Expressing Condolences: 200+ Messages That Get It Right

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If you're not sure what to say when sending condolences, you aren't alone. Many people struggle to express their support when a friend or acquaintance is grieving. The key to offering heartfelt condolence messages is focusing on the person who will be receiving your comfort, whether you're sending a condolence text, writing a card, making a phone call, or seeing them in person. Offering condolences is one of the most delicate and also the most important social interactions you can have with someone, but these examples will help you know what to say when someone needs you the most.

Expressing Condolences in Person

If you're attending a funeral or memorial service or if you're visiting a friend who has recently experienced a loss, you need to be able to offer your condolences in person. It's important that you take a moment to think about the person in front of you as you do this, not just this person's relationship with the deceased. When someone dies, people can feel unmoored by grief. They can lose track of themselves. Your goal in offering in-person condolences is to acknowledge this person in front of you during this incredibly difficult time in their life.

What to Say to Close Friends and Family

If you know someone very well, your support is going to be instrumental in helping them through this difficult time. If it feels appropriate, offer a hug or a touch on the arm. Use the person's name and make eye contact as you speak. You can mention the person's relationship with the deceased if you want, but you can also keep it more general. Try a version of one of these condolence messages:

  • "I love you, Aunt Joan. I know this is incredibly difficult. I'm here in any way you need."
  • "You're a strong, amazing friend, Sarah. I know this isn't easy. Please know I'm here."
  • "Aaron, you're amazing, and your dad was really proud of you. This is such a hard time. I'm here."
  • "I love you, Ella, and I know your grandma did, too. It's really hard to lose someone special."
  • "Stan, your mom was an incredible person, and you are too. I know you're hurting right now. Please know I'm here if you need me."
  • "Sally, you are a good friend. I'm so sorry you're going through this. I'm here."
  • "Emma, I know how hard this must be. You're incredibly strong, but if you need any help at all, I'm here."
  • "Zara, your dad was amazing, and he was so proud of you. I'm so sorry."
  • "Samantha, you have been such a comfort to your mom over these last few months. I'm so sorry for your loss."
  • "I didn't know your dad, Eric, but he must have been incredible to have raised you. I'm so sorry."
  • "Uncle Sam, your relationship with Aunt Judith was such an inspiration to everyone who knew you. I'm here if I can help in any way."
  • "Mike, you were such a good friend to Steve. He spoke about you often. Please let me know if I can help."

What to Say to Acquaintances and Co-Workers

If you're attending a funeral or memorial service of someone you knew but don't know the surviving family very well, you can offer meaningful condolences that show you cared about the person who has died. Keep your introduction brief and focus on the deceased's connection to those who are left behind.

  • "I worked with your dad. He was an amazing person, and I know he was really proud of you."
  • "Jim, your grandpa bragged about you all the time. I'm so sorry you're going through this right now."
  • "I knew your grandma from church, and she was always showing me photos of you. I know she loved you very much. I'm sorry you're missing her now."
  • "Your mom kept so many photos of you on her desk at work, and she loved sharing details about you with us. You meant so much to her. I'm really sorry for your loss."
  • "I bowled with your husband for the past ten years, and he always made us laugh so hard. We're really going to miss him. I'm so sorry for your loss."
  • "Everyone at work loved hearing your mom's stories about the grandkids. Her family was so important to her. We were really sorry to hear about her passing."
  • "Even though we've never met, Sam said such beautiful things about you. You were clearly the love of his life. I'm so sorry for your loss."
  • "Sally loved to tell the story of how you met, and her face just lit up when she talked about you. I'm so sorry."
  • "On my first day at work, your dad was bragging to everyone about how you got into the University of Michigan. He was so proud of you. If there's anything I can do to help, please let me know."
  • "I worked nights at the care center where your grandpa lived, and he and I used to sit and chat sometimes. You were his favorite subject to talk about, and I know he loved you so much. I'm so sorry for your loss."
  • "Your uncle was in my camera club, and he loved showing photos he took of you and your siblings. His family was so important to him. I'm really sorry for your loss."
  • "I volunteered with your mom at the food bank, and she was such a caring woman. She loved talking about you and your brother. I'm so sorry."

Offering Condolences by Phone

A phone call is another good way to offer condolences and show you care. Talking on the phone to someone grieving the loss of a loved one will depend on how well you know the person. In general, you should keep the conversation short and take your cues from the person you're calling. Often, you'll find you may need to leave a message, since the person may not be picking up calls.

What to Say to Good Friends and Family

Calling a good friend or family member is an excellent way to show your support, especially if you don't live nearby or if you want to let them know you're thinking of them immediately after the loss. Your call can be an offer to listen or an immediate offer of support with funeral arrangements or anything else. Here are some phone condolence examples for different situations, including the loss of a spouse, a parent, and a friend:

  • "Hi, Uncle Steve. I just wanted to call to tell you how sorry Sarah and I were to hear about Aunt Jane's passing. We'd like to take care of making a photo slideshow for her memorial. Would that be okay?"
  • "Hi, Jim. I was so sad to hear about Linda's passing. I know what a comfort you were to her during this time. I just wanted to let you know I'm here if you'd like to talk."
  • "Hi, Ellen. I was so sorry to hear about your dad. I know this is a really hard time, and Emily and I were thinking we could help out with the kids this week while you're planning the memorial service."
  • "Hi, Erick. I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. I just wanted to call and let you know I'm thinking of you. How are you holding up?"
  • "Hi, Mike. I heard about Tracy, and I just wanted to give you a call. You did such an incredible job caring for her during the past few months, and I know this is such a hard time for you. How are you doing?"
  • "Hi, Skylar. I heard about your mom, and I wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you. Can we drop off dinner on Tuesday?"

What to Say to Acquaintances and Colleagues

In many cases, you'll be leaving a message for people you don't know especially well. Keep your condolences short and meaningful, and keep offers of help specific. Here are some example phone condolences:

  • "Hi, Jeff. I knew your mom from church, and I was really sorry to hear about her passing. She spoke of you so often. Could I drop off some lasagna on Tuesday?"
  • "Hi, Emily. I work with Brandon, and I just wanted to let you know everyone here at the office is thinking of you and the kids. Can we help with the flower arrangements for the funeral?"
  • "Hi, Mr. Smith. I heard about your daughter, and I wanted to offer my condolences. We'd like to put together a scholarship fund in her name if that's okay with you."
  • "Hi, Evan. I work with your dad, and I just feel so lucky I got to know him. I just wanted to call to offer my condolences. If you need any help with anything involving his work, please don't hesitate to reach out."
  • "Hi, Eleanor. I just wanted to call to tell you how sorry I was to hear about your husband. Would it be okay if we donated to a charity in his name?"
  • "Hi, Eric. I taught school with your dad for twenty years, and he talked about you all the time. My wife and I were wondering if we could drop off a meal for you and your mom next week. Would Tuesday be okay?"

Sending Your Condolences by Text

Knowing what to say in a sympathy text can be challenging, since texting can easily feel impersonal. However, it's also a really good way to immediately show how much you care, and it doesn't require the other person to respond in detail.

Sending Your Condolences by Text

What to Text Grieving Friends and Family

A condolence text shows you're thinking of the person you care about and offering support in the moment of their loss. In general, you should follow your text up with a sympathy card, flowers, or attending the funeral. Here are some example condolence texts you could use:

  • "I'm so sorry to hear about your mom passing. I'm thinking of you right now, and I'll be in touch in the coming days. Please reach out if you need anything at all."
  • "I'm saddened to hear about your brother. I know this is an incredibly difficult time, so please know I'm here to help in any way I can."
  • "I'm so sorry, Erin. My mom just told me the news. Please know I'm thinking of you."
  • "I'm so sorry to hear about Uncle Phil. He was such a funny, wonderful guy. Please let me know if I can do anything to help with the memorial."
  • "I'm thinking of you today, my friend. This is an incredibly hard time. Call me anytime you want to talk."
  • "I'm so sorry to hear about your sister, my friend. I can't even imagine what a difficult time this is. I'll be checking in soon, but please reach out if you need anything at all or just want to talk."
  • "Oh, Sara. I'm so sorry to hear about Steve. Please know I'm thinking of you and will be checking in soon. You guys were an inspiration, and I want to help in any way I can."
  • "Callie, I'm so sorry about your dad. My mom just told me. He was such a wonderful guy, and I can't even begin to describe how much we're all going to miss him. I'll be checking in, but please, please call if there's anything you need."
  • "Lewis, I heard about Shirly's passing, and I just wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you. You guys had an amazing relationship. Please let me know if I can help with planning or anything else."
  • "Grandma, I just heard about Fluffy. I'm so sorry. I'm thinking of you, and I'll give you a call in a day or two. I love you."
  • "Caleb, I want you to know I'm thinking about you today. I'm so sorry about Steve's passing. I'll be checking in, but don't hesitate to ask if you need anything at all."
  • "I'm sorry about your grandma. She loved you so much, and I know this is a really difficult time. I'll be checking in, but give me a call if there's anything I can do."

What to Text Grieving Acquaintances and Co-Workers

If you don't know someone well but want to show you're thinking of them during a time of loss, a condolence text can be a good option. Keep it brief, and follow up with a card or flowers. Here are some example sympathy texts to get you started:

  • "I was so sorry to hear about your mom. I'm thinking of you during this difficult time."
  • "I just wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you during this time. If there's anything at all I can do, please don't hesitate to ask."
  • "We're all thinking of you today. Please take all the time you need to grieve. We'll check in in the next few days."
  • "I was so sorry to hear about Mittens. We'll miss having him around the office. Please know everyone is thinking of you."
  • "I can't image how it feels to lose your brother, and I'm at a loss for words. Please know I'm thinking of you, and I'll be checking in."
  • "I'm so sorry to hear about your partner's passing. Please accept my condolences, and please let me know if there's anything at all I can do to help."
  • "I'm thinking of you during this incredibly difficult time. I'm so very sorry for your loss."
  • "I don't have words to express how sorry I am to hear about your dad. Please know I'm thinking of you."
  • "It's terrible to hear about the loss of your spouse. You have my thoughts and sympathy during this time."
  • "Your mom was a wonderful woman, and I'm so sorry to hear about her passing. Please know I'm thinking of you."
  • "Your aunt touched so many lives, and she will be missed by everyone who knew her. Please know we are all thinking of you during this time."
  • "I heard about your brother, and I wanted to offer my condolences. Please take all the time you need and know that everything is covered here at work."

Writing a Condolence Messages in a Card

A sympathy card is a truly meaningful way to express your condolences, whether you know someone well or are simply an acquaintance. What you say in a sympathy card is more about your relationship with the person you're addressing than their relationship with the person they've lost. Think about what makes this person special, how you can help in practical ways, and how they are feeling now. You can share a memory or simply keep it short. Let these example condolence card messages inspire you.

Writing a Condolence Messages in a Card

What to Say in a Short Condolence Message

You don't have to write a long note to make your sympathy card meaningful. These short condolence messages can work well:

  • "When we lose someone, we can lose track of ourselves. Please know you mean so much to me, and I'm here in any way you need."
  • "I'm thinking of you during this difficult time and sending love. Please accept my condolences."
  • "I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope you feel surrounded by people who love you as you navigate this difficult time."
  • "You have my deepest condolences on the loss of your husband. I am thinking of you."
  • "I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your dear friend. Please know I am thinking of you and sending you love."
  • "John and I are holding you close in our thoughts during this time."
  • "Please accept my condolences on the loss of your friend. I hope your beautiful memories of your time together will give you comfort during this time."
  • "I know there's nothing I can do to ease the pain of this loss, but please know I'm here if you need to talk or simply want to sit in silence with a friend."
  • "I was so sad to hear of the loss of your brother. Please know he spoke of you often and loved you dearly. I'm thinking of you and your family."
  • "Please know I am holding you close in my thoughts during this difficult time. Your grandma was a special person, and she will be deeply missed."
  • "I know this is an incredibly difficult time for your family, and I wanted to express my deepest condolences. Please know I'm here if you need anything."
  • "Your sister made so many lives better with her work and with her beautiful personality. We will miss her so much. Thinking of your family."

What to Say in a Longer Condolence Message

If you have a little more space to write or a bit more to say, these longer messages may be perfect for your situation:

  • "I remember family dinners at your home and the laughter that filled your parents' dining room. There was alway so much love in your family, and I know there still is. I hope that same love will sustain you during this time of loss."
  • "Your grandfather led a remarkable and important life, and all who knew him mourn his loss. Please accept my condolences and know I am thinking of you during this time."
  • "We all miss your aunt Jane so deeply. You were very special to her, and I know you have some of her incredible strength of spirit. Please accept my condolences."
  • "Please accept my deepest condolences on the loss of your dad. He was such an incredible man, capable of great compassion and strength. He spoke of you often, and I know he loved you very much."
  • "Holding you close in my thoughts as you remember your husband. Yours is such a beautiful love story. I will be in touch in the next couple of weeks to drop off some meals and see if there's anything I can do to help."
  • "I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of Uncle John. Your compassionate care and steadfast commitment to him during these last few years is an inspiration to all who witnessed it. Your relationship was very special, and I'm honored to have known you both. Please know I'm thinking of you."
  • "Losing someone like your dad is proof that one human life can have dramatic impact on many others. We all mourn with you. If there's anything you need, please don't hesitate to ask."
  • "I am so grateful that I got the chance to know your mom through my work. She was an incredible artist and a very fine teacher and human. Please accept my condolences and know I am thinking of you during this time."
  • "I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your partner. The love you shared was a great inspiration to many, and I hope the memories help to comfort you during this time."
  • "Your mom was an inspiration to everyone who knew her, and I know she was very proud of her family. Please know we are all thinking of you during this time."
  • "When I first met your grandma, she seemed like the most intimidating person I'd ever seen. Then I realized that her fierceness came from a place of love. Her family mattered so much to her, and she spoke of you often. Please accept my deepest condolences on your loss."
  • "This is a sad time for all who knew your brother, but it's also a time for gratitude. Jim touched so many lives in such profound ways. He made the world a better place. Please know I'm thinking of you."

Including Condolence Messages With Flowers

If you're sending flowers to a funeral or having flowers delivered to show your sympathy, it can be challenging to know what to say on the card. You don't have much room, so your message needs to be extremely short. Fortunately, there are lots of concise and meaningful condolences messages you can use:

  • Our condolences on the loss of your beautiful friend.
  • Please accept my deepest condolences on the loss of your mom.
  • Holding you close in my thoughts during this time.
  • Your mom touched so many lives. I'm so sorry for your loss.
  • Remembering your amazing dad and thinking of you with love.
  • Sending love and comforting thoughts during this time.
  • Please know we are thinking of you right now.
  • We're so sorry for your loss. We're here.
  • You're in our thoughts as you celebrate your aunt's beautiful life.
  • What an important person your mom was to so many. Thinking of you.
  • Our condolences on the loss of your incredible husband. He will be missed.
  • Your love story is beautiful. We're thinking of you today and always.
  • Our deepest sympathy as you remember your mom.
  • What a beautiful life your mom lived. Honored to have known her.
  • We miss your dad so much. Thinking of you with love.
  • It was an honor to work with Robert. Please accept our condolences.
  • Hoping you are surrounded by love today as you remember Emily.
  • Your sister touched many lives. We miss her deeply.
  • With deep sympathy as you mourn the loss of your friend.
  • With love for you and deep sorrow for your loss.
  • Honoring a truly beautiful life and a wonderful human being.
  • Wish we could be there to celebrate your dad's life. We miss him dearly.
  • Your grandpa was a good man and a great friend. Missing him today and always.
  • My condolences today as you remember a life well lived.

Expressing Condolences on Social Media

Offering your condolences on social media can be challenging, but it's also an important way to share the burden of grief in today's world. It's proper etiquette to keep your message private unless the person you're addressing has already posted about the loss.

Expressing Condolences on Social Media

What to Say as a Comment or Post

If someone has posted about a loss, it's customary to offer your condolences as a comment on the post. You can go beyond the standard "I'm sorry for your loss" by making your message personal and specific:

  • "I'm really sorry to hear about your mom. What you wrote about her here is truly beautiful. Please know I'm thinking about you during this difficult time."
  • "Think of you today and in the days ahead. Losing a spouse is incredibly difficult. I'm here if you need to talk."
  • "Special pets make such a huge impact on our lives in such a short time. I know how hard it is to lose a cat you love. Please know you're in my thoughts."
  • "I'm so sorry to hear about your sister, Joan. Holding you in my thoughts during this time."
  • "So sorry about your friend. Your words about her are a lovely tribute. Thinking of you."
  • "I just wanted to offer my condolences about the loss of your daughter. I can't imagine what you're going through. I'm holding you in my thoughts."
  • "Your words about your sister are incredibly moving. I'm so sorry for your loss. Please know you're in my thoughts and prayers."
  • "I'm so sorry. I hope you find some moments of comfort during this incredibly hard time."
  • "Wishing you the comfort of good memories during this difficult time. Sending you my condolences."
  • "Your dad sounds like an incredible person. I'm so sorry to hear about this loss, and I'm thinking of you."
  • "I'm so sorry to hear this, Allen. I'm keeping you in my thoughts."
  • "Your words about your grandpa are beautiful, and I can tell you loved him very much. Hoping your memories bring you comfort during this time."

What to Say in a Direct Message

If you know someone well on social media or if you know them offline, it's a good idea to follow up any comments or posts with a direct message. You should also send a direct message if the loss is not public knowledge, since it keeps the information private. Here are some example direct messages you can use to send your condolences online:

  • "Hi, Ethan. I just wanted to reach out and let you know I'm thinking about you. Losing a parent is one of the most difficult things in life. Even though I didn't know your dad, I feel like I did from your wonderful posts and photos. I'm so sorry for your loss."
  • "Hi, Marie. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend's passing. Please know I'm thinking about you during this really difficult time. If you ever need someone to listen, I'm here."
  • "Adam, I just wanted to offer you my deepest condolences about your grandpa. I've been following your story for a while, and I know the loss was expected. I've learned that doesn't necessarily make it any easier, though. Please know I'm thinking of you and your family during this time."
  • "Becky, I saw your recent post about losing your dog, and I just wanted to reach out personally. When I lost my Fluffy last year, I found it helped to talk to other people who had gone through a similar loss. If you ever want to chat, I'm here. I'm keeping you in my thoughts."

Sharing Condolences by Email

If you often communicate with someone over email, you may choose to use this method of communication to express your sympathy. When it comes to sending your condolences by email, etiquette dictates that you follow up with a paper card, attendance at the memorial service, or a phone call. However, email is a good way to reach out in the first few days after the loss, letting someone know you're thinking of them without requiring an immediate response or interaction. The condolence email subject line can be very simple, such as "So Sorry for Your Loss." Then you can use your relationship with the person to help you form the body of the email.

What to Say in a Condolence Email to a Coworker

Dear Steven,

I was so sorry to learn about the death of your wife. Although I didn't know her well, I remember meeting her at the company party last year. She had such a sparkling personality and was very easy to talk to. I know this is a great loss, and I wanted to let you know I am here in any way you need. Please reach out if I can help with anything here at the office. I'll be keeping you in my thoughts.

What to Say in a Condolence Email to a Client

Dear Mr. Johnson,

We were so sorry to hear about the loss of your father. You are a valued client, and we are keeping you in our thoughts. Please accept our deepest condolences and let us know if there is anything we can do to help.

What to Say in a Condolence Email to a Teacher

Dear Mrs. North,

Our family was so sad to hear about the loss of your mother. You have been such an incredible model of kindness for Skylar and the rest of her class, and we are so sorry you're going through this difficult time. Please know we are keeping you in our thoughts.

What to Say in a Condolence Email to a Student

Dear Jayson and Family,

I was so sorry to hear about the death of your grandpa. I remember when he came to read to our class. All the students responded to him, and Jayson seemed so proud to have him there. Please know I am thinking about you during this incredibly difficult time, and please let me know how I can support Jayson at school.

Sending Condolences When You Can't Attend the Memorial Service

If you're unable to attend the memorial service or funeral or if the service is delayed, you can still express your condolences. Here are some ideas to help:

  • "I wish I could attend the celebration of you sister's life. She was an incredibly person, and we will all miss her. Please accept my deepest condolences."
  • "I'm so sorry for the loss of your daughter, and I wish I could attend the memorial service. Please know I am keeping you in my thoughts during this difficult period."
  • "My dear friend, I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your father. Even though I'm unable to attend the funeral, I'm holding you close in my thoughts. I'll be in touch after things calm down a bit. In the meantime, please let me know if there's any way I can help."
  • "It's so difficult not to be with you during this time, but please know I'm thinking of you. Your mom was an amazing person, and I feel lucky I got to know her. I'll be checking in, but please keep me in mind if you need someone to listen."
  • "I was so sorry to hear about Robert. He was such an incredible person. I know the memorial service will be next summer, but I wanted to reach out now to let you know I'm thinking about you during this time."
  • "You're such a good friend, Anne, and I know you are grieving right now. Please know I'm thinking of you with love, even though I can't attend the service for Jim. I'm here to listen anytime."
  • "I'm so sorry I won't be able to attend the funeral for your brother. Please accept my condolences for your loss. I'm thinking of you during this difficult time."
  • "I'm so sorry to hear about the loss your grandmother. She was an amazing woman and spoke of you often. I am sorry I won't be able to attend the funeral, but please accept my deepest condolences."
Sending Condolences

Expressing Condolences After Time Has Passed

You can offer your condolences, even if time has passed since the death. Whether you're marking an anniversary or birthday, noting the loss at Christmas or another holiday, or simply haven't had a chance to reach out before this, people will still appreciate hearing that you're thinking of them. In fact, condolences may mean even more coming in the months after a loss when other support may have faded away.

  • "I know it's been a few months since you lost Jessica, but I just wanted to reach out and let you know I'm here and thinking of you. She was such a special person, and I think of her often. I'm here to listen if you ever want to talk."
  • "It's hard to believe it's been an entire year since Erick died. I know time changes grief, but these milestones can be difficult. Just wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you today and every day."
  • "Thinking of you a lot this year at Christmas. The holidays can be very difficult after a loss, and I know this is your first Christmas without your dad. Hoping you are remembering what a remarkable person he was and taking comfort in the love of your family."
  • "I'm so sorry I didn't reach out sooner. I just heard about your grandma, and I wanted to express my condolences. She was a wonderful woman."
  • "I know Saturday is Erin's birthday, and I just wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you. She was such a ray of sunshine, and we all miss her so much. Hoping you are surrounded by love."
  • "Just wanted to tell you we're thinking of Aunt Margie on her birthday and holding your whole family in our thoughts."
  • "It's been a few months since you lost your mom, and I just wanted to let you know I'm still here for you if you ever want to talk."
  • "I know it's been a few weeks since your dad passed away, but I wanted to check in. How are you holding up?"

Sending Condolences for a Sudden Loss

When someone passes away suddenly, it can be difficult to know how to convey your condolences in a way that is sensitive to the situation. Sudden losses are shocking, and you can acknowledge that in your messages, whether you express them in a card, online, or in person. Here are some examples:

  • "I'm so sorry to hear about Larry's sudden passing. Please know I'm thinking of you."
  • "We were so shocked to hear about the loss of your dad. This must be an unimaginably difficult time for your family. You're in our thoughts."
  • "I was sorry to hear about you losing your mom so suddenly. She was a wonderful woman with a kind word for everyone she knew. Please accept my deepest condolences."
  • "It was so sad to hear about the sudden loss of your sister. Please know we are here for you in any way you need."
  • "I just wanted to offer my condolences about the loss of your daughter. It takes time and love to heal after a shock like this, and I'm here if you want to talk."
  • "This loss is such a shock. I'm holding you and your family in my thoughts and prayers."
  • "I was so sorry to hear about the sudden loss of your uncle. I'm thinking of your whole family during this time."
  • "My heart goes out to you and your family during this time. The sudden loss of your mom is so sad. She was a beautiful person."
Sending Condolences for a Sudden Loss

Offering to Help After a Loss

When there's a death in the family, people can struggle to handle the day-to-day tasks they normally complete. In addition, the planning for a funeral or memorial service can feel overwhelming. Although general offers of help are nice, specific offers are easier for a grieving person to receive. Try one of these:

  • "Judith, we were so sorry to hear about John. Please know we're more than happy to take Rufus for a walk every day."
  • "I was so sorry to hear about the loss of your mom. I'll be putting together some meals for you, and I'll plan to drop those off on Tuesday."
  • "Please accept my condolences about the loss of your brother. He was such an amazing friend, and I want to help with the funeral arrangements if you'll allow me. Could I take care of ordering food?"
  • "We were so sad to hear about your mom's passing. You have so much on your plate right now, and we'd like to take care of your yard for you for the next couple of months."
  • "Your dad was such a wonderful man, and I'll miss him so much. I'd love to offer you the use of my car while you're making all the arrangements."
  • "Sarah, we know this has been a devastating loss. We'll be there as you heal in any way you need us. Julie and I would like to help with the kids this week if that's okay."
  • "I'm so sorry about the loss of your sister. We are all thinking of you here at work, and we'd like to offer you our support with taking on any of your projects during the next few weeks."
  • "Losing someone you love can feel so lonely. Please know I'm here to listen."

Sharing a Memory With Your Condolences

Some of the best condolence message include a special memory of the person who has passed away. These memories can be very comforting to those who have lost someone they love. Any memory you may have to share will be unique, but you can use these condolence starters to help you write it down. Try to be as specific as possible:

  • "Every time I see a [object or building], it reminds me of the time [name]...."
  • "The first time I met [name], I was surprised that...."
  • "One of my best memories of [name] is...."
  • "I will never forget the time that [name]...."

Writing Condolences Messages for Specific Losses

Although a lot of what you say to someone who is grieving is a reflection of your relationship with that person, you can also draw on the grieving person's relationship with the person who has passed away. Remember that each relationship is unique, and it can be difficult to know how people feel about one another from the outside. However, there are some ways you can comfort someone who has lost a spouse, parent, child, or other special person.

What to Say to Someone Grieving for a Spouse or Partner

When someone loses a spouse or life partner, knowing what to say can be a challenge. The key is honoring the significance of this relationship when you offer your condolences. Here are some examples of comforting things to say:

  • "I'm so sorry to hear about Bill's passing. Your love story has always been and continues to be an inspiration to me. I am thinking of you with love during this difficult time."
  • "You have touched many lives with the love you and Shelly shared. I'm honored to have witnessed that bond. Please know I am here in any way you need during this time."
  • "I wanted to express my condolences on the loss of your wife. A lifetime of shared love is no small thing, but it's also never enough. Holding you close in my thoughts."
  • "Even though I haven't met you, I want you to know Fred spoke of you often. You were clearly the love of his life. Please know I'm thinking of you."
  • "The love you and Uncle Dave shared was something special, and I hope the memories and strength of that connection help to comfort you during this time. We will all miss him so much."
  • "I remember Marie telling me about the day you two met and how she knew right that moment that she wanted to spend her life with you. I'm glad she got that wish and was able to share her life with someone she loved so deeply. Even though this is an unimaginably difficult time, I hope her love continues to comfort you."

What to Say to Someone Grieving for a Parent

Losing a parent is so hard, no matter how old someone is or how complicated the relationship might be. You can touch on the importance of this relationship as you offer your condolences on the loss of a mother or father:

  • "I've known your mom all my life, and I have so many memories of her. She took such good care of everyone, but she especially doted on her kids. I know this is a terrible loss, and I'm thinking of all of you."
  • "I'm so sorry to hear about the passing of your dad. He spoke of you often and with such obvious pride. I know this is a very difficult time, and I'm holding you and your family in my thoughts."
  • "Please accept my deepest condolences on the loss of your mom. I didn't know her, but I can see her beautiful work in the person you are. I'm thinking of you."
  • "I know you and your dad had a complicated relationship, but that doesn't make this loss any easier. I'm thinking of you during this time."
  • "Your mom was an amazing person who could fill a room with joy and laughter. I hope her exceptional ability to love sustains you during this time. I'm so very sorry for your loss."
  • "The care you've shown your mom over the past few months has been truly incredible. You made her exit from this life graceful and loving, and there's no greater gift a daughter could give. She spoke of you with such love. Please know we are here for you."

What to Say to Someone Grieving for a Sibling

The loss of a sibling can be especially difficult because this is a lifelong relationship. No matter how old someone is when they lose a brother or sister, offering your condolences can involve speaking about the special bond they are grieving:

  • "I'm so grateful I got to know your brother and witness the special relationship the two of you shared. I'm so sorry for your loss."
  • "Please accept my condolences about the loss of your sister. She spoke of you often with warmth, and I know you were incredibly special to her. I'm thinking of your family during this time."
  • "Although I didn't know your brother, I know you had a close and loving relationship. I'm so sorry for your loss. I am holding you in my thoughts and prayers."
  • "I remember the first day I met you and your sister. The two of you laughed together so easily and shared such an incredible bond. I'm so very sorry for your loss. I'm here if you need to talk."
  • "I know you and your brother didn't always get along, but I have never doubted your love for one another. Please know he spoke of you with such tenderness. We miss him very much."
  • "Losing a sibling means losing someone who has known you since childhood. I know this is an unimaginably difficult time. Please accept my deepest condolences."

What to Say to Someone Grieving for a Child

Perhaps the most devastating loss in any life is the death of a child. It can be difficult to know what to say when faced with a loss of this magnitude, but there are some ways you can express your condolences:

  • "We are so terribly sorry to hear of this great loss. Please know we are praying for you and holding you close in our thoughts."
  • "I was so sorry to hear about MacKenzie. I miss her so much too, and I know this time must be incredible difficult. I am thinking of you."
  • "Please accept my condolences for the loss of your daughter. Although I didn't know her, I know how much you loved her. I'm certain she knew too. I am thinking of you during this time."
  • "I don't know what to say about this devastating loss, except to tell you that I love you and am here for you."
  • "I'm so sorry for the heartbreak you're enduring right now. Please know I am here and will be checking in throughout the coming weeks and months."
  • "Your daughter was an amazing woman, and I'm honored to have had the chance to know her. She spoke of both of you with such love. Please accept my condolences."

What to Say to Someone Who Has Experienced a Miscarriage

Talking about a miscarriage can be difficult, and people often find themselves at a loss for words when it comes to offering condolences. These sympathy messages can help you know what to say:

  • "You felt real love for this baby, and this is a very real loss. I'm so very sorry."
  • "Please know I'm so very sorry to hear about this loss. Please be kind to yourself and give yourself time. I'm here if you want to talk."
  • "This kind of loss can feel invisible, but I want you to know I've been there. The experience is different for everyone, but if you would ever like to talk, I'm here."
  • "I can't begin to imagine how you're feeling right now, but I am here to listen. I'm so sorry for the loss of your pregnancy."
  • "I know how excited you were for this baby, and I know that you must be struggling. I'm so very sorry. I'm here to help in any way you need."
  • "This is such a difficult time for you, and I'm so very sorry. I'm here for you."

What to Say to Someone Who Has Lost a Pet

Losing a pet can be a very difficult experience, and people need support during this time. You can express your condolences and show how much you care:

  • "I know Fluffy was like a member of your family, and I'm so sorry for your loss. You gave her a wonderful life."
  • "I was so sorry to hear about Tinker. He was a great cat and had such a unique and charming personality. Please know I'm thinking of you."
  • "I'm so sorry to hear about Max. I'll miss his wagging tail and excited barking when I visit, and I know he was such a comfort to you. You gave him a wonderful life, and he was truly loved. I'm here if you would like to talk."
  • "You had so many amazing adventures with Silver. No dog could hope for a better life or better love. I hope the memories bring you some comfort right now."
  • "I'm so sorry about Igor. He was completely insane in such a charming way, and I know saying goodbye had to have been really hard. I'm thinking of you."
  • "Saying goodbye to our beloved pets can be incredibly difficult. Please know I'm thinking of you and am so sorry for the loss of Muffy."

Knowing What to Say Is About Showing You Care

There are lots of words to say that go beyond the standard, "I'm sorry for your loss." The secret to knowing what to say and what not to say to a grieving person is paying attention to the person in front of you. Show the grieving person you see them and acknowledge the difficult loss they are enduring. Offer to help if you can, and share a memory if you have one. Ultimately, knowing what to say is about showing you care.

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