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Compassionate Words to Say to Someone Who Lost a Child

Gabrielle Applebury
consoling friend who lost a child

It can feel extremely difficult to come up with what to say to someone who lost a child. Understanding what's appropriate to say and what not to say to a grieving parent can help you find the right words to support them.

What to Say to Someone Who Lost a Child

If your friend or family member recently lost a child:

  • Offer genuine support: "I love you and am here for you."
  • Acknowledge when you don't know what to say: "I don't have words to fully express just how sorry I am to hear about your loss."
  • Be there for them: "I'm here for you if you ever want to talk."
  • Offer continuous support: "May I call or text to check in with you later?"
  • Offer practical help: "May I bring by some dinner for you tonight?"

What Do You Say to Someone Who Lost Their Son?

Examples of sympathy messages for the loss of a son:

  • Your son had such an incredible soul, and words can't describe how unfair this is. I am here for you at any time, day or night.
  • Your son was absolutely incredible, and I feel so grateful to have met him. I love you so much and am here to support you. May I check in with you later today to see if you need anything?
  • Words can't describe how much I feel for you. Know that I am here for you during this time. If you're comfortable with me doing so, may I drop off some dinner for you this week?

What Do You Say to Someone Who Lost Their Daughter?

Examples of sympathy messages for someone who lost their daughter:

  • Your daughter had the most incredible spirit and will be greatly missed by all who knew her. Know that I am here for you if you ever want to talk. I love you. May I check in with you later?
  • Your daughter was incredibly special and I feel so lucky to have known her. I love you so much and am available to help with anything you need at any point. If you're okay with it, may I bring over some groceries for you?
  • I feel so honored to have known your daughter. I am here for you during this time and would like to help out in any way possible.

What Do You Say to Someone Who Lost Their Baby?

If your friend or family member lost a baby, you can say:

  • I am beyond sorry to hear of the loss of (insert deceased baby's name). I want to help in any way you'd like. Let me know if you're comfortable with me coming over and helping out with laundry or any other chores you have. I love you so much.
  • I'm here for you and thinking of you. What would be most helpful for you? May I bring over some groceries for you later, or help watch (insert names of any other children and/or pets)? I'd love to give you a little breather if possible.
  • While I can't say anything to take away what you may be feeling, know that I love you so much and will be here for you at any time. May I call or text to check in with you later?

What to Say to Someone Who Lost a Child to Drugs

If your friend or family member had a child pass away due to drug related reasons, you can say:

  • I was beyond saddened to hear of the loss of (insert child's name). I just wanted to check in and see how you are doing today. Know that I am thinking of you and am here for you if you want to talk.
  • I am truly so sorry to hear of your loss. I am here to support you during this time. Would you be okay with me dropping off some dinner for you this week?
Worried woman

What to Say to Someone Who Lost a Child Suddenly

If your friend or family member lost a child suddenly, you can consider saying:

  • Words cannot express how wholeheartedly devastated I am to hear of the loss of (insert child's name). Know that I will be here for you for anything you need. Are there some ways I can help you simplify your to-do list so you can take some time for yourself?
  • I am so, so sorry to hear of the loss of (insert child's name). I love you so much and am here to support you. May I help you out with groceries, pet care, chores? Please let me know- I truly am available at any time to help you.

What Do You Write in a Sympathy Card for Someone Who Lost a Child?

Sending a sympathy card to a parent or parents who have lost a child is a thoughtful gesture. You can consider:

  • Sending your condolences: "I am so sorry to hear of the loss of (insert child's name).
  • Offering a short anecdote or observation: "(Insert child's name) had such a beautiful soul and I feel so lucky to have spent time with them."
  • Offering support: "I am here for you and am thinking of you."
  • Signing off in a considerate way: "Sending all of my love."

What Not to Say to a Grieving Parent

In general, it's best to avoid:

  • Making your connection about you: "I lost a loved one too."
  • Assuming you understand what they are experiencing: "I totally get how you feel."
  • Isolating them: "I can't imagine what you're going through right now."
  • Bringing up anything religious unless they have shared their beliefs openly with you: "This was all in God's plan."
  • Offering unsolicited advice: "You should..."

What to Say to Someone Who Lost a Family Member

If you know someone who lost a family member, offer genuine condolences, check in with them, and offer to help out with anything they may need if you're able to. You may choose to send a sympathy card, a gift, or call or text them to connect.

Words of Comfort for the Loss of a Child

While it may feel difficult to come up with what to say to a grieving parent, know that your heartfelt message may be incredibly meaningful for the parent or parents receiving it.

Compassionate Words to Say to Someone Who Lost a Child