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Saying Sorry

This website has been dedicated to all those who need support, comfort and compassion after an accident in which a life has been lost. It's a place where those who visit understand the complex emotions that accompany an accidental death.

One of the more difficult areas to navigate after the accident is knowing how and when to say sorry to the family and friends of the person who has died, who are themselves in deep despair and grief.  

The person who died may have been a stranger, a friend or someone who was also deeply loved by the person who caused the accident.

How do you say sorry?

Saying sorry and writing the words to say you are sorry may be one of the most difficult things that you will have to face in the aftermath of an accident. You may need to reach out for support with this. 

Making that first phone call or face to face visit will require courage and bravery. You may want to take someone you trust with you for support.

Follow up the spoken word by writing a note to those affected, expressing your deep sadness and regret. Your words may feel inadequate.  A brief note may be better than a long explanation. It may be appropriate just to say "I'm so, so, sorry, from the depths of my soul."

Seeking advice from a family member, therapist, friend or even your lawyer may be wise to help you find the right words to write in a note.

 

A family grieving may not respond in the way you would like. They are experiencing deep grief and trauma from a death that was completely unexpected and sudden. There may be feelings of blame and anger. There may be feelings of compassion for you. These feelings will likely change as the days, months and years go by.

Follow-up messages on anniversaries, for example, could provide comfort to the family and loved ones of the person who has died. Acknowledging the life lost and the on-going grief surrounding the loss will likely provide comfort as time goes on.

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