Words of Sympathy

The first time you see or talk to someone after they've lost a loved one isn't easy for either of you. And while your friend isn't expecting you to have the perfect words to magically relieve her sadness, you still want to say the right thing. You're usually safe if you keep it simple and heartfelt, but even the most well-meaning people might have a verbal misstep when they mean to comfort. Here are some phrases to avoid-and some sympathetic alternatives.