How do you break the news of a death in the family?

How do you break the news of a death in the family?

Use plain, simple language, and don’t waffle or bring in unrelated issues as it can cause confusion. In the majority of cases, people who hear bad news will only be able to take in a small amount of what is being said. So validate what they understand has happened, and encourage them to express their feelings.

How do you break the news about someone’s death?

Examples of what to say when someone dies

  1. “I’m afraid that I have some very bad news…”
  2. “…was badly injured. Despite all efforts to save…”
  3. “Unfortunately, I have some bad news to give you.”
  4. “I’m sorry to bring this news to you…”
  5. “This is very difficult for me to say…”

How do you notify relatives of death?

Ask if they would mind calling two to four other members of the family or close friends to let them know of the death in the family. Email: If you want to reach some slightly more distant relatives and other friends of your loved one, email is a good option.

How do you inform relatives and loved ones of a patient’s death?


  1. Introduce yourself by name and role.
  2. Ask who is present in the room and establish what the relatives and loved ones already know.
  3. Explain what has happened and that the patient has died.
  4. Allow time for the information to be taken in.

How does breaking news of death affect relatives?

Breaking news of death can have a significant impact on bereaved relatives if it is not carried out appropriately. This article explores best practice on breaking news of death, and discusses why it is so important for nurses to get it right.

When to break the bad news to the family?

Informing the family members about the sudden death of their loved one is a highly stressful experience for the treating doctors. Breaking the bad news to the bereaved family needs special skill on the part of the clinicians. Unfortunately, there is little guidance on to the approach of this very sensitive matter.[1]

What happens when a relative dies in the hospital?

In the first instance, the relatives will be mentally prepared for the sad news, and the doctors would find it relatively easy to announce such deaths as and when they occur.[4] But, when the death occurs unexpected and suddenly, the relatives find it difficult to cope with the bad news. They can hardly believe the sudden loss of their loved one.

What do relatives need to know when a loved one dies?

Harrahill (1997) said the person breaking news of death should tailor the information to the relatives’ needs and answer their questions. It will be enough for some relatives to simply know that their loved one is dead, others may wish to know details of the events that led to death.