Sympathy Messages: What to Write (Thoughtful Messages)

Life is a journey, so all of us living on earth are sojourners. This is a statement that you have probably come across. Nearly everyone goes through some type of distress or grief at one point or another. This is sad but true. This could be occasioned by the untimely death of a close relative, loss of a job, a broken relationship, or something else that is just as devastating.

As that person tries to deal with the loss, he/ she may need support from friends, colleagues, neighbors, or family members. In addition to offering support, it is also important to express your sympathy either verbally or in writing.

So, what are you expected to say when sympathizing with someone who has suffered a great loss?

Sympathy Messages: Types & Examples

Losing someone really close to you or to your beloved ones is a traumatizing and painful experience. One must choose the write words and order to express the feeling of grief and sorrow to the affected family.

Here are a few examples for you to use in such time :

Loss of father

Loss of father sympathy messages is often written to a friend, coworker, or relative who has lost his/her father. They help convey your deepest condolences to the family for losing the head. 

Here is a sample of messages to use:

I am sincerely sorry for losing your dad. As you grieve, remember that my prayers and thoughts are with your family. May God’s mercy give you comfort, knowing that your father’s long-suffering has ended.

Loss of mother

These messages are often sent to friends and relatives who have lost their moms. While it may be the toughest moments, these messages reassure the support and sorrows you have for the bereaved.

Here is a sample:

Losing a mum leaves an empty place in one’s heart. During these trying moments, I wish to extend my sincere condolences to your entire family. I pray for courage, comfort, and strength so that you can overcome these dark moments. 

Loss of a partner

These letters are written to friends or relatives who have lost their partners. The letters help the partner cope up with the tough moments after losing their lover.

Here is a sample of the messages:

I would like to express my heartfelt condolences on your partner’s death (hubby/wife). This must be the most difficult time for you. I pray that everything goes on well.

Sorry for losing your dear husband. Upon getting married, you made a solemn promise that only death would separate you. It is unfortunate that this has come to pass.

Unable to attend a memorial ceremony

If you aren’t in a position to attend a friends’ or relatives’ memorial ceremony, it’s wise to let the family know using these letters.

You can use the following as a sample message:

I was saddened by the disturbing news on the death of Mr. X. I can’t imagine what you are going through. It must be unbearable. 
Thanks for inviting me over to the memorial ceremony. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend due to [________]. However, I am sending my enclosed gift card. I thought it might help in a small way. 

Loss of a child

These are letters written to extend ones deepest sympathy to the loss of a child. While it may be the darkest moments of a parent.

The following sympathy messages may provide some comfort. 

We all have dreams of living long enough to see our children and grandchildren. It is unfortunate that yours passed on through a tragic automobile accident. I am very sorry about this. It was with great sadness that I learned of the untimely demise of your handsome baby boy. Please receive my sincere and heartfelt condolences.

For a coworker

Working together in a company establishes a deep sense of trust and friendship. Therefore, when a colleague dies, the other workers often feel the loss. As a coworker, the best way to express your sympathy and condolence is by sending sympathy messages.

Here is a sample you can use:

We learned with deep shock about the loss of Mrs. Y, our coworker at ABC industries. Mrs. Y was one of the devoted team players. As you moan over the loss, just know that we are in this together. May she rest with the angels. 


Every mother will tell you how saddening it is to lose an innocent baby through miscarriage. When your friend, relative or partner miscarriage, it gets deep within their psychological being. The best way to help them overcome such a situation is by expressing your love and care by sending them miscarriage sympathy messages.

Here is a sample of one:

I am sincerely sorry for the loss of your sweet bouncy baby to be. I know how much you wanted to keep this baby. Whichever the reason, know that it’s not your fault. I pray for healing and a great future. Also, know that I’m here for you through it all. 

Loss of a pet

These are sympathy messages sent to someone whose pet has died. Pets are valuable members of our family.

Therefore, here is a sample of the letters you can write:

I would like to express my sympathy for the loss of your pet, Tina. She was one of the most beautiful and disciplined cats that I have ever come across. I am still wondering what happened to her, but my hope is that whoever took the cat away will bring her back.

Closing Sentences to Use When Composing Sympathy Messages

The closing section of your sympathy message should express your willingness to support the bereaved family. Many times, it’s recommended that you offer something more specific rather than being generic. For example, you can use the following wording:

I am certain that you will be busy for the next few days, as you plan for the final send-off. In that case, I would like to babysit (mention the name of the kids) as you continue with your planning.

Avoid making general offers as it may not count as much. Also, do not offer promises that you won’t meet. 

Words to Avoid When Writing Sympathy Messages

It is no secret that such a time of loss in anybody’s life makes them feel extremely emotionally vulnerable and fragile. In such situations, it is the responsibility of the loved ones/friends of the bereaved to handle them in such a manner that additional pain is not added to their bucket. Therefore, in such conditions, it is crucial to remember not to use certain words or phrases in order to not come off as insensitive or unreliable and trigger the bereaved. For instance, you can try to avoid the usage of sentences such as ‘’ Whatever happened is for the greater good’’ because obviously, in such a condition those that are suffering are unable to be pessimistic and think about what’s good in life. If you use this sentence, it will make you seem as if you are trying to oblige the bereaved and get over with it by fulfilling your duty, in a heartless manner. Apart from that, avoid similar sentences like “Time will heal that wound.’’,’’ I can relate to what you are going through’’ and ‘’Everything will be okay.’’

Free Downloads (Sympathy Messages & Notes)

Life can be mysterious. We have all made plans for the present days, for the near future, and probably for the next 10 years and beyond. However, this does not prevent misfortune from befalling us.

If you know a friend, family member, or someone else who has lost a loved one, a business, an employment opportunity, or a marriage partner through different circumstances, it would be wise to tell that person how sorry you are. To do this, you can make use of the free templates available on this website.

Condolences Letter for Death of Child

Condolences Letter for Death of Father 01

Condolences Letter for Death of Father 02

Condolences Letter for Death of Mother

Death Sympathy Letter 01

Death Sympathy Letter 02

Death Sympathy Letter 03

Death Sympathy Letter 04

Sympathy Letter for Co-workers Death

Sympathy Letter for Death of Son

Sympathy Message for Club Member's Death

Sympathy Message for Not Attending Funeral


    What can I say instead of sorry for your loss?

    The phrase “Sorry for your loss” is often safe when expressing sympathy to the bereaved. However, it loses its meaning and hence generic if the bereaved keeps hearing it frequently for different people. Fortunately, there are other alternative expressions you can use instead of the much common “Sorry for your loss.” These include:
    You have my deepest sympathy
    I’m here for you
    You have my heart and support
    I know it’s hard…
    Take all the time you need.

    What is a good sympathy message?

    Ideally, sympathy messages should meet certain minimum criteria.
    The messages should be thoughtful. Do not come up with words that would give the impression that you were in a hurry.
    Sympathy messages should be focused on specific topics. When comforting your friend for the loss of his wife, for instance, do not digress into topics about business deals.

    If a friend, member of the family, colleague, neighbor, or associate has suffered loss, consider expressing how sorry you are in the most refined, supportive, and thoughtful way. Do not worry that the intended recipient would be offended if your message appears weak. The most important thing to do is to say something positive. Even though each situation is distinctive, there are some basic rules of engagement that must be followed.

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