Friends are some of the most precious people in our lives. Some people even say that they are the family we’ve chosen for ourselves. With this type of bond, it’s excruciating to see a friend go through pain. How are you supposed to craft a condolence message to someone so close to you? There’s no professional facade to fall back on like there would be if you were writing a message to a coworker.
Jump ahead to these sections:
There are only years of memories, friendship, and the pain they’re experiencing right now. Yet, picking the right message isn’t as hard as it might seem. All it takes is a little forethought.
How to Pick the Right Condolence Message
Choosing the right condolence message takes a few components into account. Combining them all into one heartfelt note creates a condolence message to treasure.
There are a few overarching 'rules'. To start, you shouldn't fall back on cliches placed on every 'With Sympathy' card in the supermarket. This can make it seem like you couldn’t bother to think of something original. It can also make you seem flippant as if their loss wasn’t that important to you. Both things are only insult to injury. Pro tip: Have a stack of black sympathy cards (like this inexpensive set from Amazon) at your disposal. A large blank space leaves you room to write a long, heartfelt message to your friend. They'll ship pretty quickly to your home, and they'll let your friend know you'd go the extra mile for them.
Another rule is to not leave your note as a useless piece of paper, or a digital message. A note is only a start.
Can you offer to call them on the phone, or come in person to listen to them talk or share memories? Can you pick up their kids from school or help with funeral arrangements? Being there for a friend takes much more than a simple note.
Make sure it’s heartfelt
When you’re trying to empathize with someone else, we usually fall back on recycled phrases. Rather than expressing your real emotions, they’re a safety zone.
Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable, and to break beyond sayings such as “he’s in a better place now.”
Get a grasp on the situation
Tact and sensitivity are key to the success of your note. For instance, if you know your friend had a bad parental relationship, don't pretend.
In this case, it's best to skip on "I hope your great memories comfort you during this difficult time."
If you’ve never lost someone very close to you, saying you know how it feels is often infuriating. Even if you’ve experienced painful loss, it’s still best to not assume that you know it all. It’s impossible.
Is your friend religious? Do they have cultural traditions that are important to them? Do they believe in everything or nothing?
Being knowledgeable about your friend’s beliefs and culture is crucial. Saying that someone is in a better place now is very insensitive if your friend doesn't believe in that.
Consider the medium
Are you sending a quick message, or are you calling them over the phone? If you’re sending a flower arrangement or a text message, a shorter message will work. Alternately, a phone call would be the best place to offer a listening ear.
Share a few memories
If you’ve been friends for a long time, chances are that you may have met the deceased. You may even have memories with them if they were a parent or a spouse.
Sharing a few of these memories is a great way to show the deceased’s impact on your life. if you can, print a few photos you have them of the deceased and put them in a pretty frame, like these wooden frames, and gift it to your friend.
Examples of Condolence Messages for a Friend
When writing a condolence message for a friend, consider who they’ve lost and how close you are to them. What level of emotion and what memories would be appropriate to show that you care?
If you’re having a hard time deciding, you can use, tweak, or get inspiration from these sample messages.
For a friend who lost their wife, husband, or partner
1. I’m heartbroken to hear about the loss of your spouse or partner. Please accept my heartfelt sympathies, and let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.
2. I can’t imagine the pain you’re going through during this difficult time. I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this loss. You’re in my heart, and my thoughts and prayers are with you.
3. Words can’t express how sorry I am to hear about the loss of your partner. I’m heartbroken that you’re going through such unimaginable pain. If you need someone to talk to, I’m here to listen whenever you need it.
4. I’m so sad to hear about your partner’s passing. Please let me do something to help you during this difficult time.
5. I hope you feel loved and comforted by the great memories you made with your spouse. I never met anyone like them and was so happy for your great marriage.
For a friend who lost their mother or father
6. I’m so sorry to hear about your dad’s passing. I never met anyone who had anything bad to say about him. He left a great legacy, and I was lucky to get to meet him. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
7. Your dad was such a kind man. I always loved being around him and seeing the legacy he left with his kids. Keeping you in my thoughts during this difficult time. I was so sorry to hear about your loss.
8. Please accept my sympathies for your mom’s death. She was so kind and looked out for all her children’s friends. She left a legacy of compassion and kindness, and I’m glad I got to meet her.
9. I’m so shocked and heartbroken to hear about your mom’s death. If you need someone to talk to or a shoulder to cry on, I’m here for you. Whatever you need, give me a call.
10. Your mother was a kind, beautiful woman, and I’ll never forget her. I know you have a lot of great memories with her, and I hope they comfort you during this difficult time.
For a friend who lost a brother or sister
11. Please accept my heartfelt condolences for your brother’s death. He was always so fun to hang out with and loved you so much. I’m glad I got the chance to meet him and will miss him. Keeping you in my thoughts right now.
12. Your sister was such a smart, fun person to be around, and I’ll never forget the time I spent with her. I know you have a lot of great childhood memories with her, and I’ll miss her too. Please give me a call if you need anything.
13. I hope you feel comforted by the great memories you have with your sister. I never met any siblings like you two and was so happy for your great relationship. Please accept my condolences, and let me know if you need anything.
14. I’m sorry to hear about your brother’s passing. Please let me do something to help you during this difficult time, even if you need a shoulder to cry on. Keeping you in my heart right now.
15. I can’t express how sad I am to hear about your sibling’s death. I’m so heartbroken that you’re going through this pain.
For a friend who lost a child
16. I can’t imagine what you’re going through right now. Please let me know if I can help with funeral arrangements, bring a meal over, or anything else.
17. I hope you feel comforted and loved by what a great kid they were. I never met another kid like them and was so happy for you. Please accept my condolences, and let me know if you need a shoulder to cry on or someone to talk to.
18. I’m so heartbroken to hear about your child’s death. Please let me do something to help you right now. If you need help babysitting other children, or help with food after the funeral, or anything else, I’m here for you.
19. Words can’t express how heartbroken I am right now. I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your child, and my thoughts and prayers are with you right now.
20. I can’t imagine the pain you’re trying to deal with right now. I’m glad you have such great memories with your kid and I am so sorry about their loss.
For a friend who lost another friend
21. Please accept my sincere condolences for the loss of your friend. If you need someone to talk to, I’d love to call you or meet up in person.
22. I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. If you need someone to talk to or someone to help with anything, I’m here for you.
23. I heard about the death of your friend. Please accept my heartfelt sympathies during this painful time.
24. I’d like to offer my heartfelt condolences for the loss of your friend. Keeping you in my mind and heart while you deal with this loss.
25. I’m so sad to hear about the loss of your friend. I know you made a lot of great memories with them and enjoyed their company when I got to meet them.
Sympathy Message for a Friend Who Lost a Mother or Mother-in-Law
Losing a mother is often devastating, and sending the right condolence message can feel impossible. While your words can’t take away the pain your friend is feeling, you can still be a source of comfort and kindness with these messages below.
26. I’m so sorry about your mother. Her kindness truly was contagious, and I’ll never forget her. She was an amazing woman.
27. There’s no one in the world like your mom. She was truly one-of-a-kind, and the world is better because she was in it. Wishing you the best.
28. I can’t imagine what you’re going through. I know my words can’t take away the grief, but I wanted you to know I’m here for you always. Please let me know if there’s anything you need.
29. A mother is always by our side, even when she’s gone. Forever in our memory, I hope you feel her presence with you always. She loved you so much.
30. Sending my deepest condolences to you and your family after the loss of your mother-in-law. I know how close you were, and I’m wishing your family all the best during this time. You’re never alone.
Sympathy Message for a Friend Who Lost a Father or Father-in-Law
Losing a father is like losing a guiding light. No matter your friend’s relationship with his or her father, this term still represents something special. Honoring their father’s legacy is one of the best ways to show support, especially if you can focus on the good times.
31. Your father was one of the best men I ever knew. I knew the true value of leadership and togetherness. I’m so sorry for your loss.
32. I hope the memories of your father provide you with comfort as you grieve this loss. He’s always with you in your heart.
33. A real father continues to guide his children even when he’s gone. He was so proud of you and the person you became. I’m here if you need anything.
34. We could always count on your father to be there no matter what. I know it’s hard to accept this loss, but know that we’re all here behind you. You’re never alone, even when things seem hard.
35. There will never be a father quite like yours. You’re so blessed to have had him in your life. I hope you know he’ll be with you always, and nobody can take that light away from you.
Sympathy Message for a Friend Who Lost a Grandparent
When a friend loses a grandparent, they need support to feel that love and comfort they’re missing. Words might not seem like enough, but they carry their own power of healing. Expressing sympathy after a loss is a reminder to your friend that he or she has supportive people behind them.
36. No matter what you called your grandma/grandpa, they were clearly an amazing person in your life. I know it’s not easy to move on, but I’m always here for you. No matter what you need, let me know how I can help.
37. I want to share my sympathy with you as you go through this difficult grieving period for your grandparent. Together, we celebrate his/her memory each and every day. I hope these memories bring you comfort.
38. Your grandparent was a special person. It’s clear you cared for them greatly, and they knew this in their heart. Wishing you the deepest sympathies.
39. A grandparent is a source of never-ending support and kindness. To lose this is devastating, but it’s also a reminder of the value of living each and every day. Your grandparent led an extraordinary life. They made the world a better place.
40. Sending all of my love and support to you and your family. There are no words to share just how sorry I am, but I hope you find peace and hope ahead. In the meantime, I’m here for you.
Sympathy Message for a Friend Who Lost a Partner or Spouse
Losing a spouse or partner is one of the most devastating types of loss. This is like losing a part of yourself that you can never get back, and it’s hard to overcome these feelings of grief. If your friend is going through this, look for unique ways to help them with this burden of grief through these messages below.
41. Your husband/wife was an amazing person and a friend to all. I’m a better person because I knew them. Sending you all the support in the world.
42. I can’t even imagine what you’re going through right now as you grieve your spouse. Please know that he/she will be missed immensely. I’m thinking of you today and everyday.
43. The world is a better place because your partner was in it. Though they’re gone, I hope the happy, loving memories you shared are a source of peace and comfort. It was clear to everyone how much you meant to them. Wishing you nothing but the best.
44. I’m so sorry for your loss. When your partner spoke of you, his/her eyes lit up. I don’t think I ever shared just how much I admired your beautiful relationship. Sending you a piece of my heart as you grieve this loss.
45. Comfort to you, friend, in your time of mourning. The world has become a greyer place, but it’s brighter because your love for your husband/wife lives on. I am always here for you if you need anything at all.
Sympathy Message for a Friend Who Lost a Sibling
Sending a sincere sympathy message to a friend who lost a sibling is a way to be there for them when they need you. Though they’re likely lost in waves of grief, your words are a sign that they are still connected to the community of support around them. Whenever possible, remind them of the happy memories of their sibling as well as their lasting legacy.
46. I’m so sorry to hear of your sister/brother’s passing. She/he was a beautiful soul, and I am a better person because I knew them. I’m sending endless support your way.
47. I know you and your sibling were close, and I was so sorry to hear this news. Please accept my condolences and know that my prayers are with you.
48. It was an absolute honor to have met your sister/brother. It was clear she/he was a wonderful person and will be missed by all. I hope your happy memories give you comfort in times of darkness.
49. Though your sibling is gone, he/she is always with you. I’m deeply saddened by your loss. May your sister/brother’s warm legacy always have a strong place in your heart.
50. There’s nothing that can take your sibling from your memory. It’s clear you meant a lot to each other, and this is a bond that lives on. Wishing you endless love and support.
Sympathy Message for a Friend Who Lost a Child
After the loss of a child or baby, it’s intimidating to even find the right words to say. This type of grief is hard to put into words, and it’s scary to think you might accidentally say the wrong thing to a friend in need. In most cases, the grieving parent just wants to feel heard and valued. Here are sympathy messages for a friend who lost a child.
51. Take all the time in the world you need. I’m here for you always.
52. My heart goes out to you during this time. [Child’s name] will be missed in all ways. The world is a better place because they were in it, and I’ll never forget them. Wishing you all the hope and kindness in the world.
53. Please be gentle with yourself during this time. I know how devastating it is to lose your baby, but you are not alone. Sending caring thoughts and prayers your way, friend.
54. Your grief and loss is very real. I’m so sorry for what you’re going through. This is not your fault, and I am always here to support you. Please let me know if there’s anything at all that you need.
55. This is a terrible kind of grief. Your child was so loved and adored. I can’t imagine the pain you’re feeling, but I also want to remind you that you’re not alone. Sending compassion to you and your spouse during this time.
Sympathy Message for a Friend Who Lost an Aunt or Uncle
An aunt or uncle is one of life’s earliest friends and teachers. To many, these are like a secondary parent, always there when you need help. If your friend recently lost an aunt or uncle, help them through their grief with one of these meaningful sympathy messages. Most importantly, remind them that their feelings are valid and okay.
56. I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your aunt/uncle. I know the two of you were close, and it was clear you meant so much to them. Wishing you so much compassion during your period of grief.
57. Sending sympathies to you and your family as you deal with the loss of your aunt/uncle. She/he will be sorely missed, but they’ll always live on in our hearts.
58. The absence of your aunt/uncle will be felt, but their memories live on forever. I’ll never forget what a kind, compassionate person they were. Please accept my condolences.
59. Your aunt/uncle was always there for you, and I’m so sorry for your loss. May you find strength and hope in these difficult times. I'm always thinking of you and your family.
60. Dearest friend, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your beloved aunt/uncle. Though I can’t understand exactly what you’re feeling, my sympathies are just as real. Be well and take care of yourself.
Sympathy Message for a Friend Who Lost a Cousin
Cousins are often as close as siblings, usually a part of our lives from an early age. If your friend has lost a close cousin, give them your unwavering support. Even if this wasn’t the closest member of the family, the bonds that tie cousins are hard to underestimate. This sadness is very real and painful.
61. Friend, I offer you my sympathies for the untimely loss of your cousin. I know this was sudden, and I hope your happy memories together help you find peace.
62. I’m always here if you need me. I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of your cousin. The two of you were always so close, and I know he/she is watching over you now.
63. Learning of your cousin’s death was devastating. You’re in my thoughts and prayers during this time. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need anything at all.
64. Your cousin was an amazing person. They left an undoubtable mark on the world, and this is something that will never fade away. Though they’re gone, your love for them lasts a lifetime. Wishing you the absolute best.
65. My heart aches for you after the loss of your dear cousin. I just wanted to let you know that I’m thinking of you, and I send my heartfelt condolences to you and your family.
Sympathy Message for a Friend Who Lost a Close Friend
Similarly, your friend might have lost another close friend. Even if this wasn’t a mutual friend you knew very well, you can relate to the special relationship you shared. When you share sympathy messages with a friend, this can often feel more challenging than someone you don’t know as well. Make sure your words have real meaning with these ideas below.
66. Though I didn’t know your friend personally, I know they must have been amazing if you were in their life. Wishing you condolences and compassion.
67. I can’t express how sorry I am in words for the loss of your friend. They were one of a kind, and they’ll live forever in our memories. Be well and take care of yourself.
68. What you and your friend shared was remarkable. You loved each other so deeply, and that type of love doesn’t go away. I know he/she is watching over you right now, and you’ll have each other forever.
69. My heart is with you as you grieve the loss of your friend. Please know that you have the support of your friends and family behind you. You’re never alone.
70. Dear friend, I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Though I can’t understand what you’re going through, I will be there for you no matter what you need.
Sympathy Message for a Friend Who Lost a Coworker
Last but not least, losing a coworker can be an upsetting experience. This is someone you interact with daily, and they make an impact on your life. These sympathy messages remind your friend that their feelings are normal and okay.
71. Dear friend, I’m sorry you unexpectedly lost your coworker. I know you were partners, and I can’t imagine what you’re feeling. I’m always here for you.
72. All of our hearts go out to you after hearing of the loss of your coworker. They sounded amazing, and it’s clear they made their mark on the world.
73. I just wanted to remind you of your strength during this loss. I know it’s hard, but you’ll get through this. We’re all here to support you.
74. Sending love and support to your office as you navigate this loss. It’s never easy to lose someone, but they’ll always be with you in memory. Wishing you all the absolute best.
75. Please accept my warmest condolences for the loss of your coworker. Even though you weren’t close, I know how difficult this can be. I’m always thinking of you.
Sending the Perfect Note to Your Friend
Coming up with the perfect condolence note or note for funeral flowers is difficult. Yet, with a little heart and vulnerability, you’re well on your way to crafting a great one.
If you aren't sure words are enough, check out our picks for the best sympathy gift ideas.