"Good manners and soft words have brought many a difficult thing to pass."
-- Sir John Vanbrugh
On Friday, one of our neighbors passed away. He was a wonderful man and is survived by his wife and daughter, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. They've all been in my thoughts all weekend. I've never been very good with death. I'm not sure what to do or say at funerals. I don't know the guidelines for contacting the family or sending cards and flowers. It's been very helpful to have these etiquette books on hand this time. So much is just simple manners and isn't very difficult at all, it turns out. Here is a tip from As a Gentleman Would Say about what to say during times of sadness.
In times of grief, a gentleman is wise to keep his comments simple, honest, and heartfelt.A gentleman should say:"I'm so sorry about your loss. I've been thinking about you a lot."
It is simple, but also strikes me as rather elegant.