English Conversation: How to Break News of a Relative Passing Away/ Consoling Someone for Personal Loss

Everyday english in 50 days

When you are struck with tragedy and a family member or close relative passes away, you are beset with emotional distress. You don’t feel like talking to anyone and need time to grieve. However, due to societal realities, it becomes important that all close friends and other family members are informed of the deceased on time. God forbid, no one faces such a situation, but it cannot be denied that death is a reality. Consoling someone for their loss is also a herculean task, because you really don’t know what state of mind the person is in and what would be the appropriate words to be said without causing any inadvertent hurt? In such a case, how does the conversation go along?

Nitin: Hello, is this Vishal?

Vishal (a family friend): Hi Nitin, yes Vishal here. How are you?

Nitin: I am okay. However, things are not well.

Vishal: Why, what happened?

Nitin: I have some really sad news to share. Dad passed away last night due to a massive cardiac arrest.  It has been really tough and I don’t know what to do.

Vishal: What! That is really shocking. Just a couple of weeks back he seemed quite fine! How did this happen?

Nitin: We are at a loss ourselves. Last night he complained of severe chest pain and difficulty in breathing. Before we could get him to the hospital, he had passed away. Mum is in shock. Younger sister is inconsolable.

Vishal: Please accept my deepest condolences for your loss. Uncle was such a fabulous person to be with. I can’t even imagine what you are going through. I am coming over soon. Let me know if I can be of any help.

Nitin: Thank you so much Vishal. This has all been so sudden that we can’t even come to terms with this tragedy. Please do me a favor and inform others also. I am finding it quite difficult to talk to so many people.

Vishal: I will certainly do so. You hold on and stay strong. I will be there. Mom and dad are already on their way.

Nitin: Thanks a lot for all the support.

Vishal: God bless you. I will get in touch again. Take care.

Note: Remember, in matters of condolences, keep the discussion brief. A person in sorrow doesn’t have the capability to talk much. Show genuine sympathy and avoid too many intrusive questions.

Want to read more about interesting conversations? Head over to this mega list of conversation articles on Pep Talk.

Everyday english in 50 days

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