60 Condolence Messages to Comfort Friends and Family

Last updated: October 18, 2023

Many of us find ourselves searching for the right words when writing condolence messages or sympathy cards. Loss is profound, and it's hard to know what to say when you're trying to offer comfort to a friend, colleague, family member, or loved one. Nonetheless, reaching out with warm words and offering a shoulder means more than you might realize at the time.

condolence messages candle at night

Losing a loved one or family member can lead to some of life's most challenging times. These condolence messages offer support from living friends and family to help them through this dark and difficult time while they process their grief. Make sure to adapt the message to the deceased, using their name when appropriate. We encourage you to write your own feelings, as well as anecdotes and memories, when appropriate. These added touches will make the messages feel personal.

Traditional ways to express sympathy include flowers and sympathy quotes, as well as bringing food if you're able. Some condolence messages reach out with offers of material support; others help those who are religious or spiritual to reconnect with their faith, and above all, they remind the recipient that they're not facing these troubles alone.

The condolence messages on this page offer inspiration for your own messages for various situations, ranging from simple expressions of sympathy to religious and spiritual messages, as well as thoughtful quotes about grief. And don't be nervous. The most important part of a sympathy card is the kind intention behind it.

Types of Messages

Simple | For Loss of Family | For Loss of Spouse | Religious | For Colleague | Sympathy Quotes

Simple & Sincere Condolence Messages for a Friend

You're already taking the biggest step toward writing a good condolence message by attempting to reach out. Even simple and warm messages, as well as a kind thought, will comfort those who are mourning. You can also take this time to check in on good friends and see what they might need as they work through their grief.

You have my heartfelt sympathy for your recent loss.

You'll be in my thoughts throughout this difficult time.

Sending prayers and blessings as you navigate this difficult time.

There aren't any magic words that can ease your pain. All I can say for sure is that I'll always be here for you, whatever you need.

Always know you're not alone in this. I always have a shoulder for you to cry on, and my ear is always ready to listen without judgment.

It's so hard to lose someone you were close to. I know no one can possibly fill the space of the one you lost, but I want you to know that I'm here to support you no matter the hour.

Please promise me that during this difficult time you'll take care of yourself as much as you can. Take your time, give yourself grace, and be gentle with yourself.

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. I know you two were incredibly close. I hope that your wonderful memories together will be a comfort during this heartbreak.

As you remember your loved one, know that I'm here for you, sharing in your sadness and grief.

They will remain forever in our hearts and in our memories.

You've been incredibly strong as you handle this tough time, and I hope that you can find solace in the beautiful memories you have of them.

Losing someone close to you causes pain for which there are no words. I'm so sorry.

Please know that any way you're feeling now - whether it's sadness, numbness, exhaustion, anger, or calm - it's all valid. Sending warm thoughts and all my love.

It breaks my heart that you're going through this. Call me whenever you need, and I'll be there... with wine, chocolate, and a hug.

Nothing I can possibly say will take away the hurt and pain you're feeling, but I hope you know that you have many people who care about you and who are feeling your sadness too. If grief is truly a journey, I'm here for you every step of the way.

condolence messages hugging couple at graveyard

Condolence Messages for the Loss of a Parent or Family Member

A death in the family can be one of the most difficult times in someone's life. They might be dealing with the material realities of death, such as resolving an estate, while processing their own grief. Though we all have unique relationships with our parents, losing a parent can shatter a person's normal life. In these condolence messages, we empathize with the profound sorrow of losing a parent or sibling, those who've been with us from the start and shaped who we've become.

My deepest condolences to you and your family at this time.

I'll never forget your [mom / dad / brother / sister]. They've always been an inspiration to me, and I'll treasure their memory.

I'm sorry for your loss, dear friend. My heart goes out to you and your family.

It's impossible to express in words my sadness upon learning of your recent loss. I hope that you can take your time, and are kind to yourself as you process this.

Although I never had the chance to meet your [mother / father / sibling], I can imagine how wonderful they must have been just by knowing you and how wonderful you are. I'm truly sorry for your loss, and wish you peace and comfort as you move on.

Your loved one's incredible talent and beautiful personality will continue to live on through you. I hope that you find peace and comfort at this time.

Their love is eternal, and you will always cherish their precious memories. Beyond those memories, their legacy is evident in the amazing person you've become - a person they would undoubtedly be immensely proud of. They will continue to live on through you.

I share your pain. I'll always treasure the time I spend with your [mom / dad]. [He / She] will be sorely missed.

Even though we knew this day would come, it still feels like a shock. Your pain and loss are real, and I know this is all a lot for you to handle right now. Take care of yourself and know that I love you.

It breaks my heart that you've lost someone so special. You and your family loved and cared for them very much, and I hope that you'll continue to take care of each other through this loss. I'm sorry their light is gone from your life.

condolence messages women hugging black and white photo

Sympathy Messages for the Loss of a Spouse or Partner

The loss of a spouse or partner brings a deeply profound grief. Everyone has a unique relationship with their spouse, and this means a painful and complicated grieving process, often accompanied by material responsibilities. These messages offer comfort and support to someone grieving the loss of a husband, wife, or partner.

There are things that even death cannot touch, and this includes the great and powerful love you feel for them.

I know that they were your whole world, and my heart aches for you with this loss. You're in my thoughts and prayers every day.

I can't imagine the pain and heartbreak you've been going through. I hope you can find comfort during this dark time.

Thinking of you and your family as you celebrate the beautiful life and memories of your partner. They'll be missed.

I'm so sorry to hear the sad news. My heart is breaking for you. I'm here to listen to any memories or thoughts that you want to share, the bright and the dark alike.

While it may be hard to see right now, I believe that love never dies. You'll carry them with you wherever you go.

I'm sorry to hear about your loss. There is truly no one in the world like them. They were irreplaceable, a special person through and through. I hope you know how many lives they touched during their time in this world. I will never forget them.

Your [husband / wife] was truly remarkable. Being around your family was like being part of the family, and I will never forget the way you both made me feel. They were an incredible partner to you and a wonderful friend to me, and they will be sorely missed.

My heart goes out to you. I know how much you loved them and it's heartbreaking to think about how shaken your world must be now. I hope that you are kind to yourself and find solace as you celebrate the incredible life they led and the beauty they added to the world.

condolence messages comforting hands

Religious or Spiritual Sympathy Messages

Religious faith provides mourners with the reassurance that every aspect of a person's life, including their passing, has meaning. Some may believe in an eternal spirit and others believe that our ancestors and loved ones are always with us, living through us. Additionally, many religious and spiritual beliefs offer rituals when someone passes, facilitating closure and providing solace as the departed's spirit is laid to rest. If you're writing a sympathy card for someone who's religious, make sure to take into account the specifics of their religious beliefs, rather than assuming that they believe the same as you.

Sending warm prayers and love as you journey through the darkness of grief. If you ever need to talk to someone, I'm always here for you.

I believe that when we lose someone close, they continue living on through us. They'll be there to guide us in everything we do, lending us their eternal light and strength. They become part of us, and we're never alone.

This grief you feel comes from all the love that you wish you could give to them and no longer can. I'm so sorry for your loss. With time, I hope that you can turn all this love upon the world, and in their memory, help it to shine a little brighter.

I pray every day that the Lord may offer you comfort and a light in the darkness. In time, may you find peace and joy again.

May the Lord protect and guide you, as you work through your journey of grief. My prayers are with you now and always.

I pray for God to keep you close and carry your loved one to his eternal home. May you be blessed throughout your grief and find solace in all the beauty that the living world has to offer.

"Death is nothing else but going home to God, the bond of love will be unbroken for all eternity."
~ Mother Teresa

The Lord your God is with you, and he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.
~ Zephaniah 3:17

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
~ Psalm 62:1-2

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.
~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

condolence messages white lily and candles

Condolence Messages for a Colleague

When a coworker or colleague is experiencing a loss, extending your condolences and support can be a thoughtful gesture. The depth of your relationship with the colleague will determine whether an email or a handwritten letter is more appropriate. Additionally, employers can demonstrate their care by sending flowers for the funeral.

Grief comes in waves, and we're all here for you during this difficult time. Let us know what you need.

May you remember the happy memories and the good times, as you recover from this loss.

From what I've gathered, they were an amazing person and a true inspiration to all who knew them. May you lean on good and powerful memories right now as you recover from this loss.

It's with a heavy heart that I'm sending this to wish you the best during this difficult time, as you deal with the loss of your loved one.

Nothing about loss or grief is easy. It hurts, even at the most inconvenient and unexpected times. I hope you take what time you need to process. Nothing is more important than that you take care of yourself.

I hope this isn't awkward, but I wanted to say that I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. It's always difficult to express these personal things in the workplace, and I know that it's probably difficult for you to focus right now. I just want you to know that you're in my thoughts.

My heart goes out to you during this loss. I'm so sorry that you're going through this. While we may primarily know each other from work, I do want you to know that you can call on me during this tough time.

Quotes for Sympathy or Condolence Cards

Quotes allow us to draw upon the insights and wisdom of others during challenging moments. They offer guidance and perspective, illuminating the universal human experiences of death, loss, and grief.

"Grief is the price we pay for love."
~ Queen Elizabeth II

"Death ends a life, not a relationship. All the love you created is still there. All the memories are still there. You live on- in the hearts of everyone you have touched and nurtured while you were here."
~ Mitch Albom

"What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us."
~ Helen Keller

"I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity."
~ Gilda Radner

"When we are learning the world, we know things we cannot say how we know. When we are relearning the world in the aftermath of a loss, we feel things we had almost forgotten, old things, beneath the seat of reason."
~ Meghan O'Rourke

"There is no greater sorrow than to recall happiness in times of misery."
~ Dante Alighieri

"Death? Be as proud as you want: bore me later, because Love is sovereign here. Life never ends. Joy comes in the morning. Glory hallelujah. And let it be so."
~ Anne Lamott

"Darkness may hide the trees and the flowers from the eyes but it cannot hide love from the soul."
~ Rumi

"There is love in holding and there is love in letting go."
~ Elizabeth Berg

"There are no goodbyes for us. Wherever you are, you will always be in my heart."
~ Mahatma Gandhi

"Like a bird singing in the rain, let grateful memories survive in time of sorrow."
~ Robert Louis Stevenson

"They say love beyond the world cannot be separated by it. Death cannot kill what never dies."
~ William Penn

"Those we love and lose are always connected by heartstrings into infinity."
~ Terri Guillemets

What to Say When Someone Dies

The death of someone in our lives can deliver a profound shock, even when we can anticipate or expect it, and writing condolences is understandably difficult. There's a balance between acknowledging someone's grief and loss, without saying something that might cause hurt. This holds especially true when we're unfamiliar with the intricacies of the bereaved's relationship with the departed. However, it's important not to be so afraid that you'll say the wrong thing that you don't say anything at all.

Often, the best gesture for your close friends is to offer non-judgmental support and a kind and comforting word. This might not feel like a lot, but it does show them that they're not alone during this difficult time. Condolence messages allow us to express our sorrow for their loss and demonstrate that we genuinely care about their grief.

Support from their community can provide the bereaved with the strength and resilience needed to navigate the profound pain of loss. Moreover, feeling loved and understood by others reinforces their sense of self-worth and self-compassion during such a trying time.

How to Write and Give a Sympathy Card

A physical, handwritten card is the most personal and meaningful. Surrounding the funeral, those close to the deceased often have a lot to handle, including guests and responsibilities that keep them busy. Cards, however, will be there the next month and throughout the years. It gives them something to look back on and hold onto when they're in need.

It's best to send your sympathy card within the first couple of weeks. But if you miss this window, it's still not too late. They're dealing with this loss every day, even when others have moved on. So even belated sympathy cards might come at just the right time.

Allow yourself to be vulnerable and genuine. Above all, be open and heartfelt. If you're feeling love, say it. This helps them to process the loss, while letting them know that you value them.

Share a favorite memory, such as the first time you met the deceased, a time you bonded with them, or even reminders of their quirks and best attributes. Just be careful about writing anything that could come across as disrespectful, upsetting, or could be easily misinterpreted.

Use a quote, religious or otherwise. Use your discretion about what you know about this person. Remember to take what the speaker stands for into consideration when quoting them.

Don't forget that they might need some space. You may not get a response right away, but that doesn't mean that you're being ignored. Everyone grieves differently; be mindful and respectful of your friend's unique journey through loss.

How to Show Support to Someone Who's Grieving

Offering support can eas the burden of someone who's grieving, especially for those who might be uncomfortable asking for favors. Try not to say, 'contact me if you need anything.' This makes them less likely to reach out, since it makes the support that you're offering into a chore.

Instead, let them know that you're here for them. You can even say that you'll check in on them and offer helpful tasks, such as grocery shopping, cleaning, or even a home-cooked meal. If you offer support or assistance, ensure you're ready to follow through.

Sympathy gifts often include comforting items like flowers, keepsake books, or handcrafted tokens. Providing a home-cooked meal or treats can be heartwarming. Additionally, financial help, especially for funeral or travel needs, can be a profound gesture of support.

Even if you aren't nearby to help your friends and family with logistical support, you can show emotional support by lending an ear or shoulder to cry on.

What Not to Say to Someone Who's Grieving

  • Avoid platitudes as they might come off as insincere.
  • Refrain from overly religious sentiments unless you're certain they would find them comforting.
  • Encouraging them to cheer up. For instance, avoid saying, 'They would want you to be happy.'
  • Steer clear of comments directly related to the manner of death or specific details about it. Avoid phrases like, 'They're not feeling pain anymore' or 'They're in a better place'. Instead, try to celebrate the life that they had.
  • Try not to talk about yourself or make it about you. Discussing your own experience of loss might be helpful for some, but it's best to wait until you are invited to speak about it. Otherwise, it could appear that you're trying to tell them how to feel. Avoid offering advice, including anything that begins with, 'you will...' or 'you should...'
  • Avoid saying, 'I know how you feel.' While it's a good impulse to sympathize and try to put yourself into their shoes, this can feel as if you're comparing your loss to theirs. Everyone has a different journey through grief. Instead, offer the possibility of listening and validating what they're going through.

Words for Every Occasion

Condolence messages bring solace in times of grief, but life's journey is filled with varied moments that call for our expressions of warmth, care, or celebration. Whether it's wishing someone a speedy recovery, celebrating joyous events, or showing gratitude, our words can make a significant impact. Explore the links below for sentiments tailored to different occasions, ensuring you always have the right words at hand.

  • Get Well Wishes: When someone you know is under the weather or facing health challenges, let them know you're thinking of them.
  • Get Well Soon Cards: A card can work wonders in lifting the spirits of someone recovering.
  • New Baby Wishes: Celebrate the joyous occasion of a new arrival with heartfelt words.
  • Thank You Messages: Gratitude has a way of brightening days. Find the perfect words to express your appreciation.
  • Thankful Quotes: Delve into quotes that capture the essence of gratitude and the joy it brings.

Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™


 

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