Bereavement Verses

Julie Kirk
Contributor: Mary Beth Adomaitis
Woman writing in journal at patio table

If you are looking for the right thing to say to someone after the loss of a loved one, there are many bereavement verses, both religious and traditional, that can be used to help ease his or her pain. There are many options to choose from that will ideally express your thoughts and feelings.

About Bereavement Verses

Condolence sayings, quotes or verses don't need to be complex. Of course, it is best if you speak straight from your heart. But finding the right words to say can be difficult, especially if you have never experienced the loss of someone close. If you choose a sympathy greeting card with a pre-printed bereavement verse, you should always add your own sentiment.

Verses to Use

Your bereavement verse should express your sentiments and reflect your feelings:

  • I am deeply sorry about the loss of him/her. My thoughts are with you and please know that I am here if you need anything.
  • While there are no words to say, please know I am always here for you.
  • My heart goes out to you. I wish you comfort and peace as you honor and remember him/her.
  • May you treasure the wonderful times that you shared with him/her and take comfort in those memories.
  • May your memories give you strength during this difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
  • Let the memories of the times you shared with him/her give you peace and comfort.
  • May there be comfort in knowing that someone so special will never be forgotten.
  • May the love of those around you help you through the days ahead.
  • Words will do little to ease the pain, but please know that I am thinking of you during this time.
  • Thinking of you as you celebrate his/her's remarkable life.
  • Holding you close in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
  • He/She was an amazing man/woman, I feel privileged to have known him/her.

Religious Verses

Using a religious quote or verse in a condolence card or letter after someone dies is acceptable. It is only considered inappropriate if the family to whom you are sending the sentiment is atheist or of a culture that does not believe in God or heaven. The following are websites from which you can choose a religious sympathy verse:

  • Heavens Inspirations offers a variety of free sympathy verses with a Christian sentiment for private use. Check the site's "Terms of Use" before publishing them on the internet. The following is an example: " I know right now at your time of grief it's hard to understand, so I pray that you will find some comfort under God's loving hand."
  • What Christians Want to Know quotes quite a few Bible passages about death and eternal life. One example is Matthew 5:4: "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted… " (Jesus' words)

Traditional Verses

If you prefer not to use religious verses, here are some websites that offer traditional and original bereavement quotes:

  • Inspirational-Word-Phrases has a wonderful collection of condolence verses. Authors include Emily Dickinson and George Eliot. An example: "Those we love don't go away, They walk beside us every day, Unseen, unheard, but always near, Still loved, still missed and always dear."
    --Unknown
  • Funeral Zone has a nice collection of funeral verses as well. The following is one example: "Life can never stay the same, No matter how we try, Our hands can never stop, The clock of life from ticking by, But love remains, unchanging, In the care of sorrowing hearts, For as the love of life is stilled, The love of memory starts."
Woman at cafe writing

Bereavement Verses for Funeral Thank You Notes

Traditionally, thank you notes are sent by the deceased person's family following a funeral or burial. However, finding the right words to thank individuals for their generosity during this difficult time may be a daunting task. Here are a couple websites that have sample thank you notes available for use:

  • My Thank You Site offers thank you note samples for various situations. The following is an all-purpose bereavement thank you note sample: "Thank you for your thoughtfulness. Your generosity and support during this difficult time are greatly appreciated."
  • At More Thank You Notes, there are many bereavement thank you note samples to choose from. The following is a sample, but you have the option to personalize it if you'd like: "We are forever grateful for your kind words and sweet gestures during our time of need. Your presence at (he or she's) funeral and reception gave us a great measure of comfort and peace. Thank you for your spirit of generosity. May God bless you."

Again, it's not how much you say, but what you say. For the family of a deceased person, a simple "thank you" is sufficient. However, if you feel the task of thanking everyone for their help and generosity to too overwhelming, enlist the help of another family member or friend.

Short Bereavement Verses

Keeping your written sentiments short is acceptable as well. A couple of reasons you may want to keep your message short is that your card may have expressed most of what you wanted to say or maybe you did not know the deceased very well. Whatever the reason, you can still come across warm and caring even though your sentiments are brief. A few examples:

  • He/She will remain in our hearts forever.
  • He/She will be in our hearts and memories.
  • "I am so sorry for your loss."
  • "I am going to miss him/her, too."
  • "I hope you feel surrounded by much love."
  • "Sharing in your sadness as you remember him/her."
  • "With deepest sympathy as you remember him/her."

Verses You Shouldn't Use

Even though you would never purposely say something insensitive to someone who is dealing with the loss of a loved one, the wrong words can slip out at the worst time. So it's best to be cautious and considerate because saying the wrong thing can sit badly with a bereaved person or family. For example:

  • "He/She is in a better place."
  • "He/She was so young."
  • "He/She is not suffering anymore."
  • "I know how you feel." "I understand your grief." (It would actually be hard to know since loss is felt differently by everyone.)
  • "Everything happens for a reason."
  • "God won't give you more than you can handle."
  • "What a terrible loss."
  • "Are you feeling better yet?"
  • "How are you holding up?"

Words of Comfort

Your words are meant to bring comfort to those experiencing the loss of a loved one. Regardless, if you write a condolence paragraph or keep your condolences short, just make sure your sentiments are sincere and meaningful. The most important thing you want to convey at this time is that you truly care.

Bereavement Verses