What do you say to someone who unexpectedly lost the love of his life? How do you comment on someone’s Facebook post after she announced the death of a loved one? What do you write in a sympathy card that’s being passed around the office?
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Funeral Messages for Flowers, Bouquets, and Wreaths
- Funeral Card Messages for Family
- Funeral Card Messages for Friends or Acquaintances
- Funeral Messages to Share on an Online Memorial or Social Media
We’d like to help you with this task. Here are some sample funeral messages you can include with flowers, write on cards, or post on social media accounts. We will teach you how to write more heartfelt messages other than the ubiquitous “thoughts and prayers.”
Funeral Messages for Flowers, Bouquets, and Wreaths
Before you send flowers or a plant to a funeral, stop and consider whether this is an appropriate gift. If all of the family members have to travel in for the funeral, they may struggle to find a way to take home a huge peace lily that you had delivered for the service.
Also, some families may request that friends and family donate to a specific charity instead of purchasing flowers, bouquets, or wreaths.
If sending a plant or flowers isn’t the best decision, you may consider sending virtual flowers. Otherwise, here are some messages to include with the flowers or plants that you send.
1. I was so sad to hear about your mother’s passing. Sheila was a wonderful friend. Love to you and the rest of the family.
If you aren’t sure that the family will know who you are, you may want to put a clue in the text of your message. You could say, “I enjoyed working with Harry for the last three years.” Or “I have many wonderful childhood memories of Sally.”
2. These peonies reminded me of your mom. Hers were always the prettiest on the block. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.
Using the phrase “thoughts and prayers” may be appropriate but they have more meaning if they’re included with a specific memory about the deceased.
3. Aunt Gloria will forever be in our hearts.
If you order a bouquet online, you will probably have a character limit on what you can write on the card. Sharing a short message may be necessary.
4. Our deepest and most heartfelt condolences to you and the rest of your siblings. We are so sorry for your loss.
Mentioning other family members is a nice touch, even if you are sending a plant or a bouquet to a specific person.
5. Wishing you peace and comfort in the days ahead.
One of the reasons you may choose to send flowers or a plant to someone in grief is because their beauty has a calming effect. You may choose to mention your wish for peace in the note for the funeral flowers.
6. I wish I could be there today to show you support. Thinking of you, my friend!
You may consider sending flowers or a plant if you are unable to attend the funeral services for a friends’ family member.
Funeral Card Messages for Family
If you are sending a sympathy card to a member of your family, you may have had the opportunity to know the deceased. Even though sympathy card messages are usually brief, you may want to write about specific memories you had with the person before he or she died.
Of course, if you didn’t know the person who died, what you write in the sympathy card will be much more generic.
7. I know that your life will never be the same without your mom, but please know that I am only a phone call or text away. Reach out to me when you are sad or lonely. I’ll be there for you.
A card gives you ample opportunity to share a heartfelt message to the receiver. Follow up this message with a visit or a call after a week or two.
8. Aunt Stella was my favorite aunt. She always put her family first and had such a giving spirit. Christmas won’t be the same without her sugar cookies.
Include as many details as you can in your sympathy message. When a person loses someone, he craves to hear stories about what made that person special.
9. My heart is heavy by the loss of your brother. He was always so much fun to be around and I have many happy memories of climbing trees and riding motorcycles with him.
If you knew the deceased, write about how you feel about the death. The family members want to know that their loved one made an impact on many people’s lives.
10. You were blessed with a wonderful mother. May the happy memories you shared give you solace during this difficult time.
Remind the person in mourning that he or she was lucky to have such a good relationship with the one who died.
11. Even though you are brokenhearted, I’m sure the heavens are rejoicing to have gained such a wonderful and faithful servant. Your dad was a kind and generous man.
If the deceased believed in a higher power, consider writing about it on the card.
12. Our hearts go out to you and your family.
This is a rather generic message, but sometimes being concise is necessary if you are signing a card with a group of people.
Funeral Card Messages for Friends or Acquaintances
It’s good funeral etiquette to purchase a card for the deceased’s family. For help with writing a funeral card message, keep reading.
13. I wish I had known your father. He sounds as if he was a remarkable man. Hugs to you, my friend. I am thinking of you.
Sometimes you learn amazing things about your friend’s families by simply reading an obituary.
14. I worked with your sister for 13 years, and I wanted to let you know what an honor it was to call her my friend. She was the friendliest person I ever met and everyone in the office loved her.
Even if the family member is merely an acquaintance, send a sympathy card anyway.
15. I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your husband. Please accept my heartfelt condolences.
If you didn’t know the deceased or the family member well, you might want to take a generic approach when writing a message.
16. There will never be another person like your father. He will be sincerely missed at bingo.
Of course, you should only write positive descriptions about the deceased when writing in a card. Use the first part of this message as an example if you struggle to know what to say.
17. My heart broke when I heard about your child’s death. Please know that I am thinking of you and the rest of your sweet family.
Sending a message to someone who lost a child is particularly heart wrenching and it’s important to tread carefully.
18. I understand how devastating it is to lose a baby. Please call me when you are ready to talk.
While you shouldn’t compare your grief with the grief of another person, it can be okay if you’ve gone through the same experience.
Funeral Messages to Share on an Online Memorial or Social Media
Writing a message on an online memorial book or a social media page takes special skill and tact. Not only will the message be present forever, but hundreds of other people may see it.
Here are some examples of sympathy messages to write online.
19. Your mom had such a beautiful spirit. I’m so sorry for your loss.
You can learn a lot about a person by looking at photographs. Even if you didn’t know the deceased, you might feel comfortable commenting on her personality after looking through some family pictures.
20. I always loved talking with your dad at high school football games. He loved our community, and going to games won’t be the same without Mike sitting in his spot in the bleachers.
Consider your words carefully when writing a tribute that will be seen by hundreds of people.
21. I know that your sister is hearing this phrase right now: “Well done, good and faithful servant.” I know that you will miss her, but we can rejoice knowing that she is dancing and singing with the angels right now.
If the person who died was a person of faith, feel free to remark on this.
22. I read this the other day and thought of you: “Words will not wipe away your tears and hugs may not ease the pain, but hold onto your memories because forever they will remain.”
Consider sharing your favorite sympathy quote or poem with your friend in mourning. If the quote helped you, it would probably help your friend.
23. Wishing you peace during this difficult time.
This is a nice alternative to “thoughts and prayers.”
24. There are no words.
Sometimes a loss is too overwhelming for comment. This may be especially true if multiple people died at once or a young person died.
Write the Right Funeral Message
Before you sign the card or press “send” or “post,” reread your message to make sure it says what you intended for it to say. Some people, in their haste, may accidentally write the wrong sentiment, and you don’t want to be the one who posted “Congratulations!” when “Thoughts and Prayers” would have been the appropriate message.
If you’re sending the message and you’re not closely involved with the situation, you may also want to check on the relationship the recipient had with the deceased. You don’t want to offer sympathies for the loss of a mother when it was the father who died.
More than anything else, consider how you would feel receiving these words from a friend. Send heartfelt messages full of sincerity and love.