Words of Comfort For Sympathy 

Trying to write to someone who has lost a loved one? 

Here are some tips and ideas so that you can write words of comfort in your sympathy cards and letters when someone has died.  

Often finding the right words to express sympathy can be quite hard, especially if you knew the person well, and you are in shock yourself. 

  1. The most important thing is to let the bereaved know that you are thinking about them, to let them realise that they are not alone with their grief.
  2. Make it personal. Mention the name of the person who has died and any memories you have of them. 
  3. Try not to give advice or tell them how they must be feeling. None of us can really know how another person is feeling. 
  4. Send your love, hugs, thoughts and prayers if it is appropriate for you and the person grieving. 
  5. Offer practical help if you're able to follow through with it. For example, I'll cook for you on Wednesday.  Or I'll pick up the kids for you next week. 

We have lots of examples of sympathy letters, messages and notes for every type of loss here. 

Add a Moving Sympathy Quote

A poem or a quote can be a lovely addition to a sympathy card.  They can be an inspiration to the person grieving and help them to come to terms with their loss.

We have many examples of beautiful quotes here.  

Words of Comfort, skillfully administered. . . quote by Louis Nizer.

Brief friendships only need a simple sympathy message in a card, for example:

"I only met Jim once but he was so friendly, interesting to talk to and I felt we could have been friends. My family would like you to know our thoughts are with you at this very sad time."

"I met Sally several times at school events, she was always very helpful. She introduced me to other parents and made me so welcome as we had just moved to the area. My children and I would like you to know that you are in our thoughts and prayers."

See lots more examples of short condolence phrases here.  

How to write a sympathy note for a close friend or relative

When the relationship has been long-standing and the death means the loss of a good friend or family member then anecdotes and memories are very comforting for the bereaved. 

Share your happy memories of the person who has died in your card or letter. 

Often these letters with reminiscences of the past are read out at the funeral or memorial service.

Read some examples of things to write in funeral condolences.  

When my husband died, I had a letter from our accountant telling me he’d been his best client. My husband was such a perfectionist that in 15 years of running our business he’d done most of the work himself! He only missed 50 pence in 15 years! The accountant even told me he designed his workshop around ideas he had received from my husband, whose hobby was woodworking. We’d been retired 12 years when I received that letter and it was a great comfort.

People say,  "I don’t want to upset them".  But the bereaved are already very sad and grieving. 

Sympathy messages are part of the healing process.  

Don't be afraid of writing something moving that will bring tears.  Tears are healing and bring comfort. 

The cards on this page were designed by us from our own photos, and are sold to support the work of this site in helping the grieving.  Click here to see the whole selection. 

For Remembrance: 

Sales from our pages result in a small commission to us which helps us to continue our work supporting the grieving.  

Heart Shaped Sterling Silver Pendant for Cremation Ashes, Engraved Forever Loved

Memorial Jewelry to Honour a Loved One

Check out our lovely range of memorial jewelry for any lost loved one.  Pendants, necklaces, rings or bracelets, we have them all in all kinds of styles.  Choose for yourself or buy as a sympathy gift. 

Click here to see our selection

Create an Online Memorial Website

Honour your loved one with their own memorial website.  Share photos, videos, memories and more with your family and friends in a permanent online website.  Free for basic plan with no ads. 

Find out more here. 

Keep in touch with us: 

Sign up for our newsletter and receive:

"The 10 Most Important Things You Can Do
To Survive Your Grief And Get On With Life"

Our free downloadable and printable document "The 10 Most Important Things You Can Do To Survive Your Grief And Get On With Life" will help you to be positive day to day.  

The 10 points are laid out like a poem on two pretty pages which you can pin on your fridge door to help you every day! 

All you have to do to receive this free document is fill in your email address below. 

You will also receive our newsletter which we send out from time to time with our newest comforting and helpful information.   You can unsubscribe any time you like, and don't worry, your email address is totally safe with us. 

NEW BONUS - Also receive a copy of our short eBook - '99 Ways to Spot a Great Grief Counselor'.  Available for instant download as soon as you sign up. Never waste money on poor counseling again! 

Join us on Facebook for articles, support, discussion and more.  Click 'Like' below.

Share this page:
If you found this page helpful, please share it.

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.