I had the distinct non-pleasure last week of informing my family here in Bahrain that my grandmother had passed away. I was the first to find out from our family in Bahrain, so I had to inform everyone. Let me tell you, it was not pleasant.
There is of course no right or wrong way to tell someone. I did the best I could, and have these thoughts to share:
You have to get over it first. When you tell the other person be cool, calm and collected. If you’re not composed yet, wait until you are, then tell the other person. You have to be strong for them.
Get to the point quickly
Don’t let there be a long intro. It makes the other person really anxious. Give the bad news in the first few seconds. They deserve to know.
Explain when and how
The usual question people ask after getting the bad news is “when?”, and/or “how?” I suggest you just say exactly what happened.
Don’t try to make it better
I would avoid saying things like “it was a quick death”, or “he/she lived a long and happy life.” You can say this later, once the news has sunk in and people have a chance to reflect, but not when they are in the shock of the moment.
Like I said, there’s no right way of doing this, these are my suggestions, for what they are worth.
Talk to you soon.