If someone close to you is grieving a loss of life, consider writing them a sympathy message to share your condolences. While a sympathy message won’t take their pain away, sending one can offer them comfort and support. Sometimes, simply knowing that someone is thinking of them during this difficult time can make all the difference.
With that said, finding the right words can be challenging, and it’s ok if you’re not sure what to say in your message. If you need some inspiration, these examples of sympathy messages may help. Use these as a guide to help you express your sympathy and craft a thoughtful and loving note.
10 examples of sympathy messages for different kinds of loss
1. For the loss of a parent
Parents hold a special place in our hearts. Consider sending a sympathy message like this to their children who are grieving.
Your father was such a loving man, and I’m so lucky that I had the opportunity to get to know him. He was a friend to everyone who met him, always cracking jokes and lending a helpful hand. I know how proud your father was of you, and I know he will continue to watch over you and your siblings. You will always carry the lessons, love, and memories he gave you. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
2. For the loss of a friend
Losing a good friend is absolutely heartbreaking. Reach out to your loved one with a note like the one below.
Please accept my deepest condolences for the loss of your dear friend. Lisa was such a fun and vibrant person. Remember when she hosted that epic surprise party for you at your beach house? You two shared such a special friendship. If only everyone was lucky enough to have a friend like Lisa. She will always remain in our hearts and memories.
3. For the loss of a partner
The death of a partner or spouse can cause unimaginable pain. Let your friend or relative know you care by sending a message like this example.
I’m sending you my heartfelt sympathy for the loss of your husband, John. I always admired your relationship, filled with such love and happiness. I will forever cherish the memories of the double dates we shared together. I just want you to know how much John meant to me and how much I will miss him, too. Take care of yourself during this time, and know that I am always just a phone call away.
4. For the loss of a sibling
We all have unique relationships with our siblings, and losing one can leave a hole in our hearts. If you know someone who is grieving the loss of a brother or sister, use this condolence message example for inspiration.
It’s difficult to put into words how much we’ll all miss Bobby. Your older brother was a big brother to all of us, as he always looked out for everyone. I will never forget the time he left work early to help me fix my flat tire. He was so thoughtful and selfless, and he made a positive impact on everyone he met. I always looked up to him, and I hope you know that I’m always here for you.
5. For the loss of a child
No one wants to imagine losing a child, but for some people, the unspeakable becomes a reality. During this devastating time, draft a heartfelt letter to the parents like this.
I’m devastated to hear about Sally’s passing. Life can be unfair, and I’m so sorry that you’re hurting. Sally was the most fun, silly, and brilliant little girl. She told the funniest jokes and gave the best hugs. Sally brought so many smiles and happy memories into our lives, and I know she will always be a part of you. My heart hurts, too, but please know you are in my thoughts and prayers.
6. For the loss of a grandparent
No matter how prepared you think you may be, losing a grandparent is never easy. Look toward this condolence message example when writing to a grandchild coping with the loss of grandma or grandpa.
My heart goes out to you and your family right now. Your grandmother was such a bright light with a kind spirit and a wicked sense of humor. I’ll always remember the time she made us a fort in her living room, and we spent hours giggling the night away. I see glimpses of your grandmother in you every day, and I know you will always carry on her warm and loving nature. It’s difficult saying goodbye, but know that you have my love and support during this time.
7. For the loss of a coworker
Some of us spend more time with our co-workers than we do with our friends and family. Use short sympathy message examples like the one below to offer your condolences.
I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your colleague, John. I remember all the stories you told me about collaborating on projects and brainstorming big ideas together. I only met them once at your holiday party, but I could tell what a joy they were to be around both in and outside of the workplace. I know they were more than just a coworker and that their absence will be felt.
8. For the loss of someone you didn’t know
Just because you didn’t know the person who passed doesn’t mean you can’t compose a thoughtful message. Use the example below for guidance.
I’d like to offer my deepest sympathies for your loss. Although I didn’t personally know Jessica, I know for certain she was a loving and thoughtful friend. You shared so many wonderful stories about her over the years, and I only wish I had the opportunity to have met her myself. I hope you feel surrounded by love during this difficult time. Please know that I’m always here for you.
9. For a sudden loss
Life works in mysterious ways, and unfortunately, unexpected death is sometimes a part of that. If you know someone who is dealing with a sudden loss, turn to this condolence message example.
I was so shocked and saddened to hear about George’s passing. Just the other day, he helped me carry my groceries into my home — just another example of his endless kindness and generosity. George was so compassionate and loving, and he will be truly missed. I’m sending all my love and support your way as you navigate this trying time.
10. For the loss of a pet
Pets are family members, too. And losing a pet can be equally devastating. Use this short sympathy message example if someone you know loses a pet.
I'm deeply sorry to hear about Spot’s passing. I know he was far more than just a dog. He was your best friend and the number one snuggler on the planet. I, too, will miss his wet kisses and nightly zoomies. There will never be a dog as sweet or as friendly as Spot. I know I can’t take your pain away, but I’m always here for you to talk or listen.
Just remember, your sympathy message doesn’t have to be Pulitzer Prize-worthy content. As long as you write something from your heart and offer your love and support, your message will carry more weight than you realize. If you need more help, learn how to craft your own personalized sympathy message.