“It’s the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary.”
― Paulo Coelho


Thank you. Two simple words, yet when used with sincerity, they have a powerful impact.


Have you ever received a simple “thank you” for something you’ve done and perhaps never realized it? Out of the blue, I received a Facebook message from someone I hadn’t seen in years. He thanked me for my role in a youth group at our church. I don’t remember doing anything special other than being there and coordinating activities.


He thanked me because, unbeknownst to me, he was still grieving the loss of his father by suicide years later. He never said a word about it. Our youth group was a support system and extended family to him that showed him acceptance and love.


His message brought me to tears. Two words: Thank you.


When it comes to those who have just lost someone they love, simple words and actions can have huge positive impacts on others.


In an article published on Legacy.com, author Jessica Campbell offered a few simple things you can do or say to offer sympathy and support someone who is grieving:


  • Attend the visitation or funeral, if possible, even if it makes you uncomfortable. During the current coronavirus pandemic, this may not be possible. If the service is streamed online, watch it and follow up with a thoughtful card or note.
  • Lend a helping hand. Help out with grocery shopping, carpooling or other chores.
  • Send flowers. They are always a thoughtful way to honor the deceased.
  • Keep in touch. Send an email or card, or leave a phone message, and let the bereaved know you are thinking of them in the months after. Reach out to the survivors on the deceased’s birthday, holidays like Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, or the anniversary of the death.
  • Reminisce and celebrate the deceased’s life, and share memories, photos and other reminders of the deceased.
  • Listen. What you say is important, but sometimes listening to the bereaved and letting them tell their story is the best thing you can do.


Photo by Irina Anastasiu