The Best Comfort To Offer Those Who Grieve May Not Be What You Think

Gold Brush Stroke

We will all face it. And most of us fear it. The it is Death.The Promise

Recently I attended my uncle’s visitation and funeral. He was nearly 90 years old and I’m sure he would say he had led a good, full life. A devoted family man and farmer, good health allowed him to continue doing what he loved—milking cattle—well into his 80’s.

As I do at all funerals, I searched for the right words to say to ease the sorrow of his wife, children, and grandchildren.

“I’m so sorry” hardly seems enough.

“You have my sympathy” isn’t any better.

“He’s now in a better place with no suffering,” while the truth, doesn’t reduce the pain of physical separation.

I wanted to take away the pain. To help them hold onto those sweet memories and release the stabbing emptiness. 

So words of sympathy were extended, definitely. Love was demonstrated in hugs and tears and listening ears, of course. Hundreds of people gathered together to celebrate the life of one man. Reliving stories and reviving memories. 

Yet, really, what consolation would stories or memories be if death was an end in itself? What hope would there be in that?

Best Comfort

The sweet truth is, for believers, life doesn’t end with death. Because of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, death is no longer final. It has been defeated.

The sweet truth is, for believers, life doesn't end with death. Share on X

Families will always grieve the physical separation of their loved ones in death. But great comfort is found in knowing that an amazing wedding feast with the Lord awaits those who die in faith!

And even better, one day we will join them!

I imagine I’ll still search for just the right comforting words to say at funerals. I’ll still extend my love and a listening ear to the bereaved. I’ll still miss those family and friends whose life on earth has ended. They are all good and appropriate things.

But the best comfort I can offer is to confidently live out the promise that physical death is not the end for believers—not by a long shot. One day we will see him or her again as King David expressed, “… I will go to him, but he will not return to me” (2 Samuel 12:23).

Gently expressing that beautiful truth of eternal life in our own lives will carry others through the grief of separation and the fear of death.

Gently expressing the beautiful truth of eternal life will carry others through the grief of separation/the fear of death. Share on X

One day, by the grace of God, we will be with our loved ones again. Praise be to God! 

“Now since the children have flesh and blood in common, Jesus also shared in these, so that through His death He might destroy the one holding the power of death—that is, the Devil—and free those who were held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death” (Hebrews 2:14-15).

Reflections: How do you extend your sympathy at funerals? What do you think it looks like to live confidently in the promise of eternal life? 

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By His Grace,


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Julie Sunne

Hello, I'm Julie, an imperfect wife and mother of four. Life in this broken world is not always easy. Yet, joy can be found in each day through the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I find it's easy for our day's blessings to get lost in its happenings. But God's "mercies never end" (Lamentations 3:22) and His "grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

May the posts and pages on this site offer you a measure of peace and encouragement.

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