When someone experiences a loss, you can be there for them by delivering a supportive message. Saying sorry for your loss, for example, can be appropriate. It’s easier when you know the individual personally, like a close friend or family member.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Sympathy Messages to Send a Close Coworker
- Sympathy Messages to Send a Coworker You Aren’t Close With
- Sympathy Messages to Send a Coworker’s Family
- Sympathy Messages to Send a Boss
- Sympathy Messages to Send a Client
But what happens in the professional world? How do you offer condolences to a coworker or a client? In these situations, you need to tread carefully. Since you likely don’t know the full picture and you also don’t know what they’re feeling, less is more.
While you want to say something in these situations, you need to do so delicately. Reaching out and letting someone know you’re thinking of them can be a great source of comfort. In this guide, we’ll share 25+ example condolence messages for coworkers or clients. These balance both support and appropriateness to avoid overstepping any boundaries.
Sympathy Messages to Send a Close Coworker
What you write in your sympathy message ultimately depends on your relationship. If you were close to your coworker, feel free to treat them the same as you would a friend. Just remember you’re in a professional environment, so you might also want to include an office message or one of these sympathy gifts for coworkers.
1. “We’re all here for you. Please let us know if you need absolutely anything.”
For someone in the office who you were close to, let them know you’re there for anything they need. Whether you take over their work temporarily or answer their emails, these small things matter.
2. “We’re all thinking of you during this tough time. We’re so sorry for your loss.”
If you’re writing a message on behalf of the office, let them know that everyone is keeping them in their thoughts. It’s good to know you’re not alone in a time of crisis.
3. “I’m sending you all the strength to get through this.”
When we go through something traumatic, it can feel like we have no strength left to keep moving forward. Remind your coworker that they are strong and can get through this.
4. “All of our hearts go out to you. You have all of my love.”
Be honest with how you feel about your coworker. If you’re close friends, remind them that you love them and care deeply about them.
5. “You’re so strong. Know that I’m thinking of you.”
Again, remind them of their strength and courage. They might be feeling weak, and your words are the encouragement they need at this time.
Sympathy Messages to Send a Coworker You Aren’t Close With
Knowing what to say when someone dies is never easy. This might be the case if you weren’t close to your coworker. Here are the best sympathy messages when you’re not sure what’s appropriate.
6. “Please accept my warmest condolences.”
One simple way to offer support is with warm condolences. This isn’t the same cliche as “sorry for your loss,” but it captures the same kind energy.
7. “I can’t imagine what you’re going through, but just know I’m thinking of you.”
Sometimes we make the mistake of comparing our own feelings of grief to others. There’s no way to know exactly what someone else is going through, and it’s okay to say you could never understand.
8. “Sending you my condolences.”
Another alternative to “sorry for your loss” is to simply send your condolences. Though simple, it emphasizes your concern during this difficult situation.
9. “My thoughts are will you during this time. Wishing you and your family all of the best.”
Less is truly more, especially if you’re not sure what else to say. Wishing the recipient’s family the best is often the best path forward.
10. “I am so sorry for this loss. My heart goes out to you.”
Even if you’re not close, you can still empathize with their pain. It’s always okay to say you’re sorry for someone’s loss and that you’re thinking of them in their time of need.
Sympathy Messages to Send a Coworker’s Family
It’s always hard to lose a coworker, even if you weren’t close to them personally. You can bring some peace and comfort to their family with kind words like these messages below.
11. “Working with Susan was a blessing. She was always willing to lend a helping hand. I wanted to extend my sympathies to the entire family for this loss.”
If you did work with this coworker in some capacity, sharing kind words about them helps the family feel their loved one is remembered. It is our impact on those around us that ultimately matters the most, so share this insight with those who loved them the best.
12. “We’re thinking of you while we celebrate John’s outstanding life.”
Remind the family that you’re taking an active role in remembering them in the office as well. They made an impact even amongst those they worked with, and that’s something worth celebrating.
13. “Alice will always be in our hearts. Be well during this time.”
Again, the family often just wants to know their loved one won’t be easily forgotten. Remind them just how much the office cares with a heartfelt message.
14. “Wishing you all the comfort during this challenging time.”
If you didn’t know the individual, it’s okay to just focus on your sympathy message rather than share how you knew them personally. Well wishes are always a good idea.
15. “Norman was always an inspiration to me. I will miss him dearly. I’m so sorry for your loss.”
Don’t be afraid to clarify exactly how you admired or appreciated your coworker. If they were a bright light within the office, tell this story to those who need it the most.
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Sympathy Messages to Send a Boss
It’s not always easy to talk about more personal, emotional topics with a boss. However, after a loss, they might be looking for support in all shapes and sizes. Offering a kind word shows you really care.
16. “May your happy memories bring you some comfort during this time.”
If you know your boss had a good relationship with the deceased, encourage them to hold their happy memories closely. These are worth everything after a loss.
17. “My thoughts and prayers go out to you.”
Simple is sometimes best. You know your boss, so determine how much or little involvement they want with their condolence messages.
18. “Wishing you hope during this time of sorrow and comfort during this time of pain.”
This phrase is similar to “sorry for your loss,” but it’s not nearly as common. It’s a straightforward way to wish someone all the best.
19. “I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your friend/partner/parent. I’m thinking of you.”
Don’t shy away from highlighting specifically who your boss lost. Having this person acknowledged can be extremely important during times of grief.
20. “You’ve always been a great support for me, and I hope I can do the same for you during this time. Let me know if you need anything at all.”
For the boss who is always there, let them know that you’re willing to be there for them on this darker day. Though they might be your boss, you can still support them in many ways.
Sympathy Messages to Send a Client
If one of your clients experiences a loss, it’s considered appropriate to send them some form of condolence message. This could be through email, social media, or even a physical card. Here are some messages to ensure you say the right thing.
21. “I’m so sorry for your loss. Helen will be sorely missed.”
If you knew the individual who died or knew of them, remind your client that this person will be missed. This is especially powerful if you knew both of them directly.
22. “I am so sorry to hear this news. Please accept my deepest condolences.”
When in doubt, less is more. It’s okay to admit that this news is shocking and sad. From there, offer your condolences to your client without overstepping boundaries.
23. “I’m thinking of you during this time. As a trusted client, I’m always here if you need anything at all.”
This is also a great opportunity to be there for your client in a time of need. If you feel comfortable doing so, ask if there’s anything you can do to help.
24. “Jenn’s passing will be grieved by all of us here. Sending you all of our sympathies.”
You also might need to write a sympathy message on behalf of your firm or office. When doing so, make sure you include everyone.
25. “Whilst I never met your partner in person, I know just how much they meant to you. You’re in my thoughts and prayers.”
Even if you don’t know the deceased individual yourself, you can still comment on their relationship and legacy. This reminds your client that though their loved one is gone, they will never be forgotten.
Offer Supportive Words in a Time of Need
Whether you’re writing a card to a coworker or a condolence email to a client, make sure you’re staying supportive and professional. When work and personal life combine, things get tricky. Being there for someone is possible no matter your relationship, so don’t be afraid to send a message when the timing feels right.
After a loss, having people reach out to offer kind words can mean the world to someone. Though it often feels like there’s nothing you can do, don’t underestimate the power of just being there when it matters the most.