Last Updated on July 15, 2020
What’s the best way to express your condolences and sympathy?
When someone you know has lost a loved one, it can be hard to find the right words for a condolence message.
The person to whom you are sending your sympathy is grieving, perhaps even in a state of shock. And if you knew the decedent, you’re mourning too! So while it’s important to get the message right, it’s also not always easy to do so.
We’re here to make it easy for you. Here are 101 messages of condolence you can copy, use, and alter as you see fit.
These quotes are organized under six different themes:
- For Sympathy Cards
- For Flower Arrangements or Gifts
- Offering Help
- For When There Are Simply No Words
Let’s get right to it.
Best Condolence Messages
20 Short Condolence Messages
1. Thinking of you during this difficult time.
2. My sincere condolences to you and your family.
3. I’m so sorry for your loss.
4. You and your family are in my prayers.
5. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do for you.
6. So very sorry for your loss. Here is a comforting Bible verse just for you: Psalm 23
7. I wish I was there with you right now. I am so sorry.
8. Do not hesitate to call or text if you need anything. I’m here for you.
9. Sending great big hugs your way.
10. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Please let me know if you need anything.
11. Just got the news. I am so, so sorry.
12. I am so sorry for your loss. How can I help you right now?
13. ______ was a wonderful person, and will be greatly missed.
14. I have so many wonderful memories of ______. I’m really going to miss him/her.
15. I have so many wonderful memories of _____; looking forward to reminiscing with you when the time is right.
16. This is so hard to believe and I’m so sorry.
17. I’m so sorry you’re having to go through this.
18. I know you are very busy right now, but wanted you to know I’m thinking of you. Very sorry for your loss.
19. Thinking about you day and night. Please let me know if you need anything.
20. I can’t imagine what you must be going through. I’m so sorry for your loss.
20 Christian Condolence Messages
21. May the Lord keep you safe under His wing as you begin to navigate this new existence. Our prayers are with you and your family.
22. We are so very sorry for your loss. Remember that _____ is with the Lord now, and no longer in any pain. If it’s any consolation, one of my favorite Bible verses to turn to when I need comfort is (insert verse). Please let me know if I can be of help in any way.
23. You may feel that you are alone right now, but please know that you are not. God is a very real presence with you right now, and I can be there right next to you too, as quick as a flash, if you ever need anything.
24. May this Bible verse, straight from the mouth of God, bring you peace and comfort today and in the days to come: “God is our refuge and strength. A very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46.1
25. At times when I am grieved, I imagine the Lord enveloping me with his strong, caring arms, carefully holding me just like a father holding his child. I pray that this heavenly comfort be brought to your and your family today and in the days to come.
26. It is our prayer that God will comfort you and your whole family during this sad time. May he richly bless you as you mourn, and may the light of His presence be a continual source of consolation.
27. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
28. Because I know that _____ was a believer, I just want to remind you that “Goodbye” is really “See you later.” I can’t imagine how difficult things are for you right now, but keep this truth close to your heart and you will find peace.
29. I pray the Lord keep ______ close as He carries him/her with the angels straight up to heaven. And may be bring you a heavenly tranquility in knowing that He has _____ enveloped in perfect care.
30. Allow me to offer you a few words from that great preacher Charles Spurgeon, who reflects on the glorious, mysterious afterlife that awaits all who believe: “It is the very joy of this earthly life to think that it will come to an end.”
31. May the great Healer pass His gentle hand over your heart and soul as you come to terms with your loss.
Recommended Resource: What Grieving People Wish You Knew (Book Review)
32. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.” Isaiah 43:2
33. There is a reason the good Lord gave us memories…hold to them tightly.
34. I hope it help you to remember that as Christians, death is not the end. We have so much still to look forward to. Even though this life may be short, a blissful eternity with _____ still awaits you. We all just have to wait a little bit longer. Our continued prayers for you and your family.
35. I am so sorry for your loss. They like to say, “Heaven’s gain”, but I know your sorrow is yet still raw. I also know that there is power in prayer. I will be praying for you each and every day…please let me know if there is something specific that you need me to pray for.
36. If you are ever feeling overwhelmed and alone, please remember this beautiful Bible verse: “I will lift up my eyes to the hills. From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121: 1-2.
37. It’s been on my heart to share with you a few words from Mother Theresa. I pray these words bless your heart and mind as you prepare to say goodbye to your loved one: “Death is nothing else but going home to God, the bond of love will be unbroken for all eternity.”
38. God is big enough.
39. Please know that I am adding you and your family to my church’s prayer warrior roster. There is power in prayer, and we want to shower you with those prayers and wait in anticipation for the Lord to rain down His blessings of peace over you. Please let me know if there is anything specific you need prayer for.
40. I know it is so hard for you right now, but even in the face of death, God has provided His children real hope for the future, hope that can never be taken away, thanks be to Jesus: “They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb Who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every teat from their eyes.” Revelation 7:16-17. I love you and am praying for you!
Related: Comforting Scripture Verses
20 Condolence Messages for Sympathy Cards
41. So very sorry for your loss. Out hearts are breaking for you. Sending lots of love your way.
42. Our thoughts and prayers are with you today and always. We are just a phone call away if you need anything at all.
43. Just wanted to reach out and let you know that you have my heartfelt condolences during this difficult time.
44. Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.
45. A sweet quote from a poet of old I’d like to leave with you: “Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.” Rabindranath Tagore
46. Like the breath of sweet flowers wafts near and then leaves, so will the pain you are feeling right now. Hold tight, keep your head up, and know that happy days lie ahead once more.
47. Dear _____, I am sorry for your loss. I know how tricky grief can be…one day you’re fine and the next day you aren’t. Please keep me in mind if you find that you need anything at all in the days and weeks ahead, I am here for you.
48. Grief has no time table. Take as much time as you need to process your bereavement and to heal your heart. I will be here for you every step of the way should you need a helping hand.
49. Flowers fade, but words live on. I hope this note finds you well, even as you continue to mourn the loss of your loved one. Please reach out to me if there’s anything you need or anything I can help with.
50. I wanted to write and let you know that you and your family are in my prayers right now. I realize that there are no words that I could write or say to make things better, but please accept my sincere condolences on the loss of your loved one.
51. I’m so very sorry for your loss. Grief is a universal language that each person speaks but must experience on their own. That said, I have been there and am here for you now.
52. I know we haven’t talked in a while, and it’s been forever since I visited. I’m so sorry for that. I’m even more sorry for the loss of _____. I can’t imagine what you’re going through. It’s so unfair that you have to be without him/her now, but I want you to know that I am here for you now, and plan on visiting soon. Please call or text me when you’re ready.
53. We are absolutely heartbroken to hear about the loss of ____. They were such a beautiful soul and we can’t imagine the pain that your heart is feeling right now. Please let us know if we can do anything for you, anything at all.
54. As you traverse through your grief in the coming days and weeks, I hope you know how much you are loved and thought about. Your loved one was so very blessed to have you as _____. All my love.
55. _____, I am so sorry for the loss of your _____. I was so shocked and saddened to hear the news. If there’s anything at all you need or will be needing, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. No matter where I am or what I’m doing I’ll stop and answer that call or text.
56. Dear _____, I am so sorry for the loss of your _____. There is so much I want to write, but one sympathy card would not be enough space to say it all. So let me just paraphrase all of it by saying that I am here for you, ready and willing to help in any way I can whenever you give the call. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Love, _____.
57. Memories. I have so many memories. Memories of the good times and the bad. Memories from long ago and some from more recent times. Memories from times gone by that we barely even remember ’cause we were young and having fun. And memories from our golden years that I’ll cherish until the day I die. Please know that I love you and will always cherish all the memories we both hold close in our hearts.
58. Sweet ______, there are no words to express how sorry I was to hear about _____. If there is anything I can do to help you during this time, please just let me know. Also see enclosed the photo I found recently of your loved one, during happy times. I hope the smile on their face brings back good memories of happy times, helping to ease your grief if only a little bit. I love you, _____.
59. They say that death leaves a sting no one can heal, and love leaves a memory that no one can steal. If that’s true, then we have an infinity of wonderful memories to hold on to, don’t we? I am so grateful that we do. Let’s get together soon (only when you’re ready) to reminisce. I sure do love you, _____. No more lost time, okay?
60. I am so sorry to hear about _____. I would love to get together again, when you’re ready of course. I’ll bring the coffee, the tissues, and the shoulder to cry on. You just bring your sweet self and we’ll get through this together. Yours, _____.
Related: More Sympathy Card Messages
20 Condolence Messages for Flowers or Gifts
61. May these blooms bring a smile to your heart. All our love.
62. A beautiful bouquet for a beautiful soul. You are in our prayers.
63. From our family to yours during this difficult time.
64. Please accept this small gift as a token of our sympathies for you and your family during this difficult time.
65. I hope this brings you a smile, but it’s the least we can do. Please reach out if you need anything at all.
66. I hope these flowers bring you a little bit of comfort during these challenging times.
Send sympathy flowers via ProFlowers, by FTD, partnering with local florists to deliver fresh and beautiful florals.
67. I remember you telling me that ______ loved carnations. So I just had to send these in his/her memory. We are keeping you and your loved ones in our prayers, all our love.
68. My deepest condolences to you and your family. May _____ rest in peace.
69. Here is a little way for me to say, I’m so sorry for your loss. I will always remember _____ and the smiles he/she brought to my face. Take care.
70. “That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet.” Emily Dickinson. You have my deepest condolences.
71. May these flowers serve as a reminder that life, just like Springtime, indeed goes on.
72. Those we love don’t go away, they walk beside us every day. You have my deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences.
73. “What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” Helen Keller. Helen Keller knew what she was talking about. You have my deepest sympathies.
74. When someone you love becomes a memory, that memory becomes a treasure.
75. “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” Audrey Hepburn. It may not seem like it right at this moment, but you have many more bright and happy tomorrows. Let these flowers serve as a reminder of that. Love and hugs.
76. Flowers can grown out of the darkest moments. Always remember that.
77. Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal. May you remember to hold tight to your memories. They will be with you forever, keeping your loved one close for the rest of your days.
78. May these flowers bring you a sense of peace amidst the pain, an air of calm amidst the chaos.
79. Here is a little something that I hope brings you a sense of peace as you continue to grieve the loss of ______. There’s more where these came from, so do not hesitate to give me a call if you need anything.
80. I saw these blooms and thought of you. I hope that they serve to bring a smile to your heart and good memories of ______ flooding back. Sending you all my love.
20 Condolence Messages Offering Help
81. I just want you to know that I am available any time, at the drop of a hat. I can’t imagine what you must be going through right now, and I would love to help in any way that I can. Just say the word.
82. I know you are very busy right now, but if you ever need anything at all, I am just a text or phone call away.
83. I’ll keep my phone right by my bed, with the volume on, so I’ll hear your call no matter what time of the day or night it is.
84. Please know that while I haven’t experienced your personal grief, I have been there. So if you need anything at all (a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear, just a quiet presence next you), do not hesitate to contact me.
85. Please holler if you need anything. I am available 24/7 to watch the kids, to run errands, to help around the house, to just be a silent presence if that’s what’s you need.
86. Once the dust settles, I know how hard it can be to focus and get back to some semblance of normalcy. Please do not hesitate to call if there’s any way I can help you get back to that normalcy smoothly.
87. I know there’s not a lot I could say right now, but I would like to offer my service if you ever need anything.
88. How can I help you during this time? Whether you need me to clean the house or just need me to check up on you every few days, I’m here for you.
89. You already know that I’m not one for saying “I love you” so much through words, but rather through my actions. So please do not hesitate to give me a call if there’s anything at all I can do to help you right now and in the days to come.
Condolences for When There Are Simply No Words
90. I’m been sitting here for a long time trying to come up with the right words to say to make all of this pain go away for you. The truth is, I can’t. There is nothing I could ever say to ease your sorrow, and I’m so sorry for that. I’m sorry for your loss, and while I can’t it away, I can promise to be here for you. Please let me know if there’s anything at all I can do, at any time.
91. I am shocked to hear about the loss of ______. I know that there is nothing I could say that would even come close to balming your pain, only know that I am here for you, even if just in thought and prayer.
92. We both know that there is nothing I can say right now that would ease your pain even the slightest. All I can offer you is this simple reminder to hold onto the memories…your loved one may be gone, but those memories will last forever.
93. Condolence messages are not my forte (surprise, surprise, I know). But even though I don’t say it as often as I should, I love you and want to be here for you, even if it’s just through a phone call, text message, or email. I know I haven’t always been around or available, but I’m reaching out to say – please do not hesitate to reach out to me.
94. It’s times like these that I’m struck by the fact that nothing I say or write to you right now is going to change anything or make anything better. If I can make any sort of difference through my words right now, I hope that you at least know that I am thinking of you, am here for you, and am just a phone call away if you need anything.
95. I’m going to be honest and say that I can’t find the right words to say right now. Please just know that I love you.
96. I can’t say it like Rumi does, so I’ll just let him do the talking: “This place is a dream. Only a sleeper considers it real. Then death comes like dawn, and you wake up laughing at what you thought was your grief.” I hope that brings you a little bit of peace today as you say goodbye to your loved one.
97. Words cannot begin to express how sorry I am over the loss of your ______. I can’t even imagine how you must be feeling right now. If you find that the pain becomes to heavy, please, PLEASE reach out to me. I want to be here for you during this difficult time.
98. I have wracked my heart and brain trying to come up with something of value to say to you. I’ve finally had to admit that I don’t have the words to say all that I want you to know, except this: ______ loved you so very much, and would have been so proud of you and they way you are handling things.
99. Life is so hard. Especially during times like this, when I can’t even find the words to say how sorry I am for your loss and the pain you are feeling right now. Please just know that I love you to no end, that I here for you at every hour of the day, and that I would take it all away from you if I could.
100. The world was never meant for one as beautiful as _____.
101. We both know that there are no words that I could offer you right now that would allow you a moment’s peace. But I would like to try by saying, I am here for you. I am with you. I am just a phone call away. You are in my thoughts. You are in prayers. And I love you so very much.
How to Express Condolences
Text… social media… email… snail mail… phone call… video chat… What method should you use to express your condolences?
Generally speaking, for your initial contact after hearing the news, you should communicate the way you usually do. Do you typically text? Or always talk on the phone? Or is it a professional contact that you communicate with via email? Use that method, and personalize one of the condolence messages above.
Personal contact is always more meaningful. Of course, not everyone wants to be surrounded by people while they are mourning, so you’ll need to use your judgment.
But if you are very close, after your initial message you should let them know you are on your way over (right now, after you get off work, tomorrow at about 2:00, etc) and that you want to help.
Just be sure to give them a way out, if they’re not up to seeing people:
- “I’d like to come over and just give you a hug. Can I come over in about an hour, or are you not up to seeing people right now?”
- “I’m coming over tomorrow to help out with anything you need. (LMK if you don’t want me to come, it won’t hurt my feelings.) I love you!”
Talk About the Decedent
Most people assume that the grieving one doesn’t want to hear about their departed loved one. But in most cases, precisely the opposite is true. Talking about the decedent is a form of validation, while avoiding mention of the person who died is akin to “ghosting” or “erasing” the person.
So use the deceased one’s name, and feel free to talk about how they affected your life, how you’ll miss them, what they meant to you.
- I love you
- I’m thinking of you, praying for you, etc
- My condolences/sympathy
- I’m sorry for your loss
- I’m here for you; and I’d like to help. Can I pick up the kids from school?
- Stories, memories, things you appreciate about the departed
- Actions instead of too many words – a hug, hold their hand, cry with them, bring a meal, do the dishes
- This will help…/this helped me… In other words, don’t try to fix things or give them what worked for you
- Let me know how I can help. They won’t; instead, be specific: “Can I bring you dinner on Thursday?”
- When my dad/cousin/dog died… Don’t assume you know what their grief is like. You lost Dave or Molly; you didn’t lose Andrew.
- Cheer up! Hang in there! Put on a brave face! No, they don’t need to stuff down their emotions. Crying is ok.
- Life goes on… things will feel different in time… These are not helpful comments. Yes, time will soften things, but that is not important right now. Appreciate (and let you friend/loved one appreciate) the depth of their grief.
- She’s in a better place… He’s looking down on you… They’re here with you now… Even if you both share the same faith, and are confident that the loved one is in heaven, your friend doesn’t need to hear that right now. They miss their loved one being near. Stick with “I miss him/her too.”
When to Express Condolences
In this modern age, communication is simple, instant, and easy to access. So there’s no excuse to not express your condolences right away. The moment you hear the news that someone has died, reach out to your friends and/or family members who are most affected.
If you saw a post on social media, it’s appropriate to comment there. If you’re close to the grieving person, you should also communicate in a more personal way. Comment on the post, then send a text or direct message with a more personal note.
As mentioned above, use the method you typically use – email a coworker, text a friend, call a relative on the phone, drop off some flowers at your neighbor’s house.
Send a Card Right Away (and/or Flowers, Gift)
Everyone will be calling, texting, commenting, messaging. Their inboxes will be flooded. But you and I both know that electronic communication is easy and effortless. And thus, it means about as much as does anything that is easy and effortless.
There’s a reason that the traditional expression of condolences is through a card, letter, or gift. That’s because it shows that you care beyond the simple gesture of a text message.
So – right now, if you haven’t already – get a card and write out a sympathy note. Or you could also type out something, print it, sign it, and add a little handwritten note. Post it in the mail right away.
At the Funeral or Other Memorial Events
If you attend the funeral (or any other memorial events, such as receptions, wakes, etc) then you should express your condolences when you first greet the family of the decedent.
It’s acceptable to talk about other things as well, but start with offering your condolences (using the phrases above). Then try to let the conversation be as natural as possible. Everyone else feels the same slight awkwardness you feel; that is normal. Aim for the balance between only talking about funeral-related topics, and completely avoiding talking about the decedent or anything involving death.
Learn more about funeral etiquette here.
It’s always good to keep in contact with your grieving friend, as a genuine gesture of support. In the time leading up to the funeral and the weeks following, they will often have lots of support, encouraging notes, meals delivered, and so on.
But when everything settles down – that’s when the reality sets in. Everyone else moves on with their lives, and the grieving person is just left with a huge hole in their life.
So reach out in a month, in two months, in a year. I always suggest that people set a reminder in their calendar app. Send a text in 6 weeks, send a note at the 6 months date. Be sure to reach out at the one year mark, too. The anniversary of death will be a difficult and meaningful day for your friend, so take the effort to be there for them, whether by phone, text, in person, or by sending a note or gift.
Feel free to adapt any of these quotes as needed to apply to a mother or father, grandparent, friend, coworker, or anyone else.
“I just wanted to reach out and let you know that you have my heartfelt condolences during this difficult time.”
“Flowers fade, but words live on. I hope this note finds you well, even as you continue to mourn the loss of your loved one.”
“Our hearts ache for you and with you. We all miss your beloved very much. Please accept our condolences and know that we are thinking of you.”
“We are absolutely heartbroken to hear about the loss of your loved one. She was such a beautiful soul and we can’t imagine the pain that your heart is feeling right now. Please accept this simple expression of sympathy, and know that you are loved.”
“As you traverse through your grief in the coming days and weeks, I hope you know how much you are loved and thought about. Your loved one was so very blessed to have you in their life.”
“Grief has no time table. Take as much time as you need to process your bereavement and to heal your heart. I will be here for you every step of the way should you need a helping hand.”
“Here’s a beautiful bouquet to honor a beautiful soul. Know that you are in our thoughts and prayers, and you have our deepest sympathies in this difficult time.”
“The world was never meant for one so beautiful as she was. Your mother [wife/grandmother/etc] was an amazing woman and she will be sorely missed.”
“We’re sharing in your sadness and grief as you remember your beloved father.” [or mother, grandparent, etc]
“Words can never do justice to the legacy that your loved one leaves behind. You have our sincere condolences in this difficult time.”
“I am thankful to be in your life, and I hope that you are surrounded by love, support, and comfort during this time of great grief.”
“We hold you close in our thoughts and want you to know that you can lean on use for whatever you may need.”
“The world has lost an incredible life. You have our sincere condolences, our deepest sympathies, and our unending love.”
“It is my prayer that God will comfort you and your whole family during this sad time. May He richly bless you as you mourn, and may the light of His presence be a continual source of consolation.”
This condolence message is inspired by 2 Corinthians 1:3-5; see here for more comforting Scripture verses.
“I can’t imagine what you must be going through. I am so sorry for your loss.”
“Your loved one created so many beautiful memories; a life that we can truly celebrate even as we grieve. You have my heart’s deepest sympathies.”
“I’m so sorry you’re having to go through this. I love you, I’m thinking about you, and I’m praying for you.”
“I’m sending GREAT BIG HUGS your way.”
Sometimes, the simplest phrase is the most sincere.
“Words cannot express the sorrow and sadness we feel at the loss of your loved one. Please accept our condolences.”
“There is so much I want to write, but one sympathy card would not be enough space to say it all. so let me just say that I am here for you, ready and willing to help in any way I can.”
For when you don’t know what to say.