Image - speakers and book cover
Image - speakers and book cover

What Do I Say? Condolences for Every Occasion

What do we say to a grieving friend? So often we either freeze and do nothing or blurt a common condolence and come away wondering if we’ve been of any real help.

Join Dana Lacy Amarisa, author of the engaging and insightful book, Condolences Pocket Guide: What to Say and Not to Say to Grievers, in her unique presentation that reveals the source of the gap between what we say and what sad folks need—and the steps for bridging that gap.

Drawing from her personal journey of loss and two decades of studying condolences, Amarisa will guide us through her unique and refreshing three-step approach to offering true help to those who are grieving. Through anecdotes and practical tips, learn the four types of condolences to avoid, discover those in your life who might be experiencing misunderstood losses, and come away with the skills and confidence to offer genuine consolation to a grieving friend.

Dr. Nate Hinerman's unique approaches to research and treatment intermingle both the philosophical and psychological in human suffering, dying, loss, grief, depression, and anxiety. It is just this compassionate, therapeutic rapport and involvement with individuals and community-based education that he brings to the engaging discussion segment of this presentation.

Denise Michaud

A Grownups Member-led Forum program. Forums at the Club are organized and run by volunteer programmers who are members of Commonwealth Club World Affairs, and they cover a diverse range of topics. Learn more about our Forums.

Image - Dana Lacy Amarisa

Dana Lacy Amarisa

Author, Condolences Pocket Guide: What to Say and Not to Say to Grievers; Founder, Be a Bridge Condolences Project (; IG @beabridgecondolences

Image - Nate Hinerman

In Conversation with Nate Hinerman

Ph.D., LMFT, Chair and Professor, Psychology Department, and Dean, Undergraduate Programs, Golden Gate University; Faculty member, University of San Francisco Nursing School and Religious Studies; Chair, San Francisco End of Life Network (