After a loss or tragedy, it isn’t easy to know how to proceed. If you’re consoling someone who has been through something painful or traumatic, it’s important to choose your words carefully. Words have the power to offer condolences, comfort, and hope when used thoughtfully.
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One of the most common phrases after a loss is to say you’re sending ‘love and light.’ What exactly does this mean? Though there are many different ways to interpret the meaning behind both ‘love and light,’ this is generally a way to wish someone peace and healing. Though it might not come right away, you’re reminding them of your love as well as wishing them well in the future.
However, wishing someone ‘love and light’ might not always be the right thing to do. Depending on your relationship with them, as well as your specific intentions behind these get-well wishes, you might consider an alternative. In this guide, we’ll share 21 better ways to send ‘love and light’ after a loss or tragedy.
Ways to Send ‘Love and Light’ After a Death
After a loss, it’s not always easy to find the right words to say. You know you can’t fully take away someone’s pain, so you might struggle to say anything at all. Like with all things in life, actions speak louder than words. The actions and sayings below pack a meaningful punch while still sending love and light.
1. “I can’t know how you feel, but please know I am here to help.”
While your words might not get you very far, your actions will. Remind the grieving individual that you can’t understand how they feel, but you’ll always be there to help. Whether you bring a home-cooked meal or help plan the funeral, your actions make a difference.
2. “Holding you and your family are in my heart.”
Grief is an isolating emotion. When you lose someone, it’s normal to feel isolated and separated from your social circle. Break these walls by letting the individual know that you’re thinking of them during their time of need.
3. “My favorite memory of your loved one is…”
A tangible way to send ‘love and light’ is to remind someone of your favorite memory of the deceased. This shows that their loved one is still very much alive in your thoughts and memories, and it carries more weight than you know.
4. “I don’t know what to say, but I want you to know I care.”
If you can’t find the right words to say, it’s perfectly okay. Instead, admit this reality. Share that there are no words to fully express how you feel, but you’ll always be there for them. This is the true meaning behind sending ‘love and light.’
5. “Tell me more about them.”
When someone is experiencing grief, they often feel like nobody wants to talk with them about the deceased. They might not have anyone else to turn to, but talking about their lost loved one is a part of keeping their legacy alive. Encourage them to share with you in a moment of quiet remembrance.
6. “I’m so sorry you have to go through this.”
If you’re not sure what to say, compassion is always the right answer. This kind of phrase might be simple, but it’s meaningful. It shows that you’re sorry that this loss happened to them, and you’re empathizing with what they’re experiencing.
7. “They knew you loved them.”
Another important reminder is to make sure they know that the deceased knew how much they were loved. It’s easy to doubt this in a time of crisis, especially if the death was sudden. Give them this much-needed kindness and be there for them.
8. Send them flowers.
Actions are always more potent than words, so send a beautiful symbol of light and love. A bouquet of flowers to their home or the funeral is an important reminder of life, sympathy, and beauty. This can be accompanied by a heartfelt note or just left on its own.
9. “I’ll never forget them.”
One of the biggest worries after losing a loved one is that others will forget them. In reality, those we lose are carried with us for the rest of our days. Remind the recipient that you’ll never forget their loved one.
10. “Everything you’re feeling is okay.”
When you lose someone, there can be conflicting feelings. Whether the grieving person feels sorrow, pain, guilt, anger, or even relief, this is normal and okay. Give them permission to express their feelings.
Last but not least, just be there for them. Listen to what they have to say, and let them take the lead. This moment is about them, not you.
Ways to Send ‘Love and Light’ After a Tragic Event
Whether you’re interacting with someone in person or writing a condolence email, tragic events are always challenging. It’s normal to want to take action or say something after someone you know goes through a tragedy. Here are ways to send love and light no matter the situation.
12. “Sending you all of the strength today.”
A more straightforward, actionable way to say you’re sending love and light is to let someone know you’re sending them strength. This acknowledges that they’re going through something difficult and that you know they are strong enough to get through it. Everyone needs to feel heard and understood.
13. “This is awful and heartbreaking.”
Though it might be scary, it’s often better to just call it like it is. If a situation stinks or is awful or sucks, say it. There’s no reason to beat around the bush or act like it’s better than it is. Part of supporting someone through grief means helping them understand these situations. Leaving someone feeling validated in their painful feelings can bring a sense of relief and comfort.
14. “You’re not alone.”
Tragedies are often so hard because they make you feel alone. Be that solid foundation in someone’s life—let them know they’re not alone. You’re right there standing beside them, and you’re not going anywhere.
15. “My heart breaks with yours.”
Empathy is a powerful emotion to call upon in times of grief and tragedy. Sitting in the heartbreak with someone and helping them carry this burden helps more than you know. Above all, it’s a reminder that they’re not alone.
16. “You’re doing great. I’m proud of you.”
After a tragedy, every day is harder than the last. Just getting up and functioning on a normal level is hard. Let your loved one know that they’re doing great. You’re proud of them for even getting up in the morning. Admire their strength and show them that you see all they do.
17. Bring a meal.
When in doubt, bring someone a home-cooked meal. After a tragedy, it’s hard to do basic things like cook and clean. Cooking a fresh meal is a simple way to be there for someone, ensuring they have the strength they need during these difficult times.
18. “Can I help you with…?”
Another way to be there for someone after a tragedy is to ask if you can help them with something. While it’s tempting to ask what they need help with, recognize that they might not know how to express what they need.
Instead, offer specific help. For example, “Can I help you with grocery shopping this week?” or “Can I help you look after your kids today?” These gestures make all the difference. It’s all about anticipating their needs and showing up with your actions.
19. Set reminders to be there.
There’s often a large flurry of help and support after a tragedy. It’s in the weeks and months after that the help slowly fades away. This can be a very lonely time. It’s when your loved one needs you, and you can set reminders to check in and be there.
The months after a tragedy are often harder than the immediate days and weeks. This is when the new reality sets in, and your loved one has fewer support systems. Set reminders in your calendar to send a note, help out, and be there.
Tip: Your loved one might not respond to condolences or your outreach if they’re having a rough time. That’s okay. It’s a good idea to give them some space and then set a reminder for a few weeks later. Let them know there’s no need to respond, but you want them to know they’re here.
20. Send a care package.
Whether you’re near or far, a care package is a perfect way to sum up your feelings when trying to send someone love and light. You can purchase a premade care package online or create your own. Choose essentials or luxuries to help them through these next steps. You can include things like toiletries, grocery gift cards, or snacks.
21. “I care about you.”
Last but not least, everyone wants to know they’re loved and cared for. Remind your loved one that you care about them, and that you’ll stand with them through this difficult time. Sometimes the simplest phrases are also the best for these difficult times.
Use Your Words for Good
Your words have more power than you know. They can lift someone up when they need it the most, and they’re capable of much more than just ‘love and light.’ If you’re hoping to send someone kindness and compassion after a loss or tragedy, consider the phrases or actions above.
Lead with your heart when offering sympathy. Cliché phrases can sometimes fall flat, and they do little to help those in need. It’s all about using your words and actions to best support someone in need of comfort and healing.