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Thank you for choosing to provide someone you care about with a Lisa's Legacy Kit.  Your gesture of kindness and compassion will likely be highly appreciated by the recipient.  One of the main opportunities the Kit provides you with is an opportunity to open a conversation with the person who is dealing with a loss.  However, knowing what to say can be a barrier for many people.  Below are some suggestions on how to discuss loss with someone. 
To Say or Not to Say?

Dr. Alan Wolfelt of the Center for Loss and Life Transition in Ft. Collins,
Colorado makes a distinction between grief and mourning:

“Grief describes the internal thoughts and feelings we experience when
someone we love dies.  Mourning, on the other hand, is taking the
internal experience of grief and expressing it outside ourselves.”

The Lisa’s Legacy Kit is designed to be an aid in helping the grieving person to
mourn.  While the items in the kit are practical or comforting, the kit is a
reason…a purpose…to call on a person or family who is grieving.   It is
relatively easy to say “I have a gift bag for you that I’d like to bring over”. 


When delivering the Lisa’s Legacy Kit, take the time to visit with the one who is grieving.  Have a compassionate conversation with them about their loved one.  You will be helping them to begin their healing journey by letting them safely express their grief.  That’s a very important aspect of healing and it is one of the best gifts that you can give to them!


If you are hesitant or unsure of what to say or talk about here are some suggestions for what you can say and some that you may want to avoid.

Things to say:
  • I’m so sorry.

  • I’m thinking of you.

  • I have been thinking about you a lot (and you have been in my prayers).

  • If you knew the person who died, tell their family about what you remember about the deceased.  Or tell them an anecdotal story about you and the loved one.

  • What are you missing the most about ____________?

  • What were _______________’s favorite holidays?  What did he/she enjoy the most about that holiday?

  • I can see that _______________ was so loved by this family.

  • Do you have pictures that we can look at?

  • I’d like to make dinner for you one day this week.  Which day works best for you?

  • I’d like to take the kids, do yard work, clean etc.  Which day works best for you?


Upon the death of a Spouse/significant other:

  • How did you two meet?

  • Where were you married and where did you honeymoon?

  • What were your favorite things to do together?

  • What were your favorite places to go?

  • Did you have any nicknames or pet names for _______________?


Upon the death of a Child:

  • What was ________________ like when he/she was little?

  • What did ______________ to do when he/she wasn’t in school?

  • Did you take family vacations?  What were some of the best ones?

  • Did ____________ have favorite toys or things to play with?

  • Was ___________ involved in any sports?

  • Did you have any nicknames or pet names for ______________?


Upon the death of a Parent:

  • What do you miss the most about them?

  • What did you learn from them?

  • What was your best vacation with them?

  • What was a memorable holiday with them?

  • Do you have any family rituals or special things that you did together?

  • Did they ever embarrass you?


Suggestions for things to avoid saying:

  • Anything that presumes to know what God thinks or says such as:

    • This is God’s will.

    • This is God’s plan.

    • Where God closes a door, He opens a window.

    • God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.

  • You have other children.

  • Hang in there.  You’ll get over this.

  • Other people need you.

  • Are you going to keep those pictures and mementos up much longer?  They’re keeping you from getting over it.

  • Are you going to stay in this house?

  • What are you going to do with their furniture?

  • Isn’t it about time that you get over this death?

  • I know how you feel.


Things to do:

  • Sit quietly with them. 

  • Allow them to cry. 

  • Listen to them tell the story of their loved one.

  • Offer to do their laundry---at least the bedding.

  • Make freezer meals or crock pot “dump” meals.

  • Take them out for a meal or a cup of coffee.

  • Give them a gift card for a massage or a pedicure.

  • Accompany them on errands.

  • Call when you’re at a store (grocery, pharmacy, or large discount store) saying “I’m at _________.  What can I get for you?

  • Encourage them to express their grief through the arts by a means that you think that they might want to do, such as writing, painting, music, talking with others

Helpful Information:

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