These days, social media is the norm for staying connected. Everyone sends and receives news updates instantly. Everyone in your network communicates through texting, posting, and responding to online messages.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Comforting Texts to Send to a Family Member
- Comforting Texts to Send to a Close Friend
- Comforting Texts to Send to Someone Who Lost a Partner or Spouse
- Comforting Texts to Send to an Acquaintance or Colleague
When news that someone you know has died hits social circles, you may be wondering what is the appropriate response to that news. Should you pick up the phone and call? Should you send fresh flowers or another sympathy plant? Is it ok to send a text offering condolences? How do you comfort someone who is grieving through text? And, how do you console someone whom you only talk to online?
It’s acceptable to send a text if it makes sense for you to do so. If you only talk online or through text, there's nothing wrong with responding to the news by sending a text. Finding the right words to say to someone who’s loved one has died is never easy. Below you will find a few examples of what to say and when it's appropriate to say it.
Comforting Texts to Send to a Family Member
When one of your family members suffers death in their immediate family, it’s a loss that hits close to home. You might not know what to say to express the sorrow that you're feeling. You might think that giving them space during this time is the best thing to do. It's not uncommon to pull away from your loved one.
You might not know how to process death and think that nothing you can say will make them feel better. Yet, the opposite is true. When everyone else has moved on, your words of condolences can have a real impact. A shoulder to lean on during this time goes a long way in helping your family member process their grief. There are several things you can say that will leave a lasting impression.
1. “I'm sorry to hear the news of your brother passing. Please accept my deepest regrets for your loss.”
When expressing your condolences by text, consider the type of relationship you have with your family members.
Decide whether it's appropriate to follow up with an in-person visit, or if texting is enough. Depending on your relationship, it may be better to offer support in-person.
2. “I was deeply saddened to hear of your mom’s passing. She was such a great inspiration to me. Please let me know how I can help you during this difficult time.”
This type of text acknowledges news of death and has a call to action. When a death occurs, there are many end-of-life matters to attend to.
With this message, you are letting your family members know that you have heard the news, how their loved one has impacted your life, and what she meant to you. You're also offering your support when needed.
3. “Please accept my heartfelt condolences to you and your family on your uncle's death. I’m sure that his memory will forever live on in your hearts."
This condolence message doesn't need to offer any further call to action. Unless you were close to the uncle, a text message is enough.
4. “I’m sorry for your loss. My deepest sympathy goes out to you and your family.”
When a family member has suffered a loss of a person whom you didn’t know or didn’t know well, a simple message expressing your sympathy, like "sorry for your loss," is both sufficient and respectful in honoring the death of their loved one.
5. “I am sorry for the loss of your dear Fluffy, Aunt Mary. I cannot imagine the pain you are going through right now. Please let me know how I can help you during this difficult time.”
Acknowledging the impact of the death of a beloved pet on Aunt Mary may be able to help during this time. It honors the bond between a pet and its owner while also offering support as you would with the loss of human life. You can even give a pet sympathy gift to provide some comfort as that person grieves.
Comforting Texts to Send to a Close Friend
When a close friend has a death in the family, it's sometimes difficult to approach him with the right words. Dealing with death takes the fun out of friendship, and your response to the news will depend on your communication style. A text message is generally appropriate while avoiding the use of emojis.
A simple “sorry for your loss” text gets the conversation started. It expresses regret and tells him that you're thinking of him. Consider following up your text with a phone call or visiting with a sympathy gift basket or care package.
6. “ My deepest sympathies go out to you, my friend. May you find comfort and peace during this difficult time. Know that I’m here for you.”
These words let your friend know that you are suffering along with him. Offering your support lets him know that you are reliable in his time of need.
Words of support and encouragement offer some of the greatest comforts to someone who is grieving.
7. “I heard the news, my friend. I can’t even begin to understand what you are feeling, but I want you to know that I’m here for you. I’m sending you my prayers and condolences. I’ll be checking in on you to see how you are doing.”
Your friend might not be ready to talk to you when the news first hits, but they need to know that you are available whenever they are ready.
Do what you say you will, by following up at appropriate intervals to check up on your friend.
8. “I was deeply saddened to hear about your brother’s passing. He was like a brother to me. Please offer my sincerest condolences to your family. You have my deepest sympathy.”
This type of text message honors the death of their loved one, offers condolences to the family as a whole, and also adds a personal touch about what the person who died meant to you.
It’s important not to make this about you, so carefully consider the length of your message and words you choose.
9. “I’m sorry for your loss. Please accept my sincerest sympathy.”
Sometimes less is more. When you don’t know what to say to your friend, a text acknowledging what they’re going through is enough when the message is sincere and heartfelt.
10. “I’m so sorry to hear this sad news. I’m thinking of you and your family at this time. Please let me know how I can help.”
When you offer condolences to someone you know and love, it’s always more meaningful when you attach the offer to help in some way.
Their immediate needs may not be clear to them just yet, but knowing that you have offered to help, and following up with that offer, can lessen their burden during this time.
Comforting Texts to Send to Someone Who Lost a Partner or Spouse
When deciding what message to text to a person who has lost their partner or spouse, keep in mind that they've just lost a big part of their support system. They've yet to realize the impact of the loss on their everyday lives, or how their future lives have changed. Be especially mindful of the grief they'll experience in the coming days, weeks and months.
If it's your partner or spouse who lost a loved one, it's also appropriate to send text messages throughout the day to let them know that you're there for them. A text message offering love and support may come through when a pick me up is needed. You may also want to send a text message to celebrate the life of their loved one on their death anniversary.
11. “I heard the news about your husband’s passing. Please accept my deepest sympathy for your loss. He was a great friend to me, and I will forever hold him in my heart.”
Social media spreads news fast to everyone connected. If you've heard about a death through social media, let the person grieving know how you heard the news.
Assure them that you’re responding privately, and offer your support. If a condolence board has been set up, it’s okay to post a less personal message. Consider posting only after you've sent a private message.
12. “I am deeply saddened by the loss of your wife. She was a wonderful woman. I will check in on you later to see what you may need.”
This type of message not only comforts the bereaved but reassures them that you may be stopping by later to help with whatever is needed.
13. "Please accept my condolences on the passing of your partner. It is an honor to have known such a great person, and I will truly miss them.”
Condolence messages that are gender-neutral respect the intimacy of the relationship without being too forward in assumptions or leaving a huge question needing to be answered.
14. “I was thinking about your husband on this day of his death anniversary. He has certainly made a positive impact on my life. I hope you are doing well.”
Reminding the person who has lost a loved one that you still hold them in your thoughts and prayers may be one of the most supportive gestures you can make.
While most people have moved on with their lives, you are letting them know that you still remember and honor their loved one who has died.
15. “Sending you thoughts of love and prayer to let you know that I am here for you.”
This simple message can be very impactful when sent at the appropriate time in the grieving process.
It’s not only acceptable but encouraged to send these types of messages to your partner or spouse to let them know that you love and support them.
Comforting Texts to Send to an Acquaintance or Colleague
Communicating condolences to an acquaintance or colleague can sometimes seem awkward and uncomfortable. These simple phrases below will help you bridge that gap between feeling awkward and offering genuine words of sympathy to someone you may not know very well.
16. “I heard about your loss. May you find comfort and peace during this difficult time. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help.”
When you hardly know a person, it may sound insincere to offer your deepest sympathies or to say that you feel their pain.
It is appropriate to send an abbreviated message of sympathy with a genuine offer to help. You may offer to pick up the slack at work, help them deliver a project, or fill in for them at work.
17. “I can’t imagine what it feels like to have lost a child. I am at a loss for words to say. Please know that I have you and your family in my prayers, and I’m here for you.”
You don’t have to know someone very well to understand that losing a child can be one of the most devastating things a parent can go through.
Letting them know that you can’t express the level of loss they must be feeling is acceptable, and it is much better than ignoring the death.
18. “Please accept my condolences on the loss of your pet, Burrito. He was always a joy to have around the office and will be missed.”
When your colleague loses a beloved pet, they may be mourning the loss as if they have lost a child. It’s important to recognize this loss and acknowledge it with words of sympathy and condolences.
19. “I heard about your dad’s passing. I’m so sorry about your loss. I lost my dad a few years back. If you need someone to talk to, I’m here for you.”
Offering specific and relatable support to an acquaintance lets them know that you genuinely care about them, and have something of value to add to them during this time of pain and bereavement.
You may want to follow up with another message a few days later to let your colleague know that you were sincere in your offer of support.
20. “Please accept my condolences on the loss of your spouse. I’m sure that this is a very difficult time for you. My thoughts and prayers are with you.”
This message validates the loss and the grief that your acquaintance must be experiencing without sounding too pushy or waiting for a response from him.
21. “It is terrible to hear about your loss. I express my sincere sympathy to you and your family.”
Again, this message is short and clear to the point. This is especially appropriate when you don’t have a close relationship with your colleague.
Comforting Texts to Send to a Person Who is Grieving
Knowing what to say to a person who is grieving is not always easy. Finding the appropriate words to comfort them in their time of need can prove difficult especially when you don’t have much experience with death.
Using some of these suggested words above can help you avoid the silence that follows when you are at a loss for words in many of these situations.