138 Sympathy And Condolence Messages For Friends Or Family

It's hard to know what to write in a sympathy card or how to comfort a friend. If you're at a loss for words, these messages to share your condolences can help.

Knowing what to write in a sympathy card, or what to say during life's most tragic and hard times, can be difficult. As Southerners, we know mailing a card with a sympathy message, sending flowers with a condolence quote, or bringing a covered dish are good ways to express support. But it's next to impossible to know what to say in a sympathy card; finding the right words can be quite difficult.

The first step in extending a hand during life's tragedies is simply to do it—often, it's the act of reaching out and trying that matters most. But if you can share words that may comfort those who are mourning, writing a sympathy message is well worth the effort. When you're at a loss for the right expression of sympathy, these condolence messages and sympathy quotes can help you find words of comfort for friends and family.

No Wrong Way To Grieve Quote

Southern Living

What to Say When Someone Dies

No matter whether a death is expected or not, it always comes as a shock. How do you know what to say when someone passes away? What happens when you want to share words of comfort for a friend, but the words just won't come? These condolence messages will help you find the words to write in a sympathy card.

  • There's no wrong way to grieve.
  • Deepest sympathies. I am so sorry for your loss.
  • Sending you positive thoughts and lots of prayers.
  • You're in my thoughts. Let me know if I can help with anything.
  • There are no words to convey how terrible this is. You are in my prayers.
  • Sending you all the good vibes I can.
  • I'm available for grocery deliveries, kid pickups, babysitting, making dinner—whatever you need.
  • I'm here if you need me.
  • Lean on me; I'm happy to be your shoulder to cry on.
  • Wishing you all the peace and comfort possible.
  • Warm thoughts for you on these chilly, lonely nights.
  • When you are ready, I am here for you.
  • I'm praying every day for your comfort and for you to be able to find joy again. I love you.
  • Please know that however you're feeling right now—sad, numb, guilty, tired, angry—it's normal. There's no right way to feel. I love you and am so sad that you're going through this.
  • I want to be present for you, but I don't know how. Please know I'm thinking of you and praying for you, and if there's anything else I can do, don't hesitate to let me know.
  • I usually get up at the crack of dawn to go for my run—if you're overcome by grief and want to talk about it one of these mornings, please know that you can call me, even if the sun's not up yet! I know that grief doesn't wait for "business hours."
  • You know that I'm always up until at least midnight—please know that you can give me a call if you need to talk to someone, even if it's super late. And if you don't want to talk and just want to know there's another person on the other end of the line, that's okay, too.
Heartfelt Sympathy Quote

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What to Write in a Sympathy Card

Finding words of sympathy that can comfort your friends, family, and loved ones during a time of grieving is very difficult. Add your own unique touch to one of these ideas to make the process a little bit easier.

  • Our hearts are breaking for you.
  • With sympathy and well wishes
  • Wishing you comfort during this dark time.
  • With sympathy and love
  • In memoriam
  • With all our love
  • We are so sorry for your loss.
  • Our prayers and thoughts are with you.
  • We will always remember.
  • In celebration of a beautiful life
Clouds Part Sympathy Quotes

Southern Living

Short Condolences Messages

Sending flowers is a lovely way to express condolences for a loss. Whether you're sending flowers to a funeral or ordering a special gift basket or flower bouquet, it's kind to include a sympathy message for the flowers that you send. Our short condolences messages may help.

  • The sky is so gray for you right now; I hope the clouds part soon.
  • I'm so sorry for your loss. Please don't hesitate to call if I can help with anything.
  • Thinking of you and hoping there is sunshine in your life soon.
  • I'm just a phone call or a text away. Please don't hesitate to reach out.
  • Our hearts are breaking for you; we hate that you're going through this.
  • Life has given you lemons. I'll give you vodka. Let's get drinks soon.
  • Roses are red; sorry you're blue!
  • I'm so sorry you're going through this.
Queen Elizabeth Quote About Grief

Southern Living

Sympathy Quotes

After you've shared your own words with a friend, sometimes you also want to share the wisdom of others. Comforting quotes about death from authors, philosophers, and religious teachers can help us communicate our own expressions of sympathy. Here are a few condolences quotes to bring comfort.

  • "Grief is the price we pay for love." — Queen Elizabeth II
  • "Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it." — Helen Keller
  • "Death is nothing else but going home to God, the bond of love will be unbroken for all eternity." — Mother Teresa
  • "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
  • "There is no greater sorrow than to recall happiness in times of misery." — Dante Alighieri
  • "End? No, the journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The gray rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it." — J.R.R. Tolkien
  • "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
  • "It is not length of life, but depth of life." — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • "Grief when it comes, it is nothing like we expect it to be." — Joan Didion
  • "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
  • "Unable are the Loved to die/ For Love is Immortality." — Emily Dickinson, Poem 809
  • "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." — Gandhi Mahatma
Matthew 11:28-30

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Religious Sympathy Messages

There's no greater comfort at the time of a loss than the word of God. Bible verses remind us that we are a part of a bigger story, but sometimes it's difficult to find just the verse we're looking for when we want to share comforting verses and prayers. Here are a few passages from scripture that are appropriate to share when a loved one has died.

  • Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. — Matthew 11:28-30
  • 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
  • Record my lament; list my tears on your scroll — are they not in your record? — Psalm 56:8
  • 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
  • Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him. — Psalm 126:5-6
  • So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. — Isaiah 41:10
  • But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. — Job 23:10
  • The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace. — Psalm 29:11
  • Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. — Psalm 55:22
  • When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. — Isaiah 43:2-3a
  • I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name. — Isaiah 45:3
  • Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. — Jeremiah 33:3
  • Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, The Lord is my portion, therefore I will wait for him. — Lamentations 3: 21-24
  • 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

Scriptures are 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.™

Legacy Sympathy Message

Southern Living

Sympathy Messages for Loss of Mother

When someone loses a mother, their whole world turns upside down. Nothing can change such a huge loss, but words of sympathy for the loss of a mother may encourage those grieving to reach out to you when they're ready for comfort.

  • Her legacy lives on in you.
  • I'm so sorry that you've lost someone who you and your family loved so much.
  • I'm sure you made your mother so proud; I'm sorry her light is gone from your life.
  • You've experienced such a huge loss in saying goodbye to your mother. When you're ready, I'd love to hear more about who she was to you and what your times together were like. Please call if you'd like to share memories; I'll bring a bottle of wine.
  • I know this is a loss that hits you so deeply. You are a wonderful mother, and I know the grief at losing your own mom must be so difficult to navigate.
  • I loved your mother's smile and her welcoming personality. I can't believe she's gone; I'm so sorry for your loss.
  • Your stories of your mother make it clear that she was a warm and welcoming person. I see that spirit live on in you, and I'm so sorry you have to suffer through this time.
  • I know this Mother's Day is very difficult for you. I wanted you to know that I'm remembering your mother today, as I'm sure you are. If you'd like to grab a coffee and share memories about her, I'm available.
Sympathy Quote About A Loved One

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Sympathy Messages for Loss of Father

Losing a father is one of life's most difficult things to bear, and it's hard to know what to say to comfort those who are grieving a parent. Our words of sympathy for the loss of a father may help friends and family know that you'll be there when they're ready to grieve with you.

  • He was a rock for all of us, but I know he was even more than that for you.
  • His influence is obvious in the way you parent and the way you live your life. You are your father's legacy, and he must have been so proud of you.
  • I know you feel unmoored and so sad right now; if there's anything I can do to help you, your mother, or your family with household tasks, paperwork, or errands, please let me know.
  • I can't believe he's gone, and I know the shock is even greater for you. I hope memories of the happy times you had together can be of some comfort during this incredibly difficult time.
  • Your father had such an amazing laugh! He was always so happy to put everyone at ease with a joke or a hug. I'm so sad for you and sorry such a wonderful person is gone.
  • I always love hearing your stories of you and your dad—I know he was a larger-than-life presence in your life, and that you loved him very much. I'm so sorry he's gone. Please let me know if there's anything I can do for you and your family.
  • I know this Father's Day must be very hard for you since you lost your dad earlier this year. Please know that I'm thinking about you and your family and praying for you today in particular.
Precious Love Sympathy Message

Southern Living

Sympathy Messages for Loss of a Child

There's nothing that can truly soothe a parent when they lose a child; it's a tragedy that's beyond compare. A grieving parent needs to know they have people they can rely on when life has betrayed them. These words of comfort for the loss of a child cannot heal the wounds of the parents who are grieving, but they may be able to show the parents that you're there for them when they need help or when they're ready to talk.

  • The world has taken your most precious love, and my heart is broken for you. We are praying for you and love you.
  • The phrase "there are no words" seems like the only thing that fits right now. I cannot fathom what you're going through, but I love you and am thinking of you.
  • Life seems incredibly cruel and arbitrary right now; I cannot find meaning in what has happened. I love you and will be thinking of you and praying for you. If I can do anything more, please let me know how I can help.
  • I cannot imagine how awful and bleak your world looks right now. I'm praying that hope and comfort flood your life during this dark time.
  • This is the most awful thing that could have happened, and I cannot believe that it happened to you, such a wonderful person. It's unfair and horrible, and I'm so sorry.
Praying For You Sympathy Message

Southern Living

Sympathy Messages for Loss of Husband or Wife

Experiencing the death of a spouse is usually a shock and a tragedy; the spouse who's left bereaved often has double the responsibilities to deal with on top of grief and sadness. Sharing a condolence message in a card or with flowers is a kind way to tell the grieving widow or widower that you're there for them.

  • I know your heart is broken and your life has turned inside out. I love you and am praying for you.
  • I have so many happy memories of the two of you; if you ever want to reminisce about the happy times, I'll come over … and I'll bring wine.
  • You've lost your life partner and your love. Nothing can replace him. I certainly can't, but I can bring you groceries. I will do anything and everything that you need.
  • I wish there were more I could do to heal your broken heart, but I cannot. I can help organize files, make phone calls on your behalf, and help you sort through the logistics and awful paperwork that comes from losing a spouse—I'm available to help in that way if you need me.
  • I cannot imagine how much you are hurting right now; I know the road ahead of you is long, and I will walk with you along it as much as I can.
  • You've lost your other half, and you feel incomplete and lost. I hate that you have to suffer through this; I love you and will be here for you whenever you need me.
  • Call me or text me any time—I mean it. When you're scared in the middle of the night, when you're angry at 3 p.m. on a Tuesday, when you're sad or frustrated, or even when you want to remember the happy times, I am here for you. You can even call just to irrationally yell at me when you just need to take it out on someone. I mean it! I love you so much.
  • I've used an app to send you $50 for babysitting money; if there's anything else I can do to help you get through this time, don't hesitate to ask.
  • I'm happy to take the kids out for a few hours whenever you need some time. You can do errands, cry, stare at the wall, binge watch bad TV, whatever—I won't ask. Just text me and I'll be there.
I Love You Sympathy Message

Southern Living

Sympathy Messages for Loss of Sister

The death of a sibling is so difficult, and when your friend loses a sister, finding a way to provide comfort is tough. Of course, nothing can truly heal the loss of a sister, but condolences can help show kindness and let your friend know that you're available when they are ready to reach out for more.

  • I love you, and I know she loved you, too. I'm so sorry that the world has lost such a bright light.
  • I cannot imagine the depth of this loss for you; your family is broken and will never be the same. Please know that I'm thinking of you and hoping for healing wherever it is possible.
  • You shared so many memories with your sister, and I hope those can be bright for you during this time. If you'd ever like to share remembrances together about her, I'd love that.
  • She meant so much to all of us, but I know that she meant the most to you. Please let me know if there's anything I can do for you and your family during this dark time.
  • I didn't know your sister, but I'd like to know more about her. If you ever want to remember her or share, I would like to hear about who she was and your times together.
  • I wish I had the right words, but I just don't. Just know that I care, and I want to help in any way I can.
  • I don't know how you feel, and I won't pretend to. But I do love you, and if there's anything I can do for you right now, I'm happy to do it.
Heart Is Breaking Sympathy Messages

Southern Living

Sympathy Messages for Loss of Brother

When a friend loses a brother, the most important thing to do is let your friend know you're there for them. These words of sympathy for the loss of a brother may also help get you started with a message to write in the condolence card.

  • I know your heart is breaking now; if there's anything I can do, please let me know.
  • The world has lost a good man, and you have lost a brother. This is a loss for all of us, but the grief and sorrow that you feel are the deepest and most poignant and personal. Please reach out if there's any way we can help.
  • I cannot imagine a world without your brother, and I know you can't either. The memories of him will always be with us, and I was so thankful to know him.
  • I didn't know your brother well, but I know that you loved him. I'm so sorry for your loss, and I hope you'll reach out if there's anything I can do.
  • I have such amazing memories with your brother. He was giving and funny and full of life, and I can't believe that he's gone. If you ever want to share stories about his life, I'd love to share some of my favorite memories of him and hear yours.
  • Losing a sibling is so horrible, and I'm sorry you're having to go through it.
  • You know I'm only a phone call or a text away if you want to talk, scream, or cry.
Grief Is a Journey Sympathy Message

Southern Living

Condolence Messages For A Friend

When a friend is going through the worst, its your time to be there for them. Knowing exactly how to show up for a friend is a challenge, but if you know your friend well enough, you may know exactly what she needs. Even so, a little bit of guidance when you're at a loss of words can go a long way. Here are some condolence messages for a friend to get you started.

  • Grief is a journey, and I'm going to be here for you every step of the way.
  • I know that you will never forget [him/her], and I hope you're able to soon remember the happy memories and hold tight to them. If you'd ever like to get together to share stories about [your loved one], I'd love to; I'll bring over snacks and wine, or we could meet for coffee—whatever you'd like.
  • Grief is such a complex part of life, and everything you're feeling right now is normal, even though it seems strange and is so difficult to navigate.
  • I know you loved [him/her] very much, and it's hard to imagine life without [him/her]. You must be feeling everything from numbness to anger, from sadness to frustration, and everything in between.
  • We don't have to talk at all if you don't want to; I'm happy to just drop off groceries on your doorstep if that's what you need.
  • Though I will never know the pain you're feeling, please know I'm here for you. At any hour, I'm just a phone call away.
  • I know your world is so dark right now. Sending you light through my love. I'll always be there for you.
  • Finding your way to a new normal will be difficult, I'm sure. I'd love to help with errands, babysitting, washing dishes, picking up groceries, or whatever else you need. I know these daily tasks can seem incredibly overwhelming in the wake of a loss. If I can help in any way, please know that I'm only a text away.
Light After The Dark Sympathy Message

Southern Living

Deepest Condolences Messages

Expressing a deep feeling of sorrow can feel vulnerable, but at times of loss, a genuine message of support may be exactly what is needed. If you're unsure how to open up and share your deepest condolences, these thought starters can help you find your voice and connect with your feelings.

  • I hope that, even though your world is so dark right now, you are soon able to see some light in the memories you had with your loved one.
  • I know your grief must seem insurmountable. Please know that I'm thinking of you and praying for you.
  • Be kind and gentle with yourself. Take your time. You have my deepest condolences and support.
  • This is beyond difficult. My heart goes out to you as I send my heartfelt sympathy to you at this sad time.
  • I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm sharing in your sadness and praying for you during this difficult time.
Thinking of You Sympathy Message

Southern Living

Condolences Email for Coworker

Letting your coworker know that you care about them when they're experiencing grief is an important and difficult thing to do. If you only have an email address for your coworker, you can still send a condolences email of support. Here's a template for a good place to start when composing a sympathy email for a coworker.

  • I know this is a bit awkward, but I wanted to acknowledge your loss and say that I'm so sorry. It can be difficult to express these things in the workplace, and I know that you might feel displaced as you go through the motions of being back at work. I just wanted you to know that I'm thinking of you and your family during this dark and difficult time.
  • I'm so sorry for this loss; I know times like this are so tough, and I hate that you're going through this. Even though we're not incredibly close, if you think of anything I can do for you or your family, I'd love to help. Please let me know if there's anything I can do.
  • I heard about your loss, and I wanted to let you know that I'm so sorry. It's difficult to get through times like this, and I hope that you're able to find the comfort and strength that you need. Please know that I'm thinking of you and pulling for you.
Thinking of You Sympathy Message

Southern Living

Condolence Text Messages

After finding out your friend has lost a loved one in their life, you might not know exactly what to say. Before picking up a pen to write your sympathy card, a simple text can help let them know you are thinking about them. Here are a few condolence text messages to send to your bereaved friend.

  • Thinking of you. Praying for your peace and comfort during this difficult time.
  • I don't know how you feel, but I am here to help in any way I can.
  • No one can ever prepare us for the loss of a loved one. Your strength is admirable. Remember that I'm here for you.
  • Sending my most heartfelt sympathy to you and your family. ❤❤
  • My heart goes out to you, and I wish you nothing but comfort and strength. Rest in peace.
  • Cherish all of your wonderful memories. I'm here for you. 💕💕💕
  • Please know that I'm thinking of you. These are trying times, and I'm here for you if you ever need me, no matter the hour.
  • Sending you a virtual hug. I'm here for you! ❤💕❤
Wishing You Comfort and Peace Sympathy Quote

Southern Living

How to Sign a Sympathy Card

What's the right way to sign a sympathy card? It's not inappropriate to simply sign your name, but if you'd like to add an extra touch, here are some ideas for how to sign a card on funeral flowers or a sympathy note.

  • Wishing you comfort and peace,
  • With all our love,
  • You're in our prayers,
  • In remembrance,
  • Hoping you find light in this darkness,
  • You are not alone,
  • We are here for you,
  • I'm so sorry for your loss,
  • Call or text if you need anything,
  • With deepest sympathy,
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