30 Simple Things To Say When Someone Dies Unexpectedly

Losing someone is hard. Losing a loved one out of the blue is even more difficult. Tragedy often occurs when we least expect it, and knowing what to say when someone dies unexpectedly can feel next to impossible.

Because what exactly do you say to a friend who is going through the most difficult time of their life? You certainly can’t ignore it or pretend it didn’t happen.

And what about you – what if you’re the one who lost someone? You’re shocked, grieving, and trying to make sense of it all. How do you encourage yourself through the hard times?

Let’s take a look at some helpful places to start.

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How to Offer Support When Someone Dies Unexpectedly

When someone passes away unexpectedly, the fastest and best way you can offer your support to that person is to reach out with some words of comfort.

A good way to follow that up is with some words of action. Whether through text, a phone call, or a condolence card, here are a few ideas of what you can say to do just that.

  • [Name], I am so, so sorry to hear about [Name]. If there is anything at all I can do for you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.
  • [Name], you have my deepest sympathies. Is it okay if I call you this evening to check in?
  • My sincere condolences for your loss, [Name]. If it’s okay, I would love to come over tomorrow just to help around the house.

What to Say When Someone Dies Unexpectedly

Keep in mind that it is never a good idea to just “drop by” when someone dies. But, words of support and encouragement are always welcome. You can call, text, or drop a note in the mail offering consolation.

With that in mind, here are some ideas for what to say when someone dies unexpectedly. We hope these quotes inspire your words of great comfort to a beloved friend.

Words of Sympathy for the Loss of a Friend

If you know someone who has just experienced the shock of losing a close friend, it can be hard to find the right words to say. But reaching out to them to let them know you’re there goes a long way in showing that you care.

Here are some helpful ways to let your grieving friend know you’re thinking of them.

  • Just wanted you to know that I am thinking of you. This is so unexpected and sad.
  • I just want to let you know that I am here for you, and you have my deepest sympathies.
  • We are so sorry about your friend. We love you, and want you to know you are in our prayers.
  • I’m so sorry for what you are going through. If you need to talk at any time, I am here for you.
  • I was going through my photos and found this one of you two…I hope it brings you a little bit of comfort.

Comforting Messages for Loss of a Parent

The loss of a parent is one of the most difficult challenges a person can face, and perhaps the most significant loss of a lifetime. When it happens unexpectedly, it makes it all the more earth-shattering.

Here are some comforting words to provide to your loved one who is dealing with the sudden, unexpected death of a parent.

  • I am so sorry to hear about your dad! He will be missed by so many.
  • I wish I could take your pain away. I know I can’t, but I promise to be there to help you through this.
  • I loved your mom so much! Remember the time…
  • God gave us memories for a reason. As you enter this next chapter of life, know that your favorite memory of your mom/dad will still be with you.
  • You are not alone in your time of sadness. I have felt the bitter pain of losing a parent, and want you to know that I will be here by your side through this challenging time.

Words of Condolence for the Loss of a Child

It goes without saying, but there really are no words to ease the pain of the death of a child…expected or unexpected. No matter the cause of death, it is the hardest thing anyone could ever go through.

Still, letting the grieving parent know that you are there for them for this awful time is a thoughtful and comforting gesture.

  • This is such a shock. I can’t imagine how you must be feeling.
  • There are no words, in any language, to describe the sadness we all feel for you and your family right now. You have our deepest condolences.
  • Words can’t express how sorry I am. I am just a phone call away, day or night, if you need to talk.
  • I still can’t believe this. I am so, so sorry. Is it okay if I drop by tomorrow? I would love to help you around the house and keep you company…even if we don’t say anything.
  • [Name], you and your family have my heartfelt condolences. Can I please bring you dinner this evening? If not, that is totally okay.

Short Messages for Comfort

What feelings come to mind when you hear the word “comfort”? How can you best convey those feelings to a friend who has recently experienced an unexpected loss?

These are a few short quotes when someone dies unexpectedly.

  • I am here for you if you need anything at all.
  • You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
  • I’m so very sorry you are having to go through this.
  • Please remember that you are not alone. We are right here with you.
  • How can I help you right now? Just say the word.

Encouraging Quotes for Sudden Loss

Thankfully, when it’s hard to find your own words, tried-and-true quotes, and verses can come into play to help fill in the gaps.

Here are a few of the best quotes we could find.

  • Philippians 3:13 – I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.
  • We may never get over it, but together we will get through it.
  • If love could have saved him/her, he/she would have lived forever.
  • Grief is just love with nowhere to go.
  • Psalm 34:18 – The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Messages to Comfort Someone Over Text

Texting and messaging through social media are fast and convenient ways for you to reach out to someone who has just been hit with the shock of a loved one’s passing.

Although usually less formal than other forms of communication, a text message can still convey sincerity, and sympathies, when done properly.

  • You’re in my thoughts today. Let me know if I can do anything to make life easier for you today.
  • Love doesn’t end at the time of death. It goes on and on. I am thinking of you.
  • How are you doing today? You have been on my mind all week.
  • I would like to do something for you today. Can I bring you some groceries, or come help around the house?
  • Just checking in with you…how are you feeling today? Is it okay if I call in a few minutes?

What Can You Do to Show Support?

Besides offering words of comfort or a shoulder to cry on, there is practical support you can offer to go above and beyond in showing your loved one that you care.

One idea is to present your grieving friend with a bouquet of flowers. Unless there’s an allergy involved, of course, there’s just something about fresh, colorful flowers that brings joy to the heart.

For example, my aunt has a yard full of the most beautiful flowers. One of her hobbies is to pick them and create the most beautiful bouquets just to lift up her friends and family. Whether someone is feeling blue or not, this simple yet thoughtful gift never fails to bring a smile.

You can also consider starting a meal train for the family. It’s simple: family members and friends who want to participate take turns bringing meals for the family that is grieving, for a set amount of time.

For another way to show your support, offer to assist them with the funeral arrangements. Planning for a funeral service often involves a few trips to the funeral home and can be an extremely draining and emotional experience.

Speaking from experience, having a close and trusted friend by one’s side during that grieving process can really make a huge difference in how one handles – and remembers – the experience overall. Support is one thing during this time…emotional support is everything.

This funeral planning checklist is a great place to start if you decide to help with this.

Last but not least, a thoughtful way you can express your support for your loved one, is to present them with a sympathy gift. To help, we have a list of thoughtful sympathy gift ideas for you to consider.

Related: How to Make & Deliver a Meal Train

What Not to Do When Someone Is Grieving

Now that you have some ideas on how to best show your support, let’s also take a moment to discuss what not to say, do, or ask someone grieving.

Firstly, try not to compare their grief journey with your own experiences. It’s just not the right thing to do. While you certainly mean well, to a grieving person, this can sometimes come across as crass.

“I know what you’re going through,” for example, is a no-no.

Also, try not to become overbearing with wanting to offer help … bereaved people often time need space.

In this case, the best thing you can do is to give your loved one the respect of saying “no” to your requests, or to even respond at all. They may just need to do things their own way for now, and may not want anyone spending time with them just yet.

They will respond when they are able to; allow them to journey through the stages of grief as they need to.

Lastly, don’t tell them, “It gets better.” Or, “They’re in a better place.” For someone who has just had their world turned upside-down, these are the last things that will actually make them feel better. And it’s just the wrong thing to say.

We hope you found this article to be a helpful resource as you navigate your friend’s – or your own – grief journey. For more ideas, we hope this list of condolence messages will provide even more guidance.

Read Next: 20 Inspirational Quotes About Death of a Loved One

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1 thought on “30 Simple Things To Say When Someone Dies Unexpectedly”

  1. I lost a best friend who was like a brother to me he was always there when I needed someone lean on my Biggest Regret i wasn’t there for him

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