When trying to give emotional support to someone experiencing the death of a loved one, don't:
- express your gratitude that you aren't going through a similar experience.
- mention that hearing of this death reminds you to check your own health.
- turn to your companion/partner/parent and chide them because they might die of the same thing.
- go into a detailed anecdote about yourself or your family or a friend who died. It it's truly relevant to the grieving person's situation, at least keep your personal story short.
And stuff like that. Keep the focus on the person in need, even if that means simply shutting up and listening.
Part II of this series is here.