What to Say When Someone is Dying

What to Say When Someone is Dying

Such moments are awkward that can leave anyone at a loss of words. If words fail you at this moment in need, read the SocialMettle article to find a few words of encouragement.
SocialMettle Staff
Last Updated: Mar 16, 2018
Death is a difficult moment in anyone's life. Whether it's a close family member or a dear friend, the pain of losing someone shatters the strongest of hearts. Someone we love and care about deeply is being taken away from us and somehow, in the mix of emotions, the entire situation seems unfair. We find ourselves pacing, contemplating, and wondering as to what would be the exact words to describe the turmoil, the storm that is building inside us.

But even though, with all that you wish to say to them, nothing comes quite as you want it to. Speaking is an easy task, but finding the right words to describe our deepest of feelings can take years to perfect. Believe it or not, learning about somebody's terminal diagnosis is easier to digest. What makes the situation unbearably difficult is meeting the person and the family members and speaking about the averred future. The following article talks about how you can handle such scenarios where you have to find new, comforting ways to speak about the unspeakable.

Can Words Help in Communicating at Difficult Turns in Life?

It is natural to be confused or come up blank on things to say when someone is dying. When the pain is too deep and close to heart, the fear of not being able to protect or save them becomes overwhelming. It is difficult to deal in times like these when, no matter how much you want or try, you cannot change their destiny. But in all of this, we often times forget to realize one simple fact, the person who is leaving you soon wants you to reach out to them. There are times when people who are about to die may hesitate and not speak of what's truly in their heart and mind. They don't wish to upset their friends and family members, but the main thing to remember is that they need to you, more than ever. So listen to them and try to avoid the talks about life after death. This way, you too will find a way to tell them how much you care.

As you're talking to them, he/she may be your spouse, family member, or friend, you will find yourself opening up in some time. Many times, the reasons we don't know what can we say is because we fight with ourselves to open up. Showing a softer, more comforting side of you is part of knowing what to say. When you free yourself of this, you will see that the words will flow automatically. And when you need to comfort them, besides hugs, let these words be you guiding light.
  • I care about you deeply. I am so sorry. Is there anything I can do for you?
  • You are my best friend and I will never forget you.
  • Your friendship/presence in my life means so much to me. I would not be the person I am today without you.
  • I want you to know that I love you and that you will always be with wherever I may be.
  • Thank you for being such an amazing friend. You had always helped me when I needed a hand. I will never forget that.
As you can see, these examples can be helpful in various situations. If the person who's dying is a spouse, friend, family member, or colleague, you can talk to them accordingly and profess your true feelings. When you need help to convey your feelings, these words can comfort you both.

What Can You Say When Someone's Parent is Dying

We all know that death and dying is a natural course of life. But learning about somebody's parent's terminal illness can bring sorrow nonetheless. It may not be as hard-hitting, but the pain is never little. It is always difficult to find the exact words to say when a friend is in need for some consoling. The important thing to notice here is that when it's a somebody's parent, it would be much better if you did a bit of listening first. At times like these, many family members want to be heard and understood. You could be an escape for them; someone they can come and talk to.

As you listen, you will understand the pain they all must be going through and realize what your role here is rendering comfort. Being a good listener is very handy in such situations. And when you really must have to speak, simply say:
  • My condolences.
  • He/she will be missed deeply.
  • Your mother/father will be our prayers and thoughts.
  • Is there something I can do for you or your mother/father?
  • Do you want to talk about anything? It might be difficult, but we can get through this together.
  • How can I help? I don't want to stand aside and do nothing.
You can start a conversation with the person who's dying, talk about the past and things you two did together. Or perhaps ask for some stories from their past, as a way to remember the wonderful days. Making them feel good about themselves, bringing peace between the two of you, and reassuring them that they have a good soul is the only way to them feel better. Even though fate cannot be changed, but what you can change is the days that lead up to it. This time doesn't have to be a difficult one for either one of you. Make the moments count and see to it that they are at peace with life in their final days.