It is heartbreaking to inform someone of a death. While it is very natural to feel overwhelmed, anxious and stressed about carrying the weight of this news, there are ways to make it easier.

How to Inform Someone of a Death

Be Clear and Concise.  When receiving traumatic news, most people will only hear a few words of what you’re saying. For this reason, use clear and concise language whenever possible. Do not beat around the bush, do not use euphemisms and do not change the subject. Instead, be clear and direct. Tell them that their loved one has died. Answer their questions and stay close by to help them process the information.

Be Compassionate. When you tell someone that a loved one has died, it is important to remember that they might feel distraught. No one is ever prepared to hear that their loved one is gone. Even if their loved one was sick, frail or in hospice, the news of death is still difficult to process. Be compassionate when telling them this difficult news. While it is important to be direct, you can do so in a compassionate and caring way.

Be Present. It is important to tell loved ones the news in person if you can. Choose a location that is free from distractions and have them sit down before breaking the news to them. If you do not live close to them, tell them over the phone rather than in a text or an email. Stay with them and be present emotionally so that they know they are not alone. This can help them cope with the weight of their loss.

Some examples of ways you can inform someone of a death include:

  • Hi (insert family member name). Dad had a stroke last night. He died peacefully in his sleep. I am at the house with mom. We will share the details of the funeral arrangements when we know them, but I’m here if you want to talk.
  • Hi (insert friend name). I just got off the phone and have some distressing news. (The deceased’s name) died in an accident yesterday. We are trying to help the family arrange the services. Let me know if you need anything.

Let Us Help You With Funeral Planning

At Callaghan Mortuary & Livermore Crematory, our funeral professionals are here to give you the support and guidance you need. We start at the very beginning to help make the entire process less overwhelming. This will help you focus on what is truly important while we handle the technical aspects of putting together a service. To learn more about what we do, call us at (925) 660-7098 or fill out our confidential contact form. We are here to help you through this difficult time.