A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

140 Condolence Messages That Will Help You Find the Right Words

Updated: Jun. 22, 2024

Don't be so afraid to say the wrong thing that you end up saying nothing at all. These condolence messages offer thoughtfully phrased sympathy and comfort.

Day by day, we will let go of this loss, but we will never let go of our love.
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Condolence messages for every situation

When someone you care about has lost someone they care about, it’s important to reach out and show your love. “We’re hard-wired as human beings to connect with others, especially when we’re grieving,” says Abigail Nathanson, a licensed social worker and professor of grief and trauma at New York University. “Being able to talk about the pain and loss and receive support from others is an essential part of the grieving process.” While you may eventually engage in longer discussions, condolence messages are the first step after any loss.

These messages of sympathy are a simple and beautiful way to connect with a grieving loved one. But even though death and grief are universal experiences, it can be hard to find the right things to say to someone who is grieving or know what to write in a condolence card—probably because there aren’t any words that can take away their pain.

But it’s proper etiquette to say something rather than to stay silent. Otherwise, the person who’s grieving might think you don’t care.

What can you say to comfort someone who’s lost a loved one?

“Just like there is no one ‘right’ way to grieve, there is no one script for what to say to someone who has experienced a great loss,” Nathanson says. “However we do know that there are some things that many people find comforting and supportive.”

When thinking of what to say when someone dies, Nathanson offers these tips:

  • Lead with sympathy or empathy.
  • Offer to listen (and then listen without interrupting).
  • Don’t offer banal platitudes, like: “Everything will turn out for the best.”
  • Don’t tell them how to feel, like: “Your father wouldn’t want you to be sad.”
  • Reinforce your love and support for them.
  • Offer to help in meaningful ways.
  • Don’t offer advice unless they ask for it.

What is the best way to write a condolence message?

“Remember that the goal of a condolence message is not to talk the person out of being sad or to ‘cure’ their grief,” Nathanson says. “It’s to offer love and support during a trying time.”

Expressing condolences in person is incredibly powerful, but if you can’t be there with them, sending a condolence message is the next best thing. In this digital age, you have lots of options.

  • Video messages offer the added bonus of face-to-face connection.
  • Condolence text messages are an immediate way to reach out.
  • Email is a great way to share longer thoughts, including pictures or memories of the loved one. They can also be read at the person’s leisure.
  • Handwritten notes show extra care and are often sentimental keepsakes.
  • Comments on social media show public support and allow you to interact with others who may be grieving the loss as well.

Regardless of which method you choose to convey your love and support, keep your message relatively short. Grief can induce brain fog, making it difficult to concentrate on long messages, Nathanson says. And send your message as soon as you can (but better late than never!), and consider attaching it to one of these beautiful sympathy gifts.

To help you find the right words, here’s a list of heartfelt and sympathetic condolence messages for friends, family, co-workers and neighbors. Your kind words will be appreciated more than you know.

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Short condolence messages

1. I’m so sorry for your loss.

2. My heart breaks for you.

3. This hurts, and it sucks!

4. You are in my prayers.

5. My heart is with you at this time.

6. I love you, and I’m here for you.

7. I’m so sorry you are hurting.

8. Sending love and peace.

9. You are in my thoughts.

10. May you find comfort at this time.

11. Blessings for you and your loved ones.

12. I’m with you during this difficult time.

13. I hope you can feel my love.

14. Love and support for you and yours.

15. I wish I could give you the biggest hug.

16. Sending you peaceful and loving vibes.

17. Praying you feel comforted.

18. You can cry on my shoulder.

19. I’m devastated for you.

20. My heart goes out to you at this difficult time.

You also can’t go wrong with one of these loss quotes.

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Condolence messages for friends

21. May your heart find solace in remembering their light, beauty and laughter.

22. Know that you are not alone and that I’m here to listen anytime you want to talk.

23. I don’t have the right words to tell you what’s in my heart, but know I’m here for you.

24. Sending you this note of comfort to let you know you are in my heart.

25. I wish we could go back to the last time we were all together and hold that moment forever.

26. I’m so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine your pain and grief at this time.

27. During this difficult time, may our friendship be a source of comfort and strength.

28. Day by day, we will let go of this loss, but we will never let go of our love.

29. Every time I see a bright star in the sky, I will think of him/her and his/her light.

30. Lean on us as much as you need during this time. We’re here for you.

31. You’re dealing with the shock of the news and the pain of the loss—that’s a lot. Cry as much as you need.

32. Nothing about this is easy, and it just hurts. I’m so sorry, my friend.

33. I wish I knew the perfect thing to say to make it all better, but those words don’t exist, so instead: I love you.

34. I’m praying for you and your loved ones as you struggle with this immense loss.

35. The world is a little darker today from the loss of his/her light.

36. Losing a dear friend is losing both your past memories and the ones you would have built in the future. I’m so sorry.

37. Let me take you out to lunch, and you can share all your favorite stories of him/her.

38. My heart hurts for you, and I grieve with you.

39. Grief is all the love you want to give but can’t anymore. I’m heartbroken for your loss.

40. There are things death cannot touch, and your love for him/her is one of them.

Have a living loved one you’d love to get back in touch with? These “thinking of you” messages are a perfect way to reach out.

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Condolence messages for co-workers

41. We are so sorry for your loss. Please take this time to mourn with your loved ones, and don’t worry about a thing here.

42. I’m heartbroken for your loss and hoping you find peace during this trying time.

43. We were co-workers of [person’s name] and want you to know we miss him and work will not be the same without him.

44. Condolences to you and your loved ones during this time of grief.

45. I’m deeply sorry to hear about your recent loss.

46. May you find peace in your pain and comfort in your grief.

47. Wishing you many happy memories of your loved one.

48. I’m so sorry to hear of your loss.

49. Sending you and your family all my love and support.

50. Please accept our heartfelt condolences at this time.

51. Words simply can’t express how heartbroken I am for you.

52. Offering you all my sympathy at this time.

53. May you have a treasure box full of memories of your loved one that shine like jewels.

54. My heart hurts for you. I’m sure you miss [person’s name] more than anything.

55. Words can’t express my sorrow for you and your family. Please accept my condolences.

56. There is no footprint too tiny to not leave a mark on your heart.

57. Thinking of you and praying for peace and solace.

58. We’re here for you during this difficult time. Lean on us for whatever you need at work!

59. With love and remembrance for your loved one.

60. Just a note to let you know how many of us care about you and are thinking about you during this time of mourning.

Down the road, after the initial grieving period has passed, you may also want to share these hope quotes.

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Condolence messages for the loss of a mother or father

61. Your mom/dad was an amazing soul, and I will never forget her/him.

62. Your mother/father had a profound impact on my life, and she/he will be greatly missed.

63. Loss is a part of life, but that doesn’t make it any easier—all my love to you as you navigate these uncharted waters.

64. I may not have ever met him/her, but if you’re a reflection of them, they must have been really amazing.

65. Losing a parent is like losing a piece of you.

66. Your grief feels so deep because your love for them is so big.

67. He/she may be gone, but he/she will always be here in our hearts.

68. I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. He/she will be truly missed.

69. May his/her soul rest in peace, and may you find peace as well.

70. Praying you feel God’s arms around you as you weep.

71. Sending you the strength and courage you need to face the days ahead without him/her.

72. Your mom/dad was a great person who touched so many lives, including mine. I will miss her/him.

73. If I could heal your pain, I would, but instead please accept my love as a balm to your heart.

74. Your parent isn’t truly gone—they live on in the love they planted in your heart.

75. Grief is something you understand only by going through it. At least we can go through it together.

76. May the healer of all wounds heal your broken heart.

77. My deepest sympathy for your loss. He/she is gone too soon.

78. He/she may be gone from our sight, but he/she will always be in our hearts.

79. I deeply cherish my memories of your mom/dad and would love to share them with you when you’re ready.

80. All my sympathy during this time of deepest sorrow.

These moving funeral poems can also comfort loved ones.

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Condolence messages for the loss of a husband or wife

81. I can’t understand what you’re going through, but I love you, and I’m here to help in any way I can.

82. Today the world lost a bright light, but I will always keep him/her burning in my heart.

83. May you feel the sunshine warming you each day as you move forward.

84. Nothing will ever be the same again, and it’s OK not to pretend it will ever go back to “normal.”

85. Deep sorrow can feel like drowning. Please know I’m here to be your life raft.

86. I can’t imagine anything more difficult than losing the love of your life. I’m so sorry.

87. No one can prepare for this type of loss. Sending you strength at this time.

88. He/she was a truly special person and will be missed by all of us.

89. I have an endless supply of tea, tissues and hugs, anytime you need them.

90. May you find solace in knowing that he/she will never be forgotten and his/her memories will live forever in my heart.

91. When we lose someone dear, the challenge isn’t to learn to live without them but to learn to live with the love they left behind.

92. The hardest part isn’t remembering the life they left behind but building a new life without them in it.

93. Wishing you happiness looking back, strength looking forward and solace in the present.

94. May you be comforted in cherished memories, perfect peace and gentle understanding.

95. You could have had no better hiking buddy on this journey of life.

96. Watching you two together heightened my understanding of love, and watching you grieve has deepened my understanding of love as well.

97. Your husband/wife was a hero and mentor, beloved by so many, including me. He/she will not be forgotten.

98. May his/her memory be eternally etched in our hearts.

99. I can’t find the right words to say to you, and I’m afraid to say the wrong thing, so I’ll just tell you how much I love you and that I’m here to support you.

100. Sending all my sympathy and strength to you for this tragic and unexpected loss.

If you’d like to send a sympathy gift, these online flower delivery services can create the perfect arrangement.

Your child will be deeply missed. Our lives will not be the same without them in it.

Condolence messages for the loss of a child

101. Anytime you want to talk about your child, I want to listen. Day or night, I am here for you.

102. There are simply no words to ease the pain of losing a child, and I am deeply sorry for your unimaginable loss.

103. No child should ever die before their parents—I am so sorry you are living this nightmare. I want to be here for you in any way I can.

104. Your child was a shining light, and I will forever be inspired by the love and joy they brought into my life.

105. The loss of a child is an unimaginable type of heartbreak. May you find strength in the love and memories you shared.

106. My heart breaks for you during this incredibly difficult time.

107. You and your family are in my heart. I want you to know that your child’s light touched many lives, including ours, and we will forever cherish their memory.

108. I can’t imagine the grief and pain you are experiencing right now, but please know that you are not alone. Sending you all my love, strength and support.

109. Losing a child is a crushing grief. I hope you can feel my arms wrapping around you and holding you up during this time.

110. My heart aches with yours during this time of mourning for your little one. I hope you can feel my love.

111. I don’t have words adequate enough to express the sorrow I feel for your loss. Your child will always be remembered for the joy and light they brought into this world.

112. Every minute I spent with your child was a privilege, and I am honored that I got to be a part of their life.

113. I am heartbroken for the loss of your sweet baby. I am so sorry you are going through this.

114. Your child will be deeply missed. Our lives will not be the same without them in it.

115. [Insert name] may not have been here very long, but he/she left a lasting impact on those who knew him/her.

116. Losing a child is one of the worst things anyone can go through. You have my deepest sympathy.

117. I wish I knew the right thing to say to ease your pain during this difficult time. Please know that I love you and I’m here to support you through this. You are not alone.

118. Your child’s spirit touched so many of us, and he/she will continue to live on in all the beautiful memories we have of him/her.

119. Even though I can’t understand what you are going through, I want you to know that I’m here for you as you mourn the loss of your child.

12o. A parent’s grief over the loss of a child is unmatched. Sending you strength and peace as you navigate this heartbreaking journey.

If you’ve also experienced an unimaginable loss, these books about grief can help.

You are in my heart and prayers during this time of deep mourning.

Religious condolence messages

121. I was deeply saddened to hear of your loss—you and yours are in my prayers, day and night.

122. May God comfort and keep you safe in his hands during this time of suffering.

123. “Earth hath no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.” May you feel the healing love of God at this time.

124. I am so sorry for your loss. May God grant you the strength and comfort you need during this time of grieving.

125. May the peace and serenity of the almighty one surround you during this time of sorrow.

126. May you feel the arms of the Lord encircling you and protecting you as you grieve the loss of your loved one.

127. May you feel the blessings of heaven pouring out to comfort you as you mourn the loss of your loved one.

128. You are in my heart and prayers during this time of deep mourning.

Christian condolence messages

129. During this time, may you find comfort in the promise of Psalms 147:3—that He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

130. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)

131. Christ died that all might live again, and with that comes the great hope that one day you will be reunited with your loved ones.

132. May God’s peace bind up your breaking heart. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)

Jewish condolence messages

133. May his/her memory be a blessing.

134. Condolences to you and your family. I pray that you should know no further sorrow.

Read on for the proper Jewish funeral etiquette to follow when attending an end-of-life event.

Buddhist condolence messages

135. Sending metta, loving-kindness, to ease your pain at this time.

136. May the path to enlightenment bring you solace at this time of pain and grief.

137. I am so sorry for your loss. Your loved one’s spirit lives on through all the good karma they created in their life.

Muslim condolence messages

138. During this time of sorrow, remember that we surely belong to Allah, and to him, we all return.

139. May the Almighty Allah expand your loved one’s grave and give him/her eternal peace.

140. May the Almighty Allah give you the fortitude to bear this great loss.

Is the person you’re comforting less religious and more spiritual? These spiritual quotes may also be good options for an immediate sympathy message and for comfort in the future.

About the expert

  • Abigail Nathanson, LCSW, APHSW-C, ACS, is a licensed social worker who is board-certified in palliative care. She has more than 15 years of experience working in health care with people who are seriously ill or dying and with caregivers, health-care professionals and those in mourning. She is also a professor of grief and trauma at New York University.