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What Do You Say When Someone Dies?



What Do You Say When Someone Dies?
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 12
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.95

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    best, helping, acceptance, acknowledge, denial, grieve, anger, grief, knowing, unknown, loss, support, vital, eventually, member, fear
     content words:    Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, On Death


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What Do You Say When Someone Dies?
By Colleen Messina
  

1     Most people feel awkward in situations when a friend loses a loved one. It is hard to know what to do, and sometimes, it is even harder to know what to say. Knowing some things to do and say can be useful when helping a person who has a broken heart.
 
2     People grieve in many ways and in many stages. Elisabeth K�bler-Ross wrote an important book called On Death and Dying in 1969. In it, she identified many emotions that grieving people feel. Her five stages of grief include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Understanding that people have so many feelings during grief is vital because then you can acknowledge and accept the range of feelings your friend might be experiencing.
 
3     Sometimes, just listening to your friend talk about the person who died is helpful. People like to share stories about their loved ones, and sometimes, they like to tell the stories many times. This seems to help them process the death and ultimately accept it.
 
4     If your family can offer to physically help the grieving family, it is often much appreciated. This includes running errands, cleaning, helping with pets, or helping them with their children. When you make an offer, it is sometimes easier if you offer help with specific tasks, rather than simply asking what you can do to help. Often, people who are grieving can't think clearly and can't even think about how people could help them.
 
5     Knowing what to say to a grieving friend or family member can be challenging. Some comments and actions that might help a grieving person are:

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