I never know what to say/write in Chinese when a friend tells me that one of their relatives or friends has passed away. I'm aware of the terms of politeness for referring to the death itself:
- Politeness in referring to a recent death
- What is the polite way to say a grandparent has passed away?
But I don't know what to say to the person who has just told me that someone they know just died. It is hard enough in English to know what to say, but I might say something like "Oh, I'm really sorry to hear that." or "I'm sorry for your loss." What can I say in Chinese that will be comforting, culturally appropriate, and won't sound trite?
I'd like to know for both the situation of a very close friend/relative dying and also for a more distant friend/relative dying. I assume one might say different things depending on how close they were.
Recent example of a more distant relative passing away:
- Friend: "我们去【某地方】参加我四舅的葬礼去了，明天晚上十点左右才回来。谅！" (We had originally planned to meet the next day.)
- Me: ?