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.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Short Condolence Messages to Share With a Friend
- Short Condolence Messages to Share With a Family Member
- Short Condolence Messages to Share With a Coworker or Boss
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
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
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
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.
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.