If you’re finding it difficult to come up with the right words for a sympathy card message, you’re not the only one. It is a problem that most people will face at some time.
What’s the correct thing to say? How can I express exactly what I feel in words? And how can I make sure it sounds genuine and doesn’t cause any additional upset to those grieving?
Some people even avoid sending a sympathy card completely. “People often refrain from contacting the bereft because they are afraid of upsetting him or her.” said Dr Jill Gross, Psy.D., psychologist, grief counselor and therapist. “Your loved one is already upset – what better time to hear from a trusted friend? I’ve heard so many grievers say they would rather their friends say the wrong thing than say nothing at all.”
Sympathy messages should be heartfelt and truthful, not forced and fake. Thankfully we can help you.
We have combined a large selection of sympathy card messages to give you ideas and inspiration for your own messages, making sure you will never have trouble thinking what to say.
So try some of the general sympathy card messages below that should be suitable for practically any card.
Short Sympathy Messages
These sympathy messages and wishes are short and to the point. Sometimes you just want a few simple words for a card that acknowledges a loss and let’s someone know you’re thinking of them. If that’s the case then these are perfectly suited.
With Deepest Sympathy
With Heartfelt Condolences
Sharing your sadness
Always in our hearts
Our love and thoughts are with you
Our Thoughts And Prayers Are With You
Keeping you in our prayers
Thinking of you in these difficult times
Thinking of you
So sadly missed
We are very saddened to hear of your recent loss
My heart goes out to you and your family at this difficult time
We would like to express our sincere condolences to you and your family
We want to express our sympathy and let you know that our thoughts are with you
Words cannot even begin to express our sorrow.
Please remember that you are not alone. we are always here for you
May your memories give you peace and comfort
Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same
Wishing you as much peace as possible during this difficult time
I am sending you a hug and my love through this note.
I wish you peace and healing during this time
We join all of you in your sorrow.
Our warmest condolences
Please accept my/our condolences
With caring thoughts
Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers
I am so deeply saddened by your loss
My heart is aching for you
I’m so sorry you’re having to go through such a difficult time
Never forgotten, always remembered
Long Sympathy Messages
If you want something a bit more expressive then a longer message will do the job. This allows you to expand further and offer your condolences in greater detail. You can use these as they are or as inspiration to write your own sympathy message. Finding the right words is tough but if you speak from the heart and are understanding then your message will be appreciated.
It seems so cruel to lose one so dear. Time may dull the pain, but we will never forget _______. Please accept my condolences.
I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright. I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more. I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive. I wish you enough pain that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger
There are times when there are too few words left to heal us, when what we wish for is to be carried, when all we have left is the hope that tomorrow will be a more gentle place to land than today
It was with great sadness that we/I learned of _______’s passing. Please accept our heartfelt condolences and we hope that in a small way they help through these trying times
Grief can be so hard, but our special memories help us cope. Remembering you and your loved one today and always
As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life’s routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived
May memories of _______ and the love of family surround you and give you strength in the days ahead
Hold tight to memories for comfort, lean on your friends and family for strength, and always remember how much you are loved
Wishing you peace to bring comfort, courage to face the days ahead and loving memories to forever hold in your heart
I am at a loss for words during this sorrowful time. Please know that I am thinking of you and praying for peace and comfort
Words seem inadequate to express the sadness we feel about ______ death. We are here to support you in your grieving process. With sincere sympathy,
We share comfort in knowing _______ is no longer suffering. We send thoughts of sympathy and support to you as you begin your journey without _______
I am praying for you to get through this time with the peace that comes from the knowledge that God loves you and that He will take care of you
I hope you understand that when people write in a card, ‘Sorry for your loss,’ it is only because they can’t put together words to describe what they are wanting to express to you during this time. With that said, I am sorry for your loss
I was saddened to hear of your loss, and I realize you have lost a blessing from God. I pray that God will bless continue to bless you in other ways and strengthen you.
I wish I could do more than give you my sympathy. Please let me know how I can help. Know that I am here if you need anything, and I love you
I wish I could express to you all the appropriate words. All I can say is that I am sorry for your loss and that I want you to know that you mean a great deal to me
It was with great sadness that I learned of _______’s passing. Please accept my heartfelt condolences and I hope that in a small way they help through these trying times
I can’t imagine what you must be feeling right now, but I want you to know that we are just a phone call away. My heartfelt condolences
You can also use a quote to offer your sympathies to someone. Quotes work well as famous people have often said insightful, profound and comforting things in regards to loss and bereavement. So try one of these sympathy card quotes.
“What we have once enjoyed, we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes part of us.” – Helen Keller
“Unable are the loved to die, for love is immortality.” – Emily Dickinson
“We understand death only after it has placed its hands on someone we love.” – Anne L. de Stael
“There are no goodbyes for us. Wherever you are, you will always be in my heart” – Gandhi
“A great soul serves everyone all the time. A great soul never dies. It brings us together again and again” – Maya Angelou
For more see our Sympathy Quotes.
Sympathy Messages to a Friend
When it’s a friend you’re trying to comfort and offer condolences you will want to be more informal. They need support and the knowledge their friends and family are their for them. Hopefully the examples below will help to console them and with friends support show there is light at the end of the tunnel.
I’m here for you, whatever you need
We’ll get through this together
Wishing you strength and peace during this awful time.
Remember that so many people are here for you if you need us. Please don’t hesitate to ask
If you need anything at all, be that to talk or some support when things get tough, I’ll be there for you
You are in my heart at such a difficult time. You have my deepest sympathies
It may not mean a lot but I hope my words of condolence can help bring you some comfort at this time
Take the time to heal and remember I’ll be here whenever you want to talk
May care and love of those around you provide comfort and peace to get you through the days ahead. My most sincere condolences
I know that what you are going through right now is very difficult, just know that I am here for you. I am truly sorry for your loss
Try our Condolence Messages for a Friend for more examples
Sympathy Messages for Loss of Mother
The loss of a mother is devastating and often some of the hardest times in anyone’s life. During this period the support and love of friends and family is key. Offer your sympathies and show you’re there for them with these condolence messages.
Your mothers amazing generosity and incredible spirit will never be forgotten. She was so special. My sincerest condolences
Your moms passing has been such a shock to us all. Let us know if there’s anything we can do. Stay strong
Everyone who knew your mom was touched by her presence. She was an incredible woman. We’re so sorry for your loss
I am here for you and your family if you need anything at all. Don’t hesitate to ask
Our thoughts and prayers go out to you during this tough time
More examples can be found with our sympathy messages for mother.
Sympathy Messages for Loss of Father
The loss of a father is as equally devastating as losing your mom. So the same should apply – console and support those grieving, and offer your condolences with one of the messages below.
The loss of your dad will leave a hole in so many people’s lives. Please accept our deepest condolences
I’m here for you if need anything, even just to talk. I’m so sorry for your loss
My sincerest condolences to you and your whole family
Your father was a great man blessed with a heart of gold. He will be greatly missed
I hope you can take a little comfort from knowing everyone who met your dad knew what a fantastic person he was. His Loss will affect us all deeply
For further examples try our sympathy messages for father.
Sympathy Messages for Loss of Husband
The loss of a spouse is always utterly heartbreaking. If you know someone grieving their lost husband then reach out to them and let them know they are in your thoughts.
I am deeply sorry for the loss of your husband. He was a wonderful man and I will miss him so much. All my love and condolences
I was so shucked and saddened to learn of your husbands death. I am going to miss him more than I can say. You are in my thoughts and prayers
My deepest condolences for the loss of your husband. I can’t begin to imagine how hard this is for you and realise these words will offer little to help but I am here if you need me. I am so sorry
I hope that friends and family are there to offer their comfort and support when you need it most. Your husband was such a fantastic guy and he will never be forgotten
I feel honored to have known your husband. He was such a gentleman; kind and generous to all who were lucky to meet him. I can only express my heartfelt sadness and condolences to you for your loss. May he rest in peace
Sympathy Messages for Loss of Wife
Use these example sympathy sentiments to offer your support to someone mourning their passed wife.
My heartfelt condolences for the loss of your wife. She was so loved by those who knew her, and her generosity and infectious spirit made her truly special. We have lost her far too soon
I was deeply shocked to hear of your wife’s passing. I hope you can find comfort in beloved memories of her and lean on loved ones for support. My sincerest sympathy for your tragic loss
I know there is nothing I can say to ease your pain. All I can offer is a friendly ear or shoulder to cry on any time you might need someone. You will be in my thoughts and prayers
Please accept my most sincere condolences for the loss of your beloved wife. Her warmth and friendly nature made her one of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet. I can’t quite believe she’s really gone. May she never be forgotten
Your wife was a unique and special person. There will never be anyone like her and it is a poorer world without her in it. All my sympathy sad love during this terrible time
If you would like some further help then try our touching sympathy messages for the loss of a wife
Sympathy Messages for Loss of Child
No words could ever hope to help a parent that has lost a child. It is a unimaginable pain and all you can hope to do is to offer your support to grieving parents and be there in their time of need.
I can’t begin to imagine how hard this is for you. There are no words that I could say that could hope to ease your pain. I am just so deeply sorry
Your daughter may have only been with us for a brief moment but she brought so much joy to the world. She was an angel who we will remember for eternity
Your beloved son was a shining light to everyone. May the knowledge of just how loved and how much happiness he brought to so many people bring you some small comfort
I wish more than anything I could take some of your pain away. I will be with you all the way through this though and be there for you whatever you need
It is beyond cruel to lose a child so young. No one should have to say goodbye to their baby. I am so sorry and offer you all my love and support over the coming weeks and months
Sympathy Messages for Loss of Sister
The loss a sister can be extremely harrowing. Siblings become very close and to lose someone you had such a bond with is heartbreaking. If you were close to them then send a few words to show you care and share your memories of their sister.
You have my deepest condolences after the loss of your sister and you will be in my thoughts and prayers over the coming weeks. I’m so very sorry
Please accept my most heartfelt sympathy for the death of your sister. She was a fantastic person and someone I felt lucky to call my friend
There is nothing that could console you during this time but please know that we are here for you if you need anyone. You have all our sympathy for the loss of your beloved sister
Your sister shall never be forgotten. Her memory will live on in the hearts all who knew her
There never was and never will be anyone as special as your sister. She will be with you forever. All my sympathy
For more message examples see our words of sympathy for the loss of a sister
Sympathy Messages for Loss of Brother
Much like losing a sister, a brothers death is devastating to the siblings. If you agent sure how to send your sympathy then these messages should help you to find some appropriate words.
There are few people who made such an impact on those who knew them like your brother. The world seems a smaller place now he is gone. I’m really so sorry and sad about his passing
I don’t know how much comfort it will bring you but your brother will live long in the memory of those who knew him and his life celebrated for having such a positive impact on so many
I am grateful to have had the chance to get to know your brother. He was such a loving and fun guy, and will be missed dearly
I know just how close you and your brother were and how losing him must hurt so much. I am very sorry and hope you can find some strength in the warm embrace of family and friends
It is heartbreaking to learn of your brothers passing. I understand my words can’t begin to mend your broken heart but I am always there for you if you need me
More help can be found with our 44 loss of brother quotes and messages
Sympathy Messages for Loss of Grandmother
To many the loss of a grandmother is almost as painful as losing a parent. Grandparents are such important parts of our lives and offer such wisdom and warmth. Send a message that focuses on the memories they had of their beloved grandma and all they meant to her.
Everyone who was blessed to have met and known your grandmother will say the same thing: she was the kindest and most warm-hearted woman you could hope to meet. I am so distressed to learn she has passed away and send my condolences to you and your whole family
To lose your grandmother is always so devastating. May the treasured memories you have of her provide some comfort through a tragic period
Your grandmother lead an extraordinary life and one that should be celebrated. I know how much she meant to you so hope you’re coping. My condolences
Those who are dearest to us cause the greatest pain when we lose them. May the cherished moments you shared you with grandma keep her memory alive and with you forever. My sincerest condolences and sympathy
It was with real sadness I learnt of the loss of your grandmother. I will remember her for the kindness and love she showed everyone
If you would like more examples then see our loss of grandmother quotes and messages
Sympathy Messages for Loss of Grandfather
A grandfathers passing is just as sad as a grandmothers. You should try to give them hope and reminisce on the happier moments they had with their grandpa.
I’m deeply sorry for your grandfathers passing. He was a real character and could always make me laugh. I will remember that the most – the laughter. I hope you’re coping and wish you better days ahead
There are few who will ever forget your grandfather. He made such a mark on the world and we, but most importantly you and your family, were lucky to have had him. I know a loss like this will be hard to get over but I wish you strength and comfort
Your grandfather would have wanted us to celebrate his life. He achieved so much and was so loved. May his legacy and memory never be forgotten
We were saddened to learn of your grandfathers death and wanted to reach out and offer our sympathy. We hope you are holding up ok and have the love and support of those closest to you to help you through
You are in my thoughts as you mourn the loss of your beloved grandfather. May his memory always be a blessing
Sympathy Messages for Loss of a Coworker
Many coworkers become close friends to us so when we lose one it can very sad. Reach out to your colleagues when they are mourning a loss and offer them your support.
My heart goes out to you during such a difficult time. Work becomes redundant when we lose someone so special. Just focus on getting through your grief and know everyone is there for you
Wishing you and your family much love and strength. Working with your father was a pleasure and I will miss him enormously
May you find comfort and peace after losing such a special loved one. My sincerest sympathy to you and your entire family
I was fortune enough to work with your mom and she was a lovely woman. I know I speak for everyone at the company when I say she will be missed dearly
Everyone in the office is thinking of you and sending our condolences for your loss
Sympathy Messages for Loss of a Pet
Pets aren’t just our animal friends, they become part of the family. So to lose one is often as painful as losing a family member. That’s why you should treat it the same and offer your condolences regardless of your own views on pets.
Our pets bring us such joy and happiness but for such a short time. To love one is to know you will lose them. My condolences
I know how close you were to your furry friend and send my sympathy for her passing. May the memories you have bring you some comfort amongst the grief
Saying goodbye to someone so special and loving is incredibly hard. You are in my thoughts as you mourn your departed friend
Your beloved pet will live on long in your heart and your cherished memories will never leave you. You have my sympathy
Our pets become more than just pets – they become family. So to lose one is heartbreaking. I am very sorry
Religious Sympathy Messages
If the bereaved are religious or have a then a Bible verse or faith based message might be the most appropriate for a sympathy card to them.
I am praying that God will give you strength and courage to get through this tragedy
The Lord will provide you peace when you need it most. He will embrace you in his love and bring light when there is only darkness
When we are faced with such testing times the Lord will provide the love we do desperately need and guide us through the storms
We are praying for you and your family in such difficult times. We hope your faith can help you find some solace and peace as you grieve
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted – Matthew 5:4
Meaningful Sympathy Messages
You might want your words of sympathy to be more profound and say something meaningful. These examples are a bit deeper in there message and speak directly to the heart of those grieving.
Wishing you comfort and peace to face the days ahead and loving memories to forever hold in your heart
Words will not wipe away your tears and hugs may not ease the pain, but hold on to your memories because forever they will remain
Wishing the love of friends and family, strength to face each day and warm memories to forever hold on to
There are special people in our lives that never leave us, even after they are gone
As long as we hold on to those memories of a loved one then they are never truly far away and will live on in our hearts
Uplifting Sympathy Messages
Sometimes positivity is needed when facing dark times. Whilst not always appropriate you may feel an uplifting message is required to try and give those grieving hope.
You have so many people who care for you and will be there for you through the bad times. Although the pain of loss will hurt for a long time you eventually see the light at the end of tunnel, and we will be with you all the way
We are sending our hugs and love to you and your family. You will be in our thoughts and we will do all we can to help you through this dreadful time
The memories of your loved one will live in in our hearts and our minds. Although they may be gone in person they will never truly leave us. Those wonderful memories are ours to keep and can never be taken from us
Remember the good times and the happiness your loved one brought to you. If you remember them then they are never truly gone
We wish you better days ahead and the strength to get through the grief you’re feeling. Please know you are always in my thoughts
Words of Sympathy for Flowers
Sending flowers after a death is common and often comes with a note for a few words. These examples are designed to be short and ideal for a message to go with a beautiful bouquet.
I hope these flowers can say more than our words could
May the beauty of these flowers remind you of your loved one and these few words show you are constantly in our thoughts
I hope flowers will demonstrate our love and condolences more than mere words can. All our sympathy to you and your family
May [name] rest in peace and always be remembered for the incredible person they were
With my deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathy to you and your family
Sometimes you find out about someone’s passing some time after the event. If so then you can still offer your sympathy even if it’s delayed.
I’m extremely sorry that this is later than I would have liked. There is no excuse, I just hope you are coping after your loss. Please accept my condolences
I only just learned of the tragic news and am very sorry for your friends passing. I will be thinking of you
I always want to be there for you when you need me and I can want this time. I hope you can forgive me and know that I am very sorry for the pain you’re going through. My condolences for your loss
I am late with this message and for that I apologize. May you be comforted by those closest to you and find the strength to battle through a truly distressing time
I’m here for you now. I will do all I can to help you through this. Whatever you need I will be there for you
If you are late with your condolences try this guide to sending your belated sympathy
Writing your Own Sympathy Message
You may prefer to write or come up with your own sympathy message. With something as personal as reaching out to someone after a loss it’s understandable to want what you say to be in your own words.
If so then consider and take into account these points when writing your words of condolence:
- Keep what you say short and to the point. You don’t need to write paragraphs. A sentence or two is enough to convey your feelings of sorrow and sadness.
- Think about who the card is for. The recipient will decide how you word it and the type of message you use. For example if an acquaintance loses someone then the message you write will be very different to if a close family member had.
- Always talk about the deceased in a positive way, even if your relationship wasn’t that good.
- If you can then sharing a brief sentence or two about how special they were and what they meant to you is appropriate.
What Not to Say
As this is such a sensitive time for those suffering a loss there are a few things you will want to avoid saying to make sure you don’t cause offence.
- Don’t compare a loss you’ve suffered to theirs. Each is individual and unique, and by comparing them you could make there’s feel less important
- Avoid using anything like “it’s for the best” or “it was Gods plan”. These sorts of phrases may be well intentioned but make assumptions that the person suffering the Loss could disagree with.
- Try to always send an actual card rather than an email or Facebook message. A card always shows you’ve made an effort and put some thought into it
- Don’t go into unnecessary details about the person’s death. Going over the cause of their passing just brings up unwanted memories
- And never bring up money or a will. This isn’t the time and would be very disrespectful
For further ideas and help see our sympathy message writing tips.
How to Sign a Sympathy Card
Signing your sympathy card isn’t that different from how you might sign other cards. The recipient will again decide the type of closing you use.
These are a few example closings for sympathy cards:
- My sincerest sympathy
- Sending my love
- With caring thoughts
- Wishing you peace
- Wishing you strength for today and hope for tomorrow
For a more thorough guide and further examples then we have a guide on how to sign a sympathy card.
When Should you Send a Sympathy Card
You should should try to send a sympathy card sooner rather than later. The sooner the better, really. On learning of someone’s death you might reach out with a text message or something very instant but send your sympathy card a few days later.
Even if you’re late you should still try to offer your condolences at some point. Later is better than never.
Sympathy Card Etiquette
There are often many questions around sending a sympathy card and message. When to send it, what not to say, do you include money or a gift, how long to wait etc.
The main thing to do though is to make sure you offer your sympathy to those grieving. Be that via a gift, card, text message or in person.
The “rules” about how to do it should come second to the actual act of offering your support and comfort.