45 Condolence Messages to Share After a Death


The importance of human connection cannot be understated. Humans are social creatures who thrive on feedback from other people. One of the most important times we can reach out to connect with someone is when they’re experiencing a loss. In times of grief and tragedy, moments of human connection can be a balm. 

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However, it’s not always easy to know what to say when someone dies. Here, we share some simple condolence messages that are short and appropriate for a number of occasions.  

Short Condolence Messages to Share With a Friend

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When your friend experiences a loss, you can express your condolences in a number of ways. You can send flowers. You can call. You can even just send a quick text to let your friend know he’s on your mind. Here are some sympathy messages appropriate for a friend:

1. “I know how much you and your husband have been looking forward to starting a family. This loss must hit so hard. I’m sorry.”

The loss of a wanted pregnancy can often go unacknowledged by the world at large. Let your friend know you understand her pain after a miscarriage. 

2. “I’m so sorry to hear your mother passed away. She sounded like an amazing person. She certainly raised the best person I know.”

Even if you didn’t personally know the deceased, you can praise things about them that you know to be true. 

3. “I can’t believe your brother is gone. It feels like just yesterday we were all little kids, running around the neighborhood.”

If you do have a shared memory of the deceased, you can share it in your condolence message. People like to have concrete memories of loved ones who have passed away.

4. “The love you and Mark shared was like nothing I have ever seen. It was truly special.”

If your friend has lost her romantic partner, you can acknowledge how special their relationship was. This makes your condolences feel more personal.

5. “Oliver may have only been on this planet for a short time, But he had such a big impact. I know I’ve been forever changed by knowing him.”

It’s really difficult to lose a child. You can make sure to let your friend know that their child made an important impression on you. 

6. “I’m here for you whenever you want to talk. I’m also here for you if you don’t want to talk. If you don’t want to be alone, just call me up. We can sit here in silence if that’s what you need.”

Some people need someone to talk to after a loss. Others don’t do as well talking when their grief is still fresh. Let your friend know you’re there for them whichever path they choose. 

7. “I’m going to the store this afternoon. Let me know what you need, and I’ll be sure to drop it off on your porch.”

Sometimes the most helpful thing you can do when someone is grieving is to perform acts of service. Running a helpful errand can be a way to reach out and show you’re sorry for your friend’s loss.  

8. “I didn’t have a dad growing up. When your dad learned that, he stepped up and did all those dad things with me I had missed out on. He used to invite me fishing, and he taught me how to throw a baseball. I’m so grateful that he had such a big heart.”

It can be really helpful for people to hear positive things about the person they’re mourning. If you have fond memories of the deceased, you can share them with your friend. 

Short Condolence Messages to Share With a Family Member

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We don’t always think about how to offer condolences to our own family members. After all, a loss that impacts them will likely also affect you, right? Not necessarily. Your family member may lose a coworker, friend, or even romantic partner. Here are ways you can say sorry for your loss to a family member:

9. “We didn’t have the greatest home life growing up. I know your mother-in-law was like the mother we wish we had gotten to have. I’m so sorry for your loss but grateful you got to have her in your life. 

You may fill in gaps in our own family with found family members. If your family member loses part of their found family, you can express your condolences for that.

10. “I know you and John were friends for your whole life. You’ve known him even since before you had kids. I’m so sorry you lost your friend.”

Our parents have lives that predate us. They may end up having lifelong friends die as they grow older. 

11. “Now that I have a child of my own, I know how your example of motherhood has helped me. I’m so sorry your mom wasn’t around when I was born.”

Condolences don’t always have to be right after a loss. You can express them when you get a deeper understanding of a loss someone previously experienced.

12. “I’m so sorry that Sarah passed away. I want you to know that I’ll be here as much as you need to help out with the kids. You don’t have to do this on your own.”

Losing a spouse can feel very isolating. If your sibling’s spouse dies, affirm your commitment to helping them through it. 

13. “I’m so sorry about your coworker. I know you worked together for a long time.”

You may get exposed to our family member’s friends out in the world. But you might not meet their coworkers, even though they spend a lot of time together. You shouldn’t forget to acknowledge that kind of loss. 

14. “I can’t imagine what you’re going through. I obviously miss my sister, but I can’t imagine how hard it is to lose a daughter.”

People experience loss very differently depending on their relationship. Even in your own grief, acknowledge the grief of your family members. 

15. “You are the best mother. I know that you must want to crumble after losing one child, but you’re keeping it together for the other kids so well. I admire your strength.”

Sometimes people don’t get the luxury of falling apart in their grief. Acknowledge that struggle. 

16. “I know even though Beth was your cousin, she was more like a sister to you. I’m so sorry for your loss.”

This is another example of understanding the tight bond a family member may share with someone who died. 

Short Condolence Messages to Share with a Coworker or Boss

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Many people spend more time at their office than they do with their own friends and family. As a result, your boss and coworkers almost become an auxiliary family. Here are some sympathy messages you can extend when they experience a loss in their own lives: 

17. “You’ve spoken before about how your father was such a good leader in his family and the community. You clearly follow in his footsteps, and I’m sure he was proud of you.”

Even a boss may need to hear positive feedback in a time of grief. 

18. “I met your husband briefly at the last company Christmas party. He clearly adored you. I’m sorry for your loss.”

Even if you only had a brief encounter with the deceased, you can reference it in your condolences. 

19. “I remember your stories about how much your mother supported you. I know she’ll be missed.”

Even if you’ve only heard a little bit about the deceased, you can personalize your condolences. 

20. “The whole team is so sorry to hear about your wife’s passing. We just wanted to let you know that we have everything covered. Take as long as you need.”

When you’re worried about work, it can be hard to fully grieve. Give your coworker permission and time to heal.

21. “I’m sure you’re worried about how to balance everything going forward. There will be growing pains. We’re committed to giving you the time you need to adjust.”

If your employee has lost their spouse, the best thing you can do is support them. Communicate that in your condolences.

22. “I remember meeting your son at a community picnic a few years back. He was so bright and really kind. I’m sorry for your loss.” 

Referencing a specific memory of the deceased makes condolences feel specific and not generic. 

23. “We took up a collection around the office, and have this grocery gift card for your family. Please let us know what else we can do to help.”

Something like this is a concrete way you can take action to help while expressing condolences. 

24. “The office has organized a meal train. We’ll be taking turns dropping off casseroles and meals for your family. Let us know if there are any food allergies we should be aware of.”

This is another way to do practical action while communicating your sympathy.

25. “I’m praying for you and your family. Your sister was a wonderful soul. Know that while you may be in pain now, she is in Heaven smiling down on all of us.”

You don’t want to emphasize your own religious beliefs too greatly when offering condolences if you know the person you’re offering them to isn’t religious. However, if you know religion does play an important role in their life and the life of their family, it’s entirely acceptable (and maybe even advisable) to address your religious beliefs in a short condolence message.

26.“Hey, it’s been a while, but I wanted to check in and see if maybe you would like to chat sometime this week. Does Friday afternoon work for you?”

You don’t always have to send a short condolence message in the immediate aftermath of a passing. Even if it’s been several months since a passing, it’s often a kind gesture to reach out to someone and offer them the chance to discuss feelings with which they are likely still coping.

Short Condolence Messages for the Death of a Friend

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How you might express condolences for the loss of a friend will depend on a range of factors, including how well you knew the deceased, the age of the person you’re sending a message to, and more. Consider the following examples:

27. “It’s no surprise all my best college memories involve Ted. My deepest condolences.”

When someone close to you loses a friend, often, you will have also been friends with the deceased, although you may not have been as close to them as others. It’s appropriate to acknowledge this in a short condolence message.

28. “I didn’t know Kate well, but I know she played a major role in your life. Please let me know if you need support in any way during this difficult time.”

Unlike the above, this is the type of message that’s best to send when you didn’t know someone’s lost friend very well. Nevertheless, understand their relationship with them was quite significant.

29. “Your friendship with Matt has always been an inspiration to us all. If you need any help in the coming days, weeks, and months, know that I’m always here for you.”

This is the type of short condolence message you might send after someone loses a friend with whom they remained very close for many years.

Short Condolence Messages to Share After the Death of a Parent

The loss of a parent can devastate someone regardless of their age. Short condolence messages such as these may offer them some comfort during a painful time:

30. “I am so sorry for the loss of your mother/father. I don’t know exactly what you are going through, but as you know, I’ve been there before. I’m always here to talk when you need someone to turn to.”

If you’ve already lost a parent and are now offering condolences to someone mourning the loss of their own mother or father, you might want to remind them that while their own experience is unique, you’ve been in their shoes and are happy to comfort them whenever they need someone to turn to.

31. “Your mother was one of the kindest women I ever knew. I am sorry for your loss, but I applaud you for honoring her memory by being as kind as she was.”

Children (including adult children) often try to keep their lost parents “alive” in some way by embodying their best qualities. Comfort someone in mourning by assuring them that their own life and character reflects the life and character of a beloved parent who has passed away.

32. “I am so sorry for your loss. I know no one can replace your mother/father, but please know we are always here for you whenever you need anything.”

This is the type of short condolence message you might share with a child or teenager who has lost a parent. When someone loses a loved one who served as a caregiver, supporter, provider, teacher, and so much more, they deserve to know that other people in their life are willing to step up and take on these roles as best they can.

33. “I know your relationship with your mother/father wasn’t always ideal. If you ever want to talk about that with someone who won’t judge you, I’m happy to listen.”

When offering condolences, many feel the impulse to pretend as if the deceased was a perfect individual. While this is understandable, it’s worth noting that some people have complex relationships with their parents. In the aftermath of a parent’s death, such a person might appreciate knowing they can discuss their more difficult emotions with a friend or relative who will understand and sympathize instead of acting as though it’s only appropriate to speak kind words about a deceased parent after their passing.

Short Condolence Messages to Share After the Death of a Grandparent

Loving grandparents have unique bonds with their grandchildren that bring joy to all lucky enough to have such relationships. Although the loss of that connection can result in sorrow, it’s possible to help a grandchild move forward with hope through such words as the following:

34. “I’m sorry for your loss. Just know you brought your grandmother/grandfather years of joy.”

For some, the experience of growing older and approaching death is a painful one, as the body breaks down and old friends and family members pass on. Let someone mourning their lost grandparent know their grandmother or grandfather did not have to experience that pain because they had wonderful grandchildren to bring happiness into their lives.

35. “I know this isn’t a ‘small loss,’ despite what some might say. Feel free to get in touch if you want to talk.”

Some people dismiss the loss of a grandparent as being less significant than the loss of another family member because we grow up knowing our grandparents are closer to death than younger relatives may be. If you think someone is downplaying the pain they face after the passing of a grandparent because others have told them this is the type of loss most people will experience, let them know you’re available if they want to truly let their feelings out instead of hiding them.

36. “Your grandmother/grandfather was always so proud of you. I know this hurts now, but I believe they still are.”

Again, reminding someone who has lost a grandparent that they brought joy and pride to that grandparent during their life can give them some sense of peace. If you’re a religious person (and you know the individual receiving this short condolence message shares your religious beliefs), you might also suggest that a lost grandparent still cherishes their beloved grandchildren in the afterlife.

37. “When my grandmother/grandfather died, you were there whenever I needed someone to talk to. I’m so sorry for what you are going through right now. Just know I’m always happy to return the favor.”

Because many people have lost at least one grandparent at some point in life, there’s a good chance you can sympathize and empathize with a friend who has lost a grandparent recently. If they were there to support you when you went through this experience, thank them for their help, and remind them that you’re glad to do the same for them now.

Short Condolence Messages to Share After the Death of a Partner or Spouse

The relationship someone has with their partner or spouse is uniquely private and personal. No one can fully understand the nature of the feelings one may have for their partner, or the nature of the pain they might endure after a partner’s or spouse’s passing. Still, these short condolence messages could prove helpful:

38. “I’m deeply sorry to hear of Amy’s passing. Everyone could see how devoted you too were. You inspired all of us to follow in your footsteps.”

There may be little you can say to significantly ease the pain of someone mourning the loss of a partner with whom they were deeply in love. However, you can at least acknowledge that it’s clear the love they felt for their partner was immensely strong, and it motivated others in their life to strengthen their own relationships with their partners or spouses.

39. “I know you feel terribly alone right now. You’re not. Talk to me when you need to. I’m always a phone call away.”

This may be an ideal short condolence message to share with someone after the death of their partner or spouse if you’ve experienced a similar loss in the past. You may have a particularly strong understanding of the loneliness they feel, and might thus be one of the few relatives or friends genuinely qualified to empathize in the coming weeks and months.

40. “I’m so sorry for your loss. Just know that love lasts forever.”

You need to always consider the beliefs, values, and personality of someone with whom you’re sharing a short condolence message when choosing your words. Someone who finds notions such as “love lasts forever” to be clichėd might not derive much comfort from this message. However, someone who genuinely believes love is an emotion that defies death might need to hear someone reaffirm their belief after their beloved’s passing.

41. “I’m deeply sorry for your loss. We understand you will have many responsibilities to attend to going forward. We insist on helping to relieve you of your burdens in any way we can.”

It’s sometimes kind to address basic practical matters when offering condolences. For example, if someone is mourning the loss of a spouse or partner with whom they had children, they’re going to need to adjust to a new set of responsibilities while trying to manage their own emotional needs. Make it clear to them that they can offload many of their new responsibilities onto you when they feel overwhelmed.

Short Condolence Messages to Share After the Death of a Child

The pain someone experiences when losing a child is beyond measure or even understanding. Don’t pretend you can erase that pain with a few words. Instead, when sharing a short condolence message after the death of a child, focus on offering sympathy without expecting your words to magically restore a mourning parent’s sense of hope and peace. Examples that may inspire your message include:

42. “I cannot imagine what you must be feeling right now. Don’t worry about being strong. Just know that every single one of your friends and family members are here for you now.”

No one should feel they need to put on a brave face after losing a child. Instead, they should hear their friends and family members tell them time and again that they can turn to their support system at any point and for any reason as they cope with this tragic loss.

43. “The loss of a child is the greatest test of faith a parent can endure. Don’t judge yourself for anything you feel or believe in the coming months.”

You might share this type of condolence message with a parent after a child’s death if you are both active members of a religious community. Those who have faith and believe in a kind and just god often face the additional struggle of judging themselves for questioning their faith when attempting to make sense of a child’s death. Let a parent who has lost a child know such feelings are natural and understandable in these terrible circumstances.

44. “Words cannot express how deeply sorry our family is for your loss. All we can do is let you know we are here to support you in any way you can as you face the trials ahead.”

Although any death can result in prolonged sorrow, moving forward after a child passes is uniquely challenging. The path to peace after a child’s death is arduous, and those who have to travel it will need much help along the way.

45. “I am deeply sorry for your loss. You hopefully know that your friends and family are here. That said, you must remember there is no shame in seeking help from qualified professionals as you work on moving forward.”

Although you might want to focus purely on offering emotional support at a time like this, losing a child can result in mental and emotional health struggles that require professional treatment in the form of counseling or other such methods. It might be wise to let someone know they can and should seek this type of care if they find they need it.

Share These Short and Sweet Condolence Messages

Everyone experiences loss. What gets us through those times is our ability to keep connecting with other people.

When your friends, family, or coworkers lose a loved one, it’s important to be there for them. These sympathy messages will help you soothe your loved ones during their time of need. 

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