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Ways Funeral Directors Can Support A Grieving Person

Funeral directors need to know what grief is and how it works before they start trying to support someone. The following guide explains the background of grief and important things to say.

It’s not an easy task having to talk to someone you love about the grief that they’re experiencing with the death of a loved one. It’s even harder to talk to a stranger about the subject. That is why it is essential that funeral directors know the appropriate ways to help others go through grief, loss, and bereavement. The following guide is meant to help professionals in this field learn how to provide comfort and lessen the responsibility of taking away an individuals pain. 

There are a few important things that you need to know about grief before you try and fix it. Losing someone you love is one of the hardest things that people experience in life. Emotions that people have range from a long list of frightening feelings. They may be initially depressed which can turn into a deep seeded anger if not expressed appropriately. Sometimes people even feel guilty that they couldn’t help the person get better. This is most often the case when the person died from cancer. Other times people feel like they are isolated and alone in the world. All of these feelings are natural and as funeral directors see this on a daily basis, they need to learn to make it feel natural to handle. 

To fully understand grief there are a few rules you must always remember. There is no one correct way to handle sadness. You must never tell people that they are handling it in the wrong way because that just pushes them further into depression. Second, as one of many funeral directors, you must know that people may experience extreme moments. 25% of professionals report that they have gone to meetings where clients have busted out sobbing. The last thing you must know is that there is no clear time period in which the grief will go away.

Things Funeral Directors Should Say to A Grieving Person

  1. Acknowledge the situation in front of you. Don’t try to ignore or pretend that the client is going through a tough situation. Repeat back what they say and make sure it seems like you are listening.

  2. Show that you are concerned with their feelings. There is a huge difference between being sympathetic and empathetic. The first means that you feel bad for them. The second means that you can understand.

  3. Be genuine in your response. Don’t try to fake like your overly concerned but show passion in the way that you respond. 

It’s important that funeral directors never show feelings of discomfort when meeting with a client who’s going through grief. In a 2009 survey conducted by the Therapists of America, 30% of people felt like relationships were lost because others didn’t know how to talk to them after they lost a loved one. If you read the following guide carefully and remember all of the tips, you will be one step closer to being the best caring person out there in this field. You don’t have to have all the right answers but you do need to show understanding.


Ben Yeargood is a business consultant for one of the top 5 life insurance providers. He has recently started blogging and lecturing on the topics of life insurance, funeral plans and pension funds.


Mimi Rothschild

Mimi Rothschild is the Founder and CEO of the Global Grief Institute which provides Certification training programs forGrief Coach, Trauma Coach, End of Life Coach, and Children's Grief Coach. She is a survivor who has buried 3 of her children and her husband of 33 years. She is available for speaking engagements and comments to the press on any issue surrounding thriving after catastrophic loss. MEDIA INQUIRIES:

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