spend the Night With Me, I’d Love To Have You Over.”
Many people don’t want to be alone on the night of a funeral because they’re experiencing so many intense emotions. Perhaps they are even feeling a little fear about death and mortality after dealing with it personally throughout the day. You can provide immense comfort and significant support by giving them the option of spending the night where you can either talk about the departed or try to direct their attention elsewhere, whatever they need.
5. “I Know This Is Hard. I Know You Can Get Through This, and I’ll Help in Any Way I Can.”
Sometimes, it can be a great relief to have someone acknowledge that your feelings are valid. If you tell someone that you know what they’re going through is hard, it may help them feel better about how they’re handling the situation. Additionally, ensuring them that they can get through it can give them the confidence and strength they need for the day.
6. “I’d Love To Hear More About [the Departed] if You Want To Tell Me About Them Later.”
Talking about a departed loved one after their funeral can be extremely comforting. This is one of the reasons why funeral receptions are so popular. The recipient may feel comforted and excited about the opportunity to talk about the person they loved so much with you.
7. “I Love You.”
Sometimes, simplicity is best. If you are unsure what to say, you can’t go wrong with simply expressing that you love the person. This simple sentiment may help them feel less alone and give them the hope to get through the day and continue through life without the departed.
If you’re texting a coworker, the following examples are more specific to that relationship:
8. “I Was So Sorry To Hear of Your Loss. I’ll Cover for You Whenever You Need It.”
The last thing a person wants to think about on the day of a funeral is work, so if they are stressing about covering a shift or getting through their workload and you are in the position to relieve them of this burden, let them know. With your text, they’ll be able to focus on saying goodbye to their loved ones without thoughts of work distracting them.
9. “I Didn’t Know [Departed’s Name], but I Know You Loved Them. Let Me Know How I Can Support You.”
If the recipient of your text is a coworker, you may not know the person who passed away. However, you can still express your support and acknowledgment of that person’s relationship with the departed in a simple and brief text. Additionally, by allowing them to opt for your support however they’d like, you’re giving them the power to decide what they need and if you can help.
If you’re texting a friend who is attending the funeral of a parent, the following examples are appropriate messages to send:
10. “I Remember Your Mom Always Had Snacks Ready for Us After School. I’ll Miss Her. I’m Here for You.”
A positive, personal anecdote about the departed may help bring a smile to the recipient’s face. At the very least, it will remind them of a positive attribute of the departed and serve as a great reminder that their loved one was adored by many. Even if the anecdote seems small, it can make a big impact.
11. “I Know You Got Your Sense of Humor From Your Dad. I’ll Miss Laughing With Him, but I Feel Better Knowing I Still Get To Laugh With You.”
If the person you’re texting lost a parent, one way to provide comfort is to remind them that a part of their parent will live on in them. One way to do this is to highlight a trait they got from a parent. This can help the recipient feel closer to the departed and serve as a compliment to them, which may help them feel better on this difficult day.
Now that you have examples of good texts to send, here are some messages that I don’t think you should send on the day of the funeral:
- “They wouldn’t want you to be sad.” This sentiment may be true, but it is perfectly understandable and healthy for someone to be sad on the day of someone’s funeral. It is best to give them that space for their sorrow instead of immediately trying to rid them of it.
- “You’ll see them again one day.” The first problem with this message is that the recipient may not believe this is true, especially if they aren’t religious. Secondly, even if they believe they’ll see them again one day, that doesn’t take away from the feeling of missing them in the present.
- “The pain will go away.” Of course, most things heal over time, and the pain of grieving the departed will likely go away. However, on the day of the funeral, it is more appropriate to acknowledge the pain and provide support instead of simply telling someone they won’t always feel that way.
- “I know exactly how you feel.” Even if you have also experienced loss, grief is different for everyone. Therefore, there is no way that you will ever know exactly how someone feels, and this sentiment can feel belittling to someone experiencing intense emotions that feel unique to them.
- “You knew this was coming.” Even if this is true, nothing about this message is comforting. A loss is still a loss, even if the bereaved knew it was on its way, and the sorrow they’re likely feeling is just as legitimate as if the death was unexpected.
Now that you have a better idea of what to text (and what not to text), don’t be afraid to reach out and show your support in this way. You can always send a text in addition to expressing your sympathy in other ways, such as with a sympathy gift or by attending the funeral service.
Texting someone before a funeral is a great way to show them that you care and are thinking of them during this difficult time. The right text message is comforting, heartfelt, and personal and should help the grieving get through the funeral service knowing that you are there to support them.