Seven Ways to Safely Express Your Sympathy during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Gentleman staying connected with friends and family over Zoom.

When we are unable to mourn together in person, how can we still offer comfort?

During the coronavirus pandemic, large funeral gatherings have shifted to small private services limited to immediate family members. We are all struggling with the challenges of the current health crisis but those who have just lost a loved one need extra support. Here are some ways you can safely express your sympathies and show your concern for family and friends who are mourning a loss.

Reach out regularly.

In the first week after the passing, check-in several times with the bereaved. If they are inconsolable, you may want to contact them daily. If they seem to be coping with the situation, checking back periodically is in order. You can create a stronger connection by calling instead of texting. Better yet, if you are able to do so, use a video platform like FaceTime or Skype to create a powerful visual connection that is not possible through audio alone.

Share a virtual memorial tribute.

Most funeral homes now offer online memorials where visitors can express condolences, share fond memories, upload images, light a virtual memorial candle, and more. These sites provide an enduring way to pay tribute to the one who has passed on and are a source of great comfort to those who are mourning the loss.

Send a sympathy card.

The U.S. mail is still running these days, so you can send a traditional condolence card to someone who’s grieving. If you have access to a computer, you can choose a card from Legacy’s online collection of sympathy greetings, type in personal note, and the recipient’s mailing address, and it will be sent directly to them.

Visit the grave.

Just because you are unable to participate in the burial service, it does not mean that you can’t still go to the cemetery. At a later date, visit the gravesite on your own to pay your respects. This loving gesture can be a source of great comfort for yourself as well as for the family of the person who has passed on.

Send a plant or floral arrangement.

Flowers and plants are a source of happiness that can reduce anxiety and promote a sense of well-being. As an added benefit, live plants also help to purify the air.

Deliver some food.

Does your friend have a favorite restaurant? Find out what type of meal he or she prefers and have it delivered. Or, when you go grocery shopping, buy some prepared dinners, bags of fruit, or other tasty treats and drop them off. If you are considering sending sympathy food, it’s always best to check with the recipients first. They may already be overwhelmed with food, or there could be food allergies and/or dietary restrictions to consider.

Take a walk together—at a safe distance.

Exercise is important to our mental and physical health at any time, but it’s especially vital during times of grief. If you live nearby, offer to go for a walk with your friend. Be sure to keep the appropriate social distance and consider wearing a mask as an added precaution.

If you have questions or need guidance regarding how you can show your support for someone who is grieving, the compassionate professionals at Evan W. Smith Funeral Services are here for you. Please reach out to our caring funeral directors anytime.

About Evan W. Smith Funeral Services: Since 2009, residents of Wilmington, Dover, and the surrounding Delaware community have relied on the caring staff at Evan W. Smith Funeral Services to help them through their darkest hours. Family-owned and operated, the company offers an array of elite funeral care services, including traditional funerals, cremations, memorials, pre-planning and more. With decades of experience in caring for families from all cultural backgrounds and diverse walks of life, Evan W. Smith Funeral Services is committed to creating memorable, uplifting experiences that always exceed expectations. For more information, please visit

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