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Famous last words quotes

The final words said by someone can leave quite an impression. Not just because of their significance to someone’s life, being the last recorded thoughts they have, but they often take on a greater meaning. Especially when they are poignant or funny. And many famous people have spoken extremely memorable words in their final moments.

When writing a sympathy card message it’s often useful to include profound or touching quotes. The last words of famous people can be helpful in this regard as some have said very fitting things for a card. They might help to provide comfort or understanding to the bereaved.

So take a look at some of the last words of a variety of famous people below.


“I’m bored with it all” – Winston Churchill
Spoken just before he slipped into a coma.


“I’m losing it” – Frank Sinatra
Spoken to his wife who was at his bedside when he died.


“Happy” – Raphael
His reported last word


“I should never have switched from scotch to martinis.” – Humphrey Bogart


“Money can’t buy life” – Bob Marley


“Oh wow.” – Steve Jobs
Repeated three times after a long last look at his family.


“It’s better to burn out than to fade away.” – Kurt Cobain
Written in his suicide note.


“I’d hate to die twice. It’s so boring.” – Richard Feynman


“Goodbye Kid. Hurry back.” – Humphrey Bogart
Said to Lauren Bacall as she briefly left his bedside.


“I’m going away tonight.” – James Brown


“I finally get to see Marilyn.” – Joe DiMaggio


“I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have.” – Leonardo da Vinci


“This is the last of earth. I am content.
” – John Quincy Adams
Said when he collapsed after a stroke in the US Senate.


“I’m shot.” – John Lennon
Repeated twice as he was shot outside his apartment building in New York.


“Don’t die like I did.” – George Best
Handwritten on a card by his hospital deathbed.


“You will not find me alive at sunrise.” – Michel de Nostradamus


“I am not the least afraid to die.” – Charles Darwin


“You are wonderful.” – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Said to his wife


“I want nothing but death.” – Jane Austen
Said to her sister Cassandra on her deathbed.


“I told you I was ill.” – Spike Milligan
The epitaph (translated form the Gaelic) that he requested for his gravestone.


“France, the army, the head of the army, Joséphine.” – Napoléon Bonaparte


“Nancy, I want you to know my last thoughts are of you.” – P. T. Barnum
Said to his wife a few hours before he died.


“Take a step forward, lads. It will be easier that way.” – Erskine Childers
An encouragement to his firing squad.



“Music has been my doorway of perception and the house that I live in.” – David Bowie
Said to his friend Gary Oldman towards the end of his life.


“Pardon me. I didn’t do it on purpose.” – Marie Antoinette
After accidentally stepping on her executioner’s foot as she climbed the scaffold to the guillotine.


“I’d rather be skiing.” – Stan Laurel
His response when having his last injection.


“Let not poor Nelly starve.” – King Charles II
Said in reference to Nell Gwynne, after the stroke from which he died.


“My Florida water.” – Lucille Ball
Said when asked if there was anything she wanted.


“It is not my design to drink or sleep. My design is to make what haste I can to be gone.” – Oliver Cromwell
His response when offered a drink by a servant.


Augustus Caesar –
To his subjects he reportedly said:
“I found Rome of clay; I leave it to you of marble.”
And to his friends who were with him throughout his reign he said:
“Have I played the part well? Then applaud me as I exit.”


“Thomas Jefferson survives.” – John Adams
Jefferson had actually died some hours earlier, also on July 4, the day he died


“It is very beautiful out there.” – Thomas Edison
Said right before his death, Edison came out of a coma and opened his eyes. He was probably referring to the view outside his window.


“Why do you weep. Did you think I was immortal?” – Louis XIV, King of France


“It is well, I die hard, but I am not afraid to go.” – George Washington


“Go on, get out – last words are for fools who haven’t said enough.” – Karl Marx

Sympathy letter samples and examples

Whilst in most cases sending a short note or message will suffice there will be times where it will be more appropriate to send a letter. If you are looking to send someone a sympathy letter or note then finding the perfect message or writing your own is a good way to go. However you might prefer a whole condolence letter, rather than just a short one or two lines. This way you can really convey exactly how you’re feeling and make it a little more personal and special.

But writing an entire condolence letter is tough. Just finding the right words for a short message is tricky enough! So knowing what to say and how to say it in a full letter is a daunting prospect. What’s the correct format, how long should it be, how much detail etc.

You can follow our guide below to writing your own sympathy letter. Alternatively you skip down to the letter samples and use or copy them.

Table of Contents
Guidelines for Writing a Sympathy Letter
How to Write a Sympathy Letter or Note
Sample Sympathy Letters
Sympathy Letter Example For Mother
Sympathy Letter Example For Father

Guidelines for Writing a Sympathy Letter

Before writing your sympathy letter there are a few considerations to take into account. Send your letter within a prompt time. Ideally in the first few weeks and before the funeral. Doing so any later could be considered rude and disrespectful.

If you can then try to hand write your letter or note. It shows you’ve taken more time and effort as well as being more personal. It makes it more special than anything typed. A sympathy card is acceptable but try to include your letter in some way – either slipping the handwritten note inside or writing it into the card itself.

If you’re attending the funeral or service then there’s a good chance a box will be there to place sympathy cards in.

Remember that a sympathy letter should come from the heart. Don’t attempt to make it too fancy or special, just speak from the heart. Consider what it is that you’d like to say that sums up precisely how you feel; be that about the loss they’ve suffered or how much they mean to you. If this still seems daunting then read some of the steps below to writing your own or see the examples further down for inspiration.

How to Write a Sympathy Letter or Note

Follow these steps to write your own sympathy letter. Not all of them are necessary but it should give you an idea of the way to construct your letter.

  • Begin by acknowledging the loss and be direct. Whilst you don’t want to be crass or harsh you shouldn’t shy away from the fact someone has died. Remember to refer to the deceased by their name as well.
  • Express your sympathy in whatever way you choose. You can use a sympathy message here for some inspiration
  • You could talk about the deceased and a favourite memory you had of them. Maybe a funny anecdote or warm memory.
  • Following on from that you could mention some of the deceased’s best qualities or personality traits.
  • If you can then offer some form of support. Be that help with the funeral, doing some shopping or cooking for them, looking after their kids etc. Only offer if you mean to help though. Don’t make it any empty gesture.
  • Finish the letter with a statement of support or thoughtful sentiment.

Whilst there isn’t a set way to write a sympathy letter this should give you an idea of how to format it. A sympathy or condolence note is very similar but usually shorter. Perhaps pick out what you consider the most important parts from above and include those for a note.

Sample Sympathy Letters

If you’d rather some more practical help then use one of the sympathy letter examples below. Either as a guide to writing your own or, if it fits, you can just use one exactly as it is. Hopefully they’ll help you to offer the comfort and support the bereaved needs at this very difficult time.

Dear ______,
I am sorry about the loss of your beloved ____________. We send our deepest condolences to you and to your family. Please let us know if there’s something we can do to somehow lessen the pain you feel in your hearts. We will always be there for you.
My love and sympathy to you and to your kids,

Dear_____________,
Our love thoughts and prayers are with you and your entire family. As always, we are blown away by your amazing spirit and strength. It was a pleasure meeting your __________ last month and look forward to seeing you all soon and creating new memories. My condolences.
Love,

Dear ______,
I’m sorry to hear about your loss. _____ was a very thoughtful and wonderful person. We will never forget those trips we had with _____, and we will always miss _____. We love you. Our deepest sympathies are with you. Please call us if you want someone to talk to during this tough moment and we will be there for you.
May ____ rest in peace,

Dear_______________, My heart is breaking for you. Please know that we are here for you. Whatever you need it will be done. I am bringing dinner over tomorrow night.
I love you

Dear_______________, Please know how sorry I am for your_________. It brings back difficult memories for me and my _________. I experienced a very similar situation. All I can say, Is enjoy the time you have and make sure you live without regrets.
All my love

Sympathy Letter Examples For Mother

Sympathy Letters About Mom Example 1

Dear Edna,

I can’t tell you how sorry I was to hear of your mother’s passing. She was such a sweet and kind lady and I will always remember her for that beautiful smile that she always displayed. I always admired her tireless energy- nothing ever seemed to slow her down.

I think your mother’s greatest legacy will be in the wonderful children she raised. She was so very proud of all of you.

The one thing I will probably miss the most is those Sunday chats your mom and I had. She was always quick to start a conversation and I will miss her wisdom and great stories of times gone by.

I hope that you will find the inner strength to get you through this sad and difficult time. You have my very deepest and sincere sympathy.

Yours In Sympathy,

Mary Lyons Brady

Sympathy Letter for Mom Example 2

Dear Members of the Reynolds’ Family,

We were deeply saddened to hear of your mother’s death. It was a shock to all of us.

I think that the loss of one’s mother is by far the saddest event of anyone’s lifetime. There is just no other loss that measures up to this one. But knowing your mom as we did, we know that she wouldn’t want us sitting around grieving but rather celebrating the wonderful life she led. I’m sure she had few regrets in living the full and successful life that she did.

We join in with everyone who knew your mom in wishing you peace and comfort as you face this very sad time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your wonderful family.

In Sympathy,

The Nelson’s

Bill, Ginger, Diane, Mark and Nick

Sympathy Letter for Mom Example 3

Dear Bob,

I was very sorry to hear of your mother’s death. Having lost my mom less than a year ago, I know full well the grief and sadness you are feeling right now.

I know that the thoughts are no doubt overwhelming that nothing ever will quite be the same. That certainly is true, however, soon you will have the memory of your mom that will live on in your heart and mind as well as in the hearts and minds of all of us who knew and loved her.

I will pray for God’s choicest blessings on you and your family at this difficult time.

In Love and Sympathy,

Beverly

Sympathy Words of Faith About Mom

Using a source of faith can be of great comfort to someone suffering the loss of a loved one. These are some examples of how to use words of faith and religion to console and offer hope to someone who had lost their mother.

Sympathy Words of Faith About Mom Sample 1

Edna,

How very sorry we were to hear of your mother’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers, and those of so many others who knew her, are with you at this sad and difficult time.

Your mother was blessed with so many wonderful experiences and a long and productive life. You must feel blessed as well to have had her a part of your life for so long.

Our faith tells us that God is showering his blessings on you at this very moment as well. The Bible says “Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted.” I pray that you will find peace and comfort in these words and that God will give you the strength and courage to go on.

God Bless You and your wonderful family.

Yours In Faith.

Gertrude

Sympathy Words of Faith About Mom Sample 2

John,

I want to let you know how sorry I was to hear of your mother’s death. She was a radiant and wonderful lady who enjoyed life to the fullest.

I know that it seems like a sad ending of a life, but I have faith that your mom is on a wondrous journey to reap her just rewards. Hers was a good and blessed life and the happiness and joy that she brought to all of us will live on in her memory.

I think that mothers are one of God’s greatest blessings, and your mom was no exception. Her angelic smile and sweet voice made her a joy to be around. I will miss her dearly.

I ask for God’s choicest blessings on you and your family. May your faith guide you and comfort you in your sadness.

In love and faith,

Margaret Peterson

Sympathy Words of Faith About Mom Sample 3

Martha,

I hope this finds you doing well and holding up over your mother’s death. I know what a difficult time it is for you.

I think that when God created mothers as the very special people that they are, that He had your mom in mind already. She was truly one of those blessed and good people who are full of so much grace and dignity.

I know your faith will comfort you. My prayers will be for you and your family to find the peace and strength that comes in knowing that a loved one has gone to their eternal rest.

God Bless You.

With love and affection,

Janice Reilly

Sympathy Letter Examples For Father

Dear Jenny

I am so sorry to read your devastating news. I never met your Dad, but know how wonderful and supportive he was to you over the years and can only start to imagine what you are feeling now.

You will gradually find comfort in all the happy memories. Your parents found their new life in Australia and lived the last years of his life in contentment there, surrounded by family.

Your dad lived to see you find happiness and security and love. He will have died content for knowing that. AND best of all he did not suffer a long illness.

Make sure you find time to grieve and allow yourself to do so – and don’t expect it to pass quickly. Losing a parent takes time to process for us mortals. Do you remember I was in the aftermath of losing my dad when we first became close? I didn’t fully recover from that for at least two years – and made some very strange decisions and acted out of character for much of that time.

I wish I could be with you to try to help somehow. I’m giving you a big hug now from halfway across the globe.

Sending love to you and all your family.

Take care and hang on in there.


Harry Patterson,
3241, Spring Lane,
Tampa, Florida, 70896

Dear Eugene,
It really saddened me when I heard about the ill-timed death of your father. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Robert was a great human being, and he will be sorely be missed. I was very shocked when I heard of his demise owing to illness. Throughout the night, I kept reminiscing all the wonderful times I had with him. He was like a father to me. I especially remember the time he took us fishing to the lake, we caught the most amazing fish I had ever seen, and the barbecue we did afterwards was unforgettable.

I cannot even imagine the sorrow your mother must be feeling, but please give her my condolences, and also tell her I will come to visit her soon.

In this tough time, Eugene, you have to be equally tough, and take your family through this period of sorrow. I can understand how hard it must be for you, as you too were very close to him. But being the elder son the family, you must bring yourself together, and take care of everyone else, especially your mother. She too will be in a fragile mental state. So keep her happy at all times and remember, great human beings do not die, but live forever through the lives they have touched, and the good principles they have instilled in their children.

My prayers are with you and your family, Robert was a great person who touched many lives, including mine.

Sincerest Condolences,

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Ways to Support Someone Who's grieving

When someone you know experiences a loss it can be hard to know what to say and do. You may have already sent a card or flowers but want to help and offer your support further, but aren’t sure how, and definitely don’t want to end up offending them. This is understandable but shouldn’t stop you from trying to be there for a friend or family member when they need it most.

Whilst it’s a minor problem compared to what they’re going through it’s not a bad thing to consider the best way you can be there for them. If you get it right then they will appreciate greatly from the comfort feeling like they’re not alone.

So to avoid any awkwardness or worsening of their grief follow the steps and recommendations below. Your support can be a huge benefit to helping someone through one of the hardest periods they will experience. Get it right and you will be an invaluable source of strength and comfort to them. But mainly, more than anything else, just remember to be there for them.

Table of Contents
1. Listen
2. Embrace Silence
3. Be Patient
4. Don't Judge
5. Be Direct
6. Offer Help
7. Do an Activity
8. Share an Experience
9. What Not to Say
10. Avoid Religion
11. No Comparisons
12. Think Long-Term
Further Tips
Ways to Support a Grieving Child
Depression and Suicide

Listen

You are probably more concerned with what you should and shouldn’t be saying but knowing when to just sit and listen to them is important. Let them express their grief. Don’t attempt to change the subject and avoid talking about what you think they will find uncomfortable. Allow them to make that decision. If they want to talk about their loved one then they should. They may feel the need to keep them from being forgotten. So whilst you shouldn’t pressure them to talk freely about their loss if they don’t want to you should let them know you are their to listen if they wish to.

  • Just listen and let them talk. Don’t be afraid of silence either.
  • Don’t try to change or avoid the subject of their loss. If they are want to and are comfortable with talking about it then let them.
  • Ask appropriate questions. Be gentle and supportive, not pushy or intrusive. Let them open up in their own time – “Do you feel like talking?”, “I’m here for you if you want to talk”
  • Do not force them to open up. Like the questions above let them know your there for them but it should all be at their own pace.

Embrace Silence

Following on from listening you should accept that silence will be a big part of comforting someone who’s grieving. They will often not want to talk, but just having someone their with them will be of comfort. You don’t have to say anything but offer some nonverbal gestures that show your support – holding or squeezing their hand, hugging them etc.

Be Patient

Don’t expect them to follow a pattern or timeframe for grieving. There is no correct or normal way to grieve. It will differ from person to person in the way they experience it. Whilst the more common timeframe for grief is between 18 and 24 months this can be much shorter or longer depending on the individual. So avoid pressuring or expecting them to be ready to move on if you feel they are taking too long. Only they can make that decision and will know when the time is right. You are likely to do more harm than good by saying anything.

Don’t Judge

Grief is a complex and incredibly difficult time for anyone experiencing it. The ways in which people react during grief will differ and could involve extreme emotions, outbursts and behaviour. Instead of judging their actions or believing what they are doing is wrong make sure you reassure them that this is common for anyone grieving. They will take comfort from feeling they are not unusual or different in the way they are behaving and acting. And if they at any point they express anger or frustration towards you then do everything you can to avoid taking it personally.

Be Direct

Whilst grieving it can be difficult to reach out for help. There may be feelings of guilt or that just getting through the day is hard enough as it is. Depression and exhaustion are common which make it harder to ask for the help they might need. So you should take the lead and offer your support directly. Be specific in what you can offer or do for them rather than asking what they need. It will make it far easier for them to accept your offer if it’s a very direct and specific question as opposed to something more general. Try something like “What can I get you from the supermarket?” or “Would you like me to come over and help with the housework?” instead of “Let me know if there’s anything I can do”

Offer Practical Help

Grief can be overwhelming and during the process it can be hard to function normally. The thought of doing everyday tasks might seem near impossible.

Some examples of the practical help you can offer:

  • Offering to cook for them. Alternatively cook at yours and bring round food to them.
  • Do chores and housework for them
  • Do the food shopping
  • Look after and pick their children up from school
  • Look after their pets
  • Help with the funeral
  • Accompanying them wherever they need to go

Offer an Activity

This may not be appropriate at first but as time goes by then a bereaved person will have lots of free time on their hands. They may want time to be left alone but they might also want friendship and distractions. Getting out and doing more “normal” activities can help to begin moving on and alleviating some of the grief. You could offer to take them to the cinema, get a cup of coffee or just go for a walk. However remember not to pressure or push them. If they aren’t ready yet then just leave it for the time being and try again at a later date.

Share an Experience

If you’ve also experienced a loss it can be beneficial to share your story with the bereaved. Having someone else that has been through a similar situation can be comforting. It also helps to know that eventually the grief will pass and recovery will happen. By sharing your own experience it can help to make that seem possible.

What Not to Say

There are a few things you should always avoid saying to someone grieving. These could end up causing great offence or worsening the grief.

  • “They were a good age”
  • There is never a good time to lose a loved one, whatever their age.

  • “He/she is in a better place now”
  • You may believe this but the bereaved almost certainly won’t. They will be mourning their loss and do anything to have that person back. It’s a deeply inappropriate thing to say.

  • “It’s time to move on”
  • There is no time limit for grief and whilst you might feel they should be moving on they may need more time. Let them get through it at their own speed without any pressure from you or others.

  • “It’s all part of Gods plan”
  • This may be acceptable to someone religious (although even then it might not), but for anyone else it will be very inappropriate. They won’t feel like the death of their loved one is part of any “plan”.

Avoid Religion

Following on from that it’s usually a good idea to avoid mentioning anything religious unless you are certain of their faith. To someone who already has a strong religious background and faith then they will find strength in that. But to others it will often provoke an angry reaction and could well be seen as offensive or, at best, clumsy. Please do pray for them but

No Comparisons

Don’t compare their loss to that of a pet. Whilst you may consider them to be similar there is a good chance they will find this very offensive.

Think Long-Term

Over the longer term try to remember that whilst the grief may appear to have gone it can be triggered and return by various things. Major landmarks are often tough times for anyone who has lost a loved one, so make a note of them to offer support again. Birthdays and anniversaries are the most common but anytime you think it might be tough for someone is worth trying to remember and making the effort to support them.

As grieving has no set time period then it can last as long as it takes. With that in mind you will want to ensure that you continue to provide support and assurance throughout the entire grieving period. Stay in contact on a regular basis. You don’t have to make it obvious about being there for them but just stay as a constant presence so they know they have someone to turn to. This becomes even more important once the funeral and initial stage of mourning is over.

And finally remember that the grief of a loved one stays with you forever. Acceptance will probably happen, and a coming to terms with the loss over time, but the pain will always be there. Keep this in mind in however you choose to support someone.

Further General Tips

  • Sending an email, letter or text/SMS message is acceptable. If you find it hard talking face to face then this can be a good way to stay in touch and offer some support.


  • If you promise to do something then make sure you keep it. Being let down during a time of grief can be devastating.


  • Appearances can be deceiving. Just because on the surface someone looks to be coping well doesn't mean they aren't struggling beneath. Allow them to let down this guard and show their real feelings.

  • Ways to Support a Grieving Child

    A child will experience grief in a similar way to adults but may require further support and reassurance. They take their cues from the adults they are surrounded by so make sure to show that grieving is normal and encourage them to do so. Be as clear as you can as to what has happened and ensure they don’t feel to blame in any way. If they have questions answer them as fully as honestly as possible.

    For further advice on supporting a grieving child see the websites below:

    Kidshealth guide to supporting bereaved children

    Cruse Bereavement Care – How to help a child or young person

    Depression and Suicide

    Grief will cause feelings of depression and misery but these should pass with time. If they don’t or they are actually getting worse over time then it’s possible their grief had turned into something more serious.

    If you suspect this is the case then please see the websites below for further information on what to do:

    Depression Warning Signs

    If the bereaved mentions suicide at all then please act quickly and contact one of the following:

    In the U.S. call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
    In the UK, call 08457 90 90 90.
    Or visit IASP for a helpline in your country.

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    Words of sympathy for loss of mother messages and quotes

    When someone loses their mother it will be a devastating time for them. The connection between a daughter or son and their mother is like nothing else. Losing someone you thought would always be there for you, that person you turned to for comfort and support in your toughest moments – it’s one of the hardest periods of anyone’s life. And the overwhelmingly feeling will be of grief and loss.

    Attempting to come up with the right words to express your condolences for those going through such a hard time and make sure you reflect the suffering they are feeling is an near impossible task. Trying to navigate between being utterly respectful but also try to console them in the best way you can. It’s understandable to be concerned you might offend them or just not get the tone right and capture the severity and grief they’re experiencing.

    So we hope the examples of words of sympathy for loss of a mother below will be the first step to helping you write a sympathy card message for the bereaved. You can choose to use them as they are or as inspiration to write your own personal version.

    I am sorry you had to lose someone so important and special in your life. I’ll be praying for you and the rest of your family

    Moms are special people, especially ones like yours. From the time I spent with her, I could tell she was an amazing lady

    Good mothers hold a special place in their hearts for their children and most children hold a special place in their hearts for their mothers. I’m sorry for the hole that you have now

    Please accept my condolences for the loss of your mother. From what I heard, she was a great woman to be admired. I’ll be thinking about you in the coming days and saying a prayer for you now and then

    Your mother was the type of person who inspired integrity in those around her; she encouraged others to be the best people they could be. That’s reflected in your life

    May these words comfort you on the loss of your mother. I will always remember her sweet smile and beautiful nature. May God keep you in his embrace at this difficult time

    Extending my deepest sympathy on the loss of your mother and praying that your faith will give you strength in this sad time

    A mom is someone who cares deeply and always, whether you have just scraped your knee or found out about a terminal illness

    Your mom was a very special lady and loved by everyone who knew her. Please know that we share in your grief and extend our deepest sympathy to you and your family

    From what I have heard you talk about your mother, it sounds like she was a great woman. She did an excellent job raising you. I am sorry for your loss

    Moms keep us alive when we are helpless babies, so it’s our responsibility to keep mothers alive in our minds after they pass

    There’s a special place in all of our hearts for our mothers, just like there’s a special place in every mother’s heart for her children. You must continue to carry her memory in that special place in your heart. I am sincerely sorry for the loss of your mother

    Moms are important and special people. I am sorry for the loss of such a valuable person in your life. My thoughts are with you and your family at this time

    Your mother was the kindest and gentlest woman I have ever met. I feel so fortunate to have known her and extend my deepest sympathy to you and your family

    Even though moms are the quickest people to give love to children, they are also the people who their children need love from the most

    Your mother was one of the warmest and most caring people I have had the pleasure of knowing. I am sorry for your great loss

    The heart that your mother had for others is a rare gift to the many people who had the privilege to know her and be blessed by her. Please accept my condolences

    May you find peace and comfort in knowing that your grief is shared by so many. Your mom will be sorely missed. God bless you and your wonderful family

    Most people only have one mom, and that is why moms are so special. I’m sorry for your great loss

    I admire the life that your mom lived, and I can only hope that I can have as strong of a finish to my life as she did

    No one can replace your mom, but God can comfort your heart. He knows what you need during this time much better than anyone else

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    sympathy words for loss of father

    Someone losing their father is one of the most difficult things they will have to go through. The bond between a son or daughter and their dad is profound and everlasting. The loss of a father can bring about not only feelings of loss and grief, but also fear. We often view our father’s as protecting us and so that loss can affect our feeling of safety. Overall though the strongest emotion wiil be grief.

    Trying to find the right words to express your sympathy towards the bereaved and the pain they are feeling is remarkably hard. You want to find the most respectful and comforting phrase you can. The worry is you will just come up with the usual tired and clichéd sayings. Not to mention the same words that everyone else will have used when expressing their sympathy.

    With all that in mind, the list of words of sympathy for loss of a father below should help to give you some ideas and inspiration for what to write in your sympathy card or say to the bereaving. Either use one of them directly or personalize it in the what you feel is the most fitting and appropriate way.

    My heartfelt condolences. Your father was an outstanding man and it seems that he has left us too soon.

    Your father always bragged about how wonderful you were. I hope you know that you meant the world to him. He was a wonderful man and will be missed. Truly sorry for your loss.

    Your father was one of the nicest people I know and I know that he was a great dad too. You have my deepest sympathy on your loss.

    I am truly sorry for your loss. There is not grieving message that can express how much he meant to me. My heart is aching.

    No matter wherever he is, he’ll always be watching over you. He will stay with you forever.

    I was so sorry to hear about your father’s passing. I know this is a very sad and difficult time for you and your family. You have my very deepest sympathy

    I am sorry to hear about the loss of your father. If you feel like talking to someone, know that I am a good listener.

    I cannot tell you how sorry I was to hear about your dad. I was shocked and saddened by the news. Please extend my sympathy to your mom and the rest of your family.

    The loss of one’s father marks one of the most profound rites of passage in our life.

    My condolences to you for the passing of your father. There will never be another man like him.

    I am really sorry for you loss. I know how close you were to your father and what an influence he had on your life. We will miss him.

    I hope it comforts you to know that your grief is shared by all of us who knew your dad. He was a wonderful man and he will be sorely missed

    I am deeply and sincerely sorry for the loss of your father.

    Life doesn’t seem fair sometimes and this is one of those moments. Your father was one of the good guys. I will miss him terribly. My condolences.

    I will keep you close in my thoughts and prayers in the coming weeks as you are going through your process of grieving.

    A father may pass on but his thoughts, hopes and dreams live on in us

    Your father was always there for my family and I growing up. He was so giving and thoughtful. He will live on in our heart forever.

    Losing your dad can be extremely difficult because you are losing a source of strength, stability and consistency in your life. I am sorry for your loss.

    Your dad was a wise man, but at the same time, he had a great sense of humor. He will be missed greatly and remembered often.

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    When sending a sympathy card there can be worry about the correct protocol or ways in which to do things. There are no set rules to this but we can offer some guidelines that you may wish to follow in order to avoid causing any offense or upsetting the recipient. These are by no means the only things to consider when sending your sympathy card, and you may find that some do not apply to your situation. But you should be able to use them as a starting point for what may or may not be considered appropriate. If you are worried about certain aspects of the process of sending a sympathy card, some of the topics covered here should help to allay some of your fears when it comes to the correct sympathy card etiquette.

    If you are looking for more ideas and help with what to write in a sympathy card, and what is the right thing to say for different people (friends, family, acquaintances etc.) try our Sympathy Card Writing Tips

    How Long Should I Wait Before Sending a Sympathy Card?

    There is no set answer to this. You should endeavor to send it as soon as you hear of the passing, but you can also wait a little while too if you are worried it may seem rather quick. Even if you have the opportunity to speak to them face to face though still send a card.

    When Has too Much Time Passed to Send a Sympathy Card?

    If possible then you will want to send a card or note as quickly as possible. But you may not hear of the passing until a later date, and that could be months after it has happened. If that is the case then it is still a good idea to send a some form of card or message to let the person know you are thinking of them. If you don’t then they may think you have just ignored the death and don’t care about it. Later is better than never. Obviously if many years have gone by then it would be a little strange for you to send something, but if it’s still only months, or even a year then you can be confident it isn’t too late and the effort would be appreciated.

    Can I Send an Email or Text Message as a Sympathy Message? Or do it via Twitter/Facebook?

    NO! It doesn’t take much effort to purchase a sympathy card from a shop or online, or even to write a short message on some blank stationary. Even if you learned the news of the deceased on social media it is still not a good idea to send your condolences that way, especially if you knew the person well. However, once you’ve sent a card/note then you may express your sympathies again over social media. Remember though – the first thing you should do is send some form of sympathy card.

    Can I Offer them Support?

    Yes, but you must make sure your gesture is then backed up. Do not offer something you cannot deliver on. For example, if you offered to babysit for them or help with the funeral arrangements, you have to follow through on that. Get in contact after your offer of support and repeat it, maybe even in person, so that they can take you up on your offer without feeling guilty about having to ask. So think about whether you can genuinely help before promising to do so. You must not offer to help and then just disappear. An empty gesture is much worse then no offer of help.

    Can I Say Anything Religious?

    This will have to be based entirely on your own judgement. Only you know the person you are sending the card to, and whether something religious will be appropriate or offensive to them. Using religious quotes or verses when you know them to be an atheist, for example, would not be a good idea. But for the most part saying something like “you are in my prayers” is not likely to cause any offense. The last thing you would want to do in their time of grief is start pushing your own religious belief onto them. Of course if you know they share the same beliefs as you then it would be completely appropriate to use religious wording. But overall if you are in any doubt then avoid overtly religious messages and keep it simple.

    Are Flowers Enough?

    If you are sending flowers then there is a good chance they will come with a note. However, it is considered better to send your own separate card or note as it will allow you greater space to express your true feelings. It is not a good idea to rely solely on the printed note that will come with the flowers, unless the shop you have ordered the flowers from will let you write your own. To be on the safe side though, try to send your own card as well as the flowers.

    Should I Send Money or a Gift?

    No. This would, by most people, be considered offensive. Unless you know otherwise that the person receiving it would appreciate some form of gift or money then it should be avoided. It could easily be misconstrued that money or presents can bring consolation for a loss. Stick to flowers and a card.

    Other Things You Can Do

    • Sending an anniversary card for the person’s passing as well as a sympathy card. When the anniversary of a death comes around then the feelings of loss and grief will return for the loved one’s. Sending a card on the anniversary to show that you are still thinking of them and are there for support. You may even want to buy a card for this when you are buying the original sympathy card and then put some sort of reminder for the year anniversary.
    • Try not to worry about your words failing to express the correct sentiments. By sending a card you will show how much you care, and even if you words don’t quite match the way you feel, it will still be appreciated.

    Other Things NOT to Say or Do

    • There are still some phrases you will want to avoid saying in your card. Things like “I know how you feel”, “at least they lived a long life”, “you need to be strong” etc. These are all inappropriate and not the sort of thing to say to someone grieving. As has been said previously in this article, keep it simple.
    • Don’t dwell on the circumstances around the death. When grieving, the last thing anyone wants to have to do is re-live the death of their loved one. Avoid mentioning this and just offer them condolences and support.

    Other articles you made be interested in:

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    Finding the right words for a sympathy card is tricky. That’s the main reason for this website – to give you help in expressing your thoughts and getting the correct words for the way you’re feeling. Hopefully if you’re struggling with this then you will find what you need here. But one area that is often overlooked is how to sign a sympathy card when you’ve written the message.

    How you sign your card will depend on how well you know the deceased, and to a certain extent on the message you’ve written. Some of the more basic closing’s that you can use before signing your name are:

    • Our sincere sympathy
    • Please accept my condolences
    • With caring thoughts
    • With deepest sympathy
    • Warmest condolences
    • With sympathy

    Try to keep things short, but avoid using anything like “Sincerely” as this can come across as too distant and formal.

    If you knew them well then you can consider using their name when you sign the card. This can add personalisation to the card, making it seem more genuine and sincere. Also, including a more personal sentiment and perhaps the word “love” would be appropriate, depending on the relationship you had with the deceased. Some of these sentiments would be a good starting point for closing your sympathy card:

    • With love
    • With loving memories
    • Thinking of you
    • _______ will never be forgotten
    • _______ will live on in our hearts
    • _______ memory will never be forgotten
    • _______ will remain in our hearts
    • We will never forget ______

    Extra Tips:

    • It is often a good idea to keep your sympathy message or note brief, and the same applies to how you sign it. Don’t go on for too long, keep it short and simple.
    • Sign your name, don’t leave it as anonymous. The recipient will want to know who it came from.
    • If you’re signing a sympathy card for a pet then all the same rules apply. You can possibly be slightly more informal, but never forget that people appreciate and love their pets as much as they do family. Keep that in mind and avoid anything that might offend them.
    • Unless you know it’s appropriate, avoid anything religious.

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    If you aren’t sure what to write in a pet sympathy or condolence card, including one or more pet loss quotes can be a good choice. They can often offer understanding when the recipient has lost their pet, and knowing they are not alone with the pain can be comforting. Some of the quotes will also offer insight into the loss, helping them to come to terms with what has happened.

    So try one of the many pet loss quotes below for your card:

    “That one true heart was left behind!
 What feeling do we ever find,
 to equal among human kind
, a dog’s fidelity!”~ Thomas Hardy

    “We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals”
~ Immanual Kant

    “The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him
and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too”~ Samuel Butler

    “Nothing to be done really about animals. Anything you do looks foolish.
 The answer isn’t in us. It’s almost as if were put here on earth to show how silly they aren’t”
~ Russell Hoban

    “I believe all animals were created by God to help keep man alive”~ Iowa Fujita

    pet-loss-quotes-1

    “No one loves you unconditionally
 as your beloved pet”~ Cynthia Dobesh

    “All animals, except man, know that the
 principal business of life is to enjoy it”
~ Samuel Butler

    “Until one has loved an animal,
 a part of one’s soul remains unawakened”~ Anatole France

    “Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in”~ Mark Twain

    “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole”~ Roger Caras

    “If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans”~ James Herriot

    “If I have any beliefs about immortality it is that certain dogs I know will go to heaven, and very very few people”~ James Thurber

    “A pet is never truly forgotten until it is no longer remembered”~ Lacie Petitto

    pet-loss-quotes-2

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    pet condolences

    Losing a pet can be just as hard as losing a friend of member of the family. They become incredibly special to their owners, and the loss will have a long and deep affect on them. So when it happens, sending a sympathy or condolence message can be the most appropriate thing to do. However, finding the right words can be difficult. Especially when you are trying to judge the impact the loss has had on their lives.

    If you are struggling then you may want to use the pet condolence and sympathy messages below to either give you a guide and some ideas of what to write, or pick the most fitting one and use it in your pet sympathy card.

    Our pets never really leave us. They live on in memories ofthe love and devotion they gave us.

    Our treasured friends bless our lives and give us more love than we ever knew possible. May fond memories of __________ bring peace and comfort to you.

    To lose a true friend is never easy.
 Know that you’re in our/my thoughts.

    At first they need us, and then we need them.
 Wishing you comfort and peace during this difficult time.

    In this tragic moment, perhaps you could celebrate the life of your beloved animal friend and allow the happy memories to help soothe your grief and mourning

    The heart remembers most what it has loved best. May fond memories comfort you and bring you peace.

    It’s hard to say goodbye to such a special companion.
 My thoughts are with you.

    In this tragic moment, we must celebrate the long life lived by your beloved pet, instead of letting those happy memories fade away in mourning

    Of all the words used to describe _________, there is truly only one – Irreplaceable.

    Extending deepest sympathy for you in your loss. And hoping, too, that comfort and peace may come to you.

    May fond memories of your beloved pet warm your heart always.

    Although no words can help to ease the loss you bear, just know that you are very close in every thought and prayer.

    Treasured friends like your furry companion are missed by all when they pass on, and their fond memories live on forever in our hearts. Wishing you comfort and peace in your time of need.

    I know words do little to ease the pain you feel when such a lovely pet passes on. Keep the memories close to your heart and know that I’m keeping you in mine.

    Some pets are friends. Others are family. The loss of an amazing dog can’t be easy, and I’m here if you need comforting in this time of grief

    I’m deeply sorry to hear about the loss of your friend and pet. They were certainly a gift from above. I am so sorry for your loss.

    Life is short, and the loss of a pet serves to remind us of how precious our time here truly is. I’m sorry to hear about the loss of such a wonderful pet.

    pet condolences

    Image: brighthub.com

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    sympathy notes

    A sympathy note, much like a sympathy card message, should always come from the heart. It doesn’t have to be long or but you should aim to express exactly what you’re feeling. But we understand that this can be difficult for many people. Thinking up the words and making them sound appropriate is not easy. If you find yourself in this position then one of the sympathy notes below may be able to help inspire you in what to say in your own.

    A few things to remember though: keep your sympathy notes short and to the point. Don’t well on details or remind them of anything painful. Just express your condolences to them and speak from the heart.

    Use some of the sympathy note examples below to either give you ideas of what to write in your own or use them directly.

    Words fall short of expressing my sorrow for your loss

    We/I are saddened to hear of your sudden loss

    Words can’t express how saddened we are to hear of your loss

    _____ brought so many gifts to our life. We will never forget _____

    With deepest sympathy on the demise of your _______

    We are deeply sorry to hear about the death of _______

    If my hug was strong enough to take away your pain, I would start now and never stop

    I can’t imagine the sadness you must be feeling from your loss

    May the love of those around you help you through the days ahead

    May you take comfort in knowing an angel is watching over you

    We share your grief in this time of bereavement with deepest sympathy and condolence

    This planet will not be the same without _______

    Just know that my arms are wrapped around you during this time of loss

    As you grieve know that we are remembering you and honoring the memory of _______

    Hold tight to memories for comfort, lean on your friends for strength, and always remember how much you are cared about

    Please accept our heartfelt condolences on the loss of your loved one

    sympathy gift ideas

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