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Cómo comunicar un fallecimiento

How to announce someone has died: steps and useful advice

It is never easy to announce the death of a person, even if you have past experience of doing so. The process is emotionally challenging for both the person receiving the news and the person having to convey it, so having a clear understanding of how to approach this type of conversation can help to ease the grief and distress for both parties.

If you are looking for ways to communicate the death of a person, you will be comforted to know that there are certain steps, examples and useful tips on how to do this in the best possible way.

The importance of announcing a death in the proper way

It is essential to know how to report the death of a loved one in a suitable way in order to avoid misunderstandings and to be able to offer the necessary support at a time of such great distress.

To begin with, it is important to use clear and respectful language, avoiding euphemisms that may cause confusion, and choosing a tone that is both compassionate and direct. Furthermore, when looking at how to break the news of a death, it is also important to know how to choose the most appropriate time and place to do it.

It is not just about giving the bad news, but also about providing emotional support during the conversation. You need to provide a safe space for emotions to flow, as this can be of great comfort to those affected.

How to announce someone has died? Steps to follow

Knowing which steps to take when announcing someone has passed away provides reassurance at an extremely sensitive time. Being clear on how to proceed can help you to handle the situation more calmly, thus reducing the stress associated with this task.

Identify the people who need to be informed

When considering how to announce the death of a person, one of the first steps should be to make a list of the people who need to be informed of the death. This includes close family members, close friends and anyone else important in the life of the deceased. Undoubtedly, communicating the death of a family member to so many people is one of the most emotionally challenging processes a person can face in life.

In some cases it is also necessary to inform employers or academic institutions.

Select the best means of communication to break the news

The method of communicating the death should be chosen carefully. Whenever possible, it is always better to give the news in person in order to offer more direct support. However, in other cases, a phone call or video call may be the only option. 

Except as a last resort, you should not aim to communicate the death of someone by WhatsApp or other social networks, as these are cold means of communication and it is impossible to know in what state the recipient of the message will receive such bad news.

How should you announce in writing that someone has died? In this situation, it is best to be brief and direct. You should invite the recipient to have a phone conversation or a personal meeting where you can elaborate on the details and offer the emotional support that they may need.

Word the message carefully

The message should be clear and direct, so writing it out in advance can be a great help. Express the news with simple and respectful words, making sure to provide the necessary details such as the cause of death or funeral information if it is available.

In addition, try to maintain an empathetic and approachable tone, trying to anticipate at all times the emotional impact that the news may have on the recipient.

Phrases and examples of how to announce a death

Even though the use of set phrases is not usually the most comforting, there are certain phrases for communicating the death of a family member that can be personalised to deliver the news as tactfully as possible.


  • “Sadly, I must inform you that [name of deceased] has passed away. He/she was an amazing person and his/her absence will be deeply felt by everyone”.
  • “It is with great sadness that I inform you that [name of deceased] is no longer with us. He/she will always be remembered for his/her love and kindness”.
  • “It pains me very much to tell you that [name of deceased] has left us. His/her memory will always live in our hearts”.
  • “Today we have to say goodbye to [name of deceased]. I am here for whatever support you need”.
  • “It's hard to share this news, but [name of deceased] passed away yesterday. I know this is a terrible shock, but I'm here to support you in whatever you need”.

Advice for communicating the death of someone to children and adolescents

Dealing with how to communicate the death of someone to children and adolescents is one of the most challenging things a person may have to do, as it is a process that requires special sensitivity. It is essential to take into account both the age and maturity of the child and the relationship you have with them, as well as the following advice:


  • Be honest and clear, avoiding using euphemisms such as ‘he/she went to sleep’ or ‘he/she has gone to heaven’. Explain that the person has passed away and will no longer be with us in the physical sense, although he or she will still be with us in our memory.
  • Adapt the information to their age.
  • Encourage children to talk about their feelings and let them know that it is normal to be sad, angry or confused.
  • Provide continuous support and surround the child with love so that they feel they have the backing of an adult in everything they need.

If you need it, at Stelae we can help you find the most appropriate words in each case.