Sample condolences for those who have lost a husband or a wife 

Please feel free to use our sample condolences to help you write your own messages.  But try to make them as personal as you can, and include memories you have of the deceased.  Sharing memories is always of great comfort to the bereaved. 

These are words of condolences that I have written to friends and colleagues over the years.  I hope that you will find them helpful when you have to write a note of sympathy at a difficult and emotional time.  Perhaps consider adding a link to this site to your message as it will be a comforting and useful resource for your grieving friend or relative. 

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Sample condolence note to the husband of your best friend who has died:

Dear Raymond

Occasionally in life you meet that very special person who it is a privilege to call a friend.

Bob and I feel so lucky to have had you both as great friends. Belinda was my best friend for the last 20 years. She was a caring person, one of the best nurses I ever worked with. Her family were fortunate to have her as mum and grandmother.

The holidays we had together some of the best ever. How are we going to cope without her? We have to remember all the wonderful times we had, think just how lucky and privileged we were to know her. She will always be missed, never forgotten. 

With all our love and best wishes, 

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Sample words of condolence to a friend who has lost her husband

Dear Jenny

We were stunned to hear of the sudden death of dear Robert. He had been a dear friend for many years. He was always cheerful and so helpful when we needed any advice either with DIY or with gardening. After all our fun weekends at the caravan site and visiting often after you moved we felt part of the family. His ready wit, great barbecue food and company will be sadly missed by us all. We were privileged to have known him as a friend.

Our love and thoughts are with your family at this very difficult time.

Sample condolences to your boss's wife on the loss of her husband

Dear Clare

It was with great sadness we received the news of Bernard’s death. He was a real individual - intelligent and unassuming. His grasp of the history of the places we were about to visit, particularly around France was so useful. If we ever wanted travel advice, we knew where to ask. His habit of providing potted shrimp or dressed crab made by him when we visited was very special. Only Bernard would think of sending his friends kippers by post from the area he was visiting in Scotland. Or to bring us a special ham from Venice.

He was John’s first boss in the company, and such a loss when he retired.  However, very memorable were the many holidays we all had together with the caravans over the next few years.

No one would have ever guessed his age. He could out walk all of us despite being so much older.  He was a special man, we were so lucky to have had as a boss and friend for so many years. Our love and thoughts to you all in the family.

Sample condolences for the husband of a work friend who has died

Dear John
I had to write and say what a great personality Mary had. Such a pleasure to have her as a work friend and adviser over the last 10 years. Our outings together as a foursome leave us with many happy memories. We thank you for your friendship and for letting us share in many family gatherings.
We have lost a very dear friend and know you must be finding this a difficult time. Our love and thoughts are with you all. We will ring very soon.


If you are having trouble knowing how to comfort and help your friend or family member who has suffered a bereavement, have a read of our page: helping others cope with grief.  You might like to recommend them to our page on coping with the loss of husband or wife too. 

Related Pages: 

Best Sympathy Gift Ideas

Funeral Condolences

How to Write a Sympathy Note

Sympathy Gift Etiquette

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