Discover writing tips, inspiration and over 100 sympathy card messages and examples to get ideas for writing your own thoughtful, heartfelt condolence note.
Finding the right words to put in a sympathy card is never easy. In truth, there is no perfect way to say you are sorry for their loss and nothing you can say or do will help heal their grief. What matters most is your thoughtfulness, kindness, and empathy, which you can show by offering your support and sending a meaningful sympathy card straight from the heart.
A few years ago, I found myself in this exact situation – not being able to find the words to express my heartache and sympathy to a friend who lost her spouse. I sat there staring at a blank piece of paper for what seemed like forever. Then I began to look at sympathy card examples to find some ideas so I could formulate my own message, which I wanted to be warm, friendly, and comforting. I did not want a generic message, nor did I want to sound formal or distant; I also did not want my message to imply that I knew what she was going through. I simply wanted her to know that I was there for her.
This is where the idea for this list came from, and it has continued to grow ever since.
This list of over 100 sympathy messages for loss of parents, grandparents, significant others, friends, siblings and more is simply meant to offer you with specific sympathy card examples and ideas to help you get inspired.
But before you decide on what to put in your card, it is also important to remember what to avoid when crafting your condolences. Below you’ll find some writing tips on what to say — and what not to say — in your personal sympathy message.
Tips For Writing Your Sympathy Message
The twofold feeling of not knowing what to say and never being able to say enough is common when writing a sympathy note. Here are a few ways you can make your sympathy card message more meaningful, thoughtful and caring:
Keep Your Message Brief
- It is generally a good idea to keep your condolence message short. You can always offer to have a longer conversation over the phone or in person, or simply offer to check in periodically. Being brief doesn’t mean you didn’t take the time to think deeply about your message. In fact, a few short words can have just as much of an impact as an entire page.
Offer To Help
- If you are close to the family and have the means to do so, offer your support and help with tasks they might need. Be specific and offer suggestions, like helping with cleaning, housework, yardwork, childcare or another task.
Speak From The Heart
- If you can, make sure your condolence message includes something personal and from the heart. Consider including a few thoughtful and caring words to describe the person who passed away, their best qualities or what you remember most fondly. You can also include a short anecdote or memory
What Not To Say In A Sympathy Card
Much of the difficulty in writing words of condolence is the fear of unwittingly saying something wrong, careless, or possibly even hurtful. Grief is powerful, heavy, complex but also delicate and unique to each individual. That is why the words you choose to put in your card are so important.
Here are a few things to avoid including in your sympathy message:
Saying “I Know How You Feel”
- When writing your sympathy note, try not to say you know how the person feels since everyone experiences loss differently.
Offering Words Of Advice
- Stay clear from offering advice or saying “you should (fill in the blank).” Focus instead on kind and thoughtful words of comfort, love and support. If you’d like to write a note of encouragement, make sure it’s separate from your condolence or funeral card.
Judicious Sounding Clichés
- Never say that “things happen for a reason,” that “the person is in a better place,” or that “it’s better this way.” Even if the deceased person experienced much pain and suffering before their passing, this is not a kind or comforting way to express your sympathy.
If you’re concerned your message will come off wrong, stick to the tried-and-true examples below that are thoughtful and careful, and keep your note short and simple.
Common Sympathy Card Messages
These simple, commonly used condolence messages are great starters to your personal message. Use them to get your message flowing or as inspiration for your own words.
- “I am so sorry for your loss.”
- “My deepest sympathy for your loss.”
- “Words fail to express my deep sorrow for your loss.”
- “My heart goes out to you and your family.”
- “Please know that I am with you, I’m only a phone call away.”
- “Sharing in your sadness as you remember your lost loved one.”
- “Wishing you strength and comfort through this difficult time.”
- “Thinking of you and wishing you moments of peace and comfort.”
- “I hope you know I’m here for you during this time of sorrow.”
- “Please accept my warmest condolences. I’m truly sorry for your loss.”
Religious Sympathy Messages
If you and the person you’re writing to is religious, consider including a bible verse or devout message in your sympathy card. Feel free to add your own interpretation of the verse as well.
- “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. – Matthew 5:4”
- “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. – Psalm 34:18”
- “I pray that God will grant you the strength you need to get through this difficult time.”
- “May the Lord give you comfort and peace in your time of bereavement.”
- “May God wrap His arms around you and give you peace and hope.”
- “I am praying for you to find peace and healing through our Lord’s infinite love.”
- “Wherever a beautiful soul has been, there is a trail of beautiful memories. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.”
- “May God turn your time of darkness into light again. May He stay by your side during this difficult time.”
- “We are holding your family in our hearts and lifting you in prayer.”
- “Please accept my deepest condolences and know that God loves you and can restore your spirits, give you peace, and strengthen you.”
Sympathy Messages for Loss of Mother
Losing a parent is never easy, no matter how old we are. If you knew the grieving family’s mother, you could mention the impact she had on your life.
- “I miss your wonderful Mother along with you and wish you comfort and peace during this difficult time.”
- “Your Mom’s amazing qualities are being carried on beautifully by you. She will be greatly missed and always remembered.”
- “I didn’t know your Mom well, but she must have been incredible to raise someone as special as you.”
- “You took such good care of your Mom these last few years. She was lucky to have you.”
- “Your Mother will forever remain in our hearts and memories.”
- “You’ll always remember how it felt to be loved by her. I hope those memories will bring you some comfort in time.”
- “I’m not sure what to say in the face of such a difficult loss. Just want you to know that I care about you, and I share in your sadness.”
- “There is no one in this world like your Mother. She was a special woman, and she will be with you always.”
- “Your Mom’s kindness, generosity and caring nature was contagious, and her memory will live on forever.”
- “A Mother is with us always, first in her lifetime, then forever in our memory.”
Sympathy Messages for Loss of Father
Finding the right words to express your sympathy in the loss of someone’s father can be challenging. Here are some ideas you can use directly or personalize with your own thoughts and feelings.
- “Your Father was a one-of-a-kind person that lived a truly remarkable life. I feel lucky I got to know him.”
- “Your Dad did a great job raising you. May you always feel his pride and love.”
- “I hope it brings you some comfort to know that I’m celebrating the life your Father lived and I’m thankful for his impact on my life.”
- “I like to believe that when we lose someone close to us, like a Father, they still live through us and give us strength. The time we have spent with those we’ve lost makes them a part of us.”
- “Nobody could tell a better story than your Dad. I will always cherish the times I got to know him.”
- “The lessons your Dad taught you, the love he gave, the way he cared for people… all those good things live on in you.”
- “A father’s guiding hand always sits on the shoulder of his children. May your Dad’s memory always be your guiding light.”
- “Your Dad was a great friend and mentor to me and I’m so sorry to hear of his passing. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.”
- “I will always treasure the fun memories I have with your Dad. He will be missed by many.”
- “Your Father was so proud of you and loved you so much. I hope this comforts you as you deal with his loss. I would love to help you in any way possible. Let me know what I can do.”
Sympathy Messages for Loss of Husband
Losing a spouse is typically unexpected, and something no one is ever ready for. When someone’s grieving the loss of a husband, it’s crucial to let them know they’re not alone.
- “It’s just not fair. If you ever want to talk, know I’m always here for you.”
- “Words cannot describe who your husband truly was and so words also cannot describe the loss we are all feeling now.”
- “Though the world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming. I know you can get through this.”
- “You’ve got so much on your mind and on your heart right now. We hope it will make one less worry to know that we’ll be taking care of yardwork for you for as long as you need.”
- “It was truly a pleasure to work with your husband. He will be missed by many.”
- “Someone who shared so much of life with you will forever be a part of you. Keeping you in my prayers as you remember your husband.”
- “Losing the one you love is so hard. And so, I’m praying hard for you, for peace, for comfort, for whatever you need right now.”
- “Be gentle with yourself and take all the time you need to heal. Remember, you’re not alone.”
- “My heartfelt sympathy for the loss of your husband. His memory will not be forgotten.”
- “Nothing compares to the love of a spouse. I want you to know that I am thinking about you and I’m here for you always.”
Sympathy Messages for Loss of Wife
The grieving process includes a variety of emotions, and it’s extremely personal, so it’s better not to assume you know what the person is feeling. Simply offer your thoughts and support with one of these sympathy examples.
- “Please know that I’m here for you, to listen, comfort and lean on during this difficult time.”
- “Letting you know I’m thinking of you and I’m here for you.”
- “There are no words, but there is much love surrounding you and your family and in the memories of your loving wife.”
- “The love and joy your kindhearted wife brought to the world will never be forgotten.”
- “Thinking of you and your family with love and wanting to help out in any way I can. I’ll call to see when would be a good night to bring over dinner.”
- “I know this must be a difficult time for you and your family. As we keep you in our thoughts and prayers, please let us know if there’s anything we can do to help out.”
- “What the two of you shared was truly something special. You loved each other so well.”
- “No one can ever replace the amazing person your wife was. My thoughts are with you during this time.”
- “The love your wife had for you is something that can never be taken away. Hold on to that and know that she is with you always.”
- “When someone as special as your wife lives the way she did, her legacy is sure to live on through the many lives she touched.”
Sympathy Messages for Loss of a Child
The loss of a child is undoubtedly one of the most painful things that can ever happen to any parent. In many cases, it can be a traumatic event that can seem unimaginable. There are no words that can help a grieving parent, but your support during this time is needed and in time will be greatly appreciated.
- “I can’t imagine what you’re going through. I’m deeply sorry for your loss.”
- “I wish that I could bring you comfort and acceptance, but all I can do is stand beside you. I’m here if you need anything.”
- “Those we have held in our arms for a little while, we hold in our hearts forever.”
- “I know I can’t make your pain go away, but I want you to know that I’m here for you.”
- “With the loss of a child, we are left with an emptiness that can only be filled by the love of others and time. Please know that we are here for you.”
- “Even though your sweet daughter was with us for a short a time, she filled the world around her with so much joy. And you filled hers with so much love.”
- “Though we only got to hold him for a little while, he brought us together and brought so many smiles. Celebrating all the days that were brighter because your beautiful son was here.”
- “I hope there’s some comfort in knowing just how loved and adored your daughter was.”
- “It feels wrong that you should have to say goodbye to your child. Whatever you’re feeling, please know you’re not alone. We’re here to support you in any way we can in the weeks and months to come.”
- “Death leaves a heartache no one can heal. A child’s love leaves a memory no one can steal.”
Sympathy Messages for Loss of a Sibling
Losing a brother or a sister can be a painful experience, especially if their relationship was close. If you knew their sibling, you could say something memorable about them. But remember, it’s okay to be honest and write that you don’t know what to say.
- “I’m so sorry to hear you lost your sister. I’m grateful I had the chance to meet her. She will be dearly missed.”
- “Your brother had such a positive impact on so many lives. I’m happy he was a part of my life for so many hears. He will always live long in my memory.”
- “Even though I never met your sister, I felt as though I knew her through all the wonderful things you told me about her.”
- “I’m heartbroken to hear about the loss of your brother. Even though I never met him, I know how much he meant to you.”
- “I never would have felt ready to say good-bye to someone as special as your sister, but this timing feels especially tough. Wishing your family comfort and strength for the days and weeks ahead.”
- “I feel so grateful to have known your brother and will remember him always, and often.”
- “Words, no matter how kind, can’t mend your heartache. However, those who care for you wish you comfort and peace of mind.”
- “I hope it brings you some comfort in knowing that your sister’s life will be celebrated with joy and gratitude by her many, many friends.”
Sympathy Messages for Loss of a Grandparent
For many, losing a close grandparent can be just as tough as losing a parent, since grandma and grandpa can play such important roles in our lives. Consider a positive, uplifting message that focuses on what they shared together and the memories they’ll cherish.
- “May all of your happy memories of your Grandmother give you peace and comfort during this challenging time.”
- “I’m so sorry to hear of your Grandfather’s passing. I will always remember him as a kind and loving member of your family.”
- “Your Grandma blessed so many people with her love and kindness. I hope that you will find comfort in your memories of her and knowing others miss her too.”
- “Your Grandfather was an amazing person and I’m glad I got a chance to know him. He will always be remembered.”
- “Here’s to celebrating the life of a great person and mourning his passing with you in every possible way.”
- “When death occurs in a family, it leaves behind an emptiness that can only be filled by the love of others and time. Please reach out if there’s anything we can do to help.”
- “One of the storms we all must face in our lives is the passing of someone dear to our hearts. I am sorry you are facing this right now, but I know you are strong enough to get through it.”
- “Thinking of you and sending love as you celebrate your Grandmother’s remarkable life.”
Sympathy Messages for Loss of a Friend
The loss of a close friend, colleague or coworker can take a toll on us. Not being able to see, talk to and share in the experiences of those we’re close to can be difficult to cope with. These messages are ideal for those who lost a dear friend or companion.
- “This card isn’t meant to do anything for you but let you know that I am thinking of you at this time.”
- “The feelings of sorrow can be easier to navigate with a friend. Please know that I’m here for you during this difficult time.”
- “I will miss her too, and will carry her in my heart, always.”
- “He really made a difference in so many lives. I know he will be remembered with love.”
- “Sending you thoughts of comfort during this difficult time. And remembering your dear friend with love.”
- “I’m so sorry to hear about your friend’s passing. I hope you know that I am here for you.”
- “The comfort of having a friend may be taken away, but not that of having had one.”
Sympathy Messages for Loss of a Pet
For some people, losing a beloved pet that has been part of the family for many years can be as difficult as losing a well-loved friend. The grief and pain they feel is real and should be acknowledged in a thoughtful way, even if you don’t share the same enthusiasm for animals.
- “Heartfelt sympathy for the loss of your beloved companion.”
- “Wishing you smiles amid the tears as you remember happy times with your loyal companion and friend.”
- “Our beloved pets hold such an important place in our lives and our hearts. Thinking of you as you remember your sweet dog.”
- “Our pets never truly leave us. They live on as memories that we will cherish forever.”
Uplifting Sympathy Card Messages
At times, a sympathy card requires a positive, encouraging message that has a supportive and reassuring feel. If you think your sympathy card could use an uplifting message, consider one of these examples.
- “Sending you love and caring wishes to let you know you are never far from my thoughts.”
- “The joy and happiness your loved one brought into our lives will not be forgotten.”
- “He can only be physically gone but never the life lived, and the memories shared. Have faith, be strong and know that you’re not alone.”
- “Sending hugs, love and lots of prayers for you and your family.”
Get Help With Crafting Your Own Sympathy Message
We hope we have made writing a condolence card or sympathy note easier for you with these writing tips, examples and note starters. As mentioned before, it’s important that you add a personal touch to your message, just as you would when writing any other important note or message.
If you’re still struggling with finding the right words of sympathy, don’t hesitate to reach out to us with questions – we are here to help! Simply leave a comment on this blog post and note whether you want us to respond privately or publicly. We will do our best to respond with additional ideas and suggestions to help you finalize your message.
Whether you decide to send your condolence card along with a thoughtful sympathy gift, a bouquet flowers, a homemade meal or alone, just letting them know you’re thinking of them will make a world of difference.