Sample Sympathy Letters on the Loss of a Mother or Father

We hope that these sample sympathy letters will make it easier for you to write and express your condolences when a tragedy happens and a friend or relative or yours loses a parent, whether it be a mother or a father.  The first four of these are actual letters sent to my daughter when my husband died.  We'd like to thank those who sent them, they were of enormous comfort.  We have changed names and places for privacy reasons. 


If you use one of our letters - please consider leaving us a donation at the bottom of the page, so we can continue to provide this service. 


Why not send a message on one of our range of customisable cards at our store?  You'll find the links to them at the bottom of the page.  The advantage of sending one of our cards is that your friend or loved one also receives a link to all the comforting pages on this site, which will help them to manage their grief in the coming months.   

Sympathy Card - With thoughts of peace and courage for you

To a close friend on the loss of their Dad:


Hi Lovely

Thank you so much for your call last night. I am devastated for you and Tom, your Mum, Martin, the grand kids and the countless people who your Dad made friends with over the years. I have been thinking of you all day today and have found myself telling countless people at work about how sad I am for you and how sudden this has all been.

If things were different I would love to be able to jump on the next flight to hold your hand and give you a hug. I will be with you in thoughts over the weeks to come and send you all my love. Xxxx

Sunrise over the sea in Bali

Why not add a link to this site to your sympathy letter - it will be a comforting resource for your friend or loved one in their grief. 

Another sample sympathy letter to a friend when their Dad died:


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. 

Sample sympathy note from a dear friend on the death of a father:


So sorry to hear the sad news. I know exactly how you must be feeling right now having lost my dad two years ago. Please send our sympathy to your mum, brother and all your loved ones. It is a help that your Dad didn't suffer but such a terrible shock that will take forever to heal. As you say your Dad had a wonderful life and you can celebrate that luckily you are managing to feel that way. I also believe you should celebrate the life lived and not the sorrow of death.

Here is a poem that helped me a lot, I hope it does the same for you...


Miss Me But Let Me Go Poem

PS  Anytime you feel like it , just go on chat and pour your heart out. I'll always be there.


Sympathy message in response to an email announcing the death of a father:

Such sad news and it must have been a very difficult e-mail for you to write. We're really thinking of you all and especially your Mum and Tim. I'm sure that John and Mary must have adored their Grandpa and it will be hard for all of you to adjust to life without Charlie around. We always think of him as larger-than-life and such a warm, generous, funny and lovely friend to us. It is really hard to think that we won’t see him again.

I won't say more, the last thing you need is an e-mail of information to take in.
We're really thinking of you, Linda, so please contact us whenever you wish. You'll hear from us soon.

With lots of love

Sample sympathy letter to a friend on the loss of her mother

Dear Pat

The news we received this morning about the loss of your wonderful mother, although expected, made us feel very sad.  It was a privilege to call her a friend. She always had such great stories to tell, many exciting episodes, during her long life.
Her positive attitude despite her failing health made every visit a pleasure. There is never anyone quite like a Mum, despite her living for over 90 years, your loss must be very difficult. Our family want to say you are all in our thoughts at this difficult time.
With best wishes

Sample sympathy letter to a friend on the loss of her father

Dearest Sally

Our deepest condolences are sent to you in this note. What a terrible shock for you and the rest of your family. Your Dad was a lovely man and even though I only met him the once I can remember his warmth and openness. Such a sad time for you. If I can do anything to help please let me know.   Thinking of you, if you want to chat you have my number.

Lots of love and a big hug


We hope these letters have been helpful to you.  You may also find it helpful to read our advice on helping others cope with grief.

If you've found our site useful, please consider supporting our work by visiting our sympathy card store where we have a range of our own unique designs, and by buying your flowers from 1800 Flowers, who have a beautiful range of sympathy flowers which they can send anywhere in the world for you at very reasonable price.  Just click anywhere on the banners below to see more. 

Or you can send a free sympathy ecard with the added comfort of a link to this site - a healing hug in times of grief and loss. 


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For more inspiration return from "sample sympathy letters" to "words of sympathy"

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