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.
We have lots of examples of sympathy letters, messages and notes for every type of loss here.
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.
"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.
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.
Sample Sympathy Letters, Quotes and Phrases
Our Full Range of Sympathy Cards
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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.
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.
For USA Residents:
Please help our colleagues at Yeshiva University, USA by joining in their research study:
Losing a child to cancer is devastating, and there is a critical need to develop effective supports.
A federally-funded study in the United States (US) evaluating different types of support for bereaved parents is currently seeking participants. Parents residing in the US may be eligible if they lost a child diagnosed with cancer at least 6 months ago and live in one of the following states: NY, NJ, PA, CT, FL, or TN (other eligible states are being added, please complete the survey to check with us).
To find out if you may be eligible, please click here, visit our website at bereavedparentsupportstudy.com, or email us at email@example.com.
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