When someone you know is going through a difficult time, it’s hard to know what to say. You want to reach out and offer your loved one comfort.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- How to Say ‘My Heart Goes Out to You’ After a Death
- How to Say ‘My Heart Goes Out to You’ After Another Tragedy or Loss
- How to Say ‘My Heart Goes Out to You’ on Social Media
- Short ‘My Heart Goes Out to You’ Texts to Send a Friend
But you don’t want to rely on trite phrases. You want to really convey heartfelt sentiments. We’ve rounded up 20 ways you can let people know that they and their family members are on your mind.
How to Say ‘My Heart Goes Out to You’ After a Death
Sympathy cards contain beautifully crafted messages meant to offer comfort and support. They can relieve the pressure of having to come up with the perfect words to say. However, you should still add a personal message.
Here are ways you can sign a sympathy card to add a more individualized message.
1. “I’m holding you and your family in my heart right now.”
This is similar to “my heart goes out to you and your family” but there’s a subtle difference. The phrase “my heart goes out to you” puts some distance between you and the person who is grieving.
Saying you’re holding them in your heart feels more intimate and welcoming. It has a sincerity to it that is sure to resonate with a grieving family member.
2. “[Name] was such an incredible person. I’m so sorry you and your family are going through such a terrible loss.”
When someone dies, people sometimes shy away from saying the deceased’s name. They do this to try and minimize the pain the family might be feeling. But it can feel very isolating when people speak around the deceased loved one.
Mentioning the deceased person by name and saying something positive and specific is a good way to express sympathy.
3. “I’m sending my love to you and your family during this difficult time.”
This message is short, simple, and sweet. The straightforward sincerity of a message like this can be very comforting to a grieving family. You can use this message in a sympathy card or say it out loud.
Post-planning tip: If you are the executor for a deceased loved one, the emotional and technical aspects of handling their unfinished business can be overwhelming without a way to organize your process. We have a post-loss checklist that will help you ensure that your loved one's family, estate, and other affairs are taken care of.
How to Say ‘My Heart Goes Out to You’ After Another Tragedy or Loss
It seems like after any kind of tragedy, people send thoughts and prayers. While that’s a nice sentiment, it may not feel like enough. These thoughtful messages also include concrete offers of help for families going through a difficult time.
4. “You’re dealing with a lot right now. Why don’t I take the kids for the weekend? I’m sure you could use a break.”
When someone goes through a tragedy, it can be hard to focus on parenting. A message like this does more than just express empathy. It also provides help for someone in need of support. This doesn’t have to be the specific gesture you make — you can adapt it to the needs of the person in your life.
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5. “I know you have a lot on your plate right now. I’d love to drop off dinner for you and your family.”
Making practical gestures of comfort can be helpful to someone coping with a loss. Small tasks like shopping for food and cooking it can feel overwhelming. Dropping off a homemade meal (or getting food delivered from a service) can ease a burden.
Food is also a great way to connect people and it adds an extra layer of comfort. These words, with an accompanying gesture, work in a variety of situations. They work if someone is grieving a death, dealing with an illness in the family, or going through another difficult situation.
6. “You and your family have been through so much lately. I am really in awe of your strength. If you need to take a break from being strong, I’m here.”
When people are dealing with a personal tragedy, it’s easy for them to feel weak and worn down. Sometimes people need to be reminded that others can see and be impressed by how strong they are.
They may also need to hear that it’s okay to have weak and vulnerable moments, too. This message covers both of those circumstances. It lets someone going through a difficult time know that you can offer safety.
How to Say ‘My Heart Goes Out to You’ on Social Media
Social media is a complicated place but it has its upsides. One of them is the ability to quickly express condolences or support for someone going through a difficult time. These messages let someone know your heart goes out to them in a way that’s appropriate for social media.
7. “I was so sorry to see that [Name] passed away. Sending all my love to you and the kids.”
Many families will make a post on social media when a spouse passes away after a long illness. This would be a good message to leave in the comments of that post.
You could also leave it directly on that person’s Facebook wall, but only if the family has made a public statement of some sort. You don’t want to accidentally break the news of someone’s death to their friends and extended family.
8. “[Name] helped me through some really difficult times in my life. I am here to support you and your family in any way I can. It’s the best way I can think of to honor her memory.”
A message like this would be a good direct message to send to the family member of someone who has passed away.
It can be really comforting to talk about the good things the deceased did for you. If the deceased went above and beyond for you in life, the deceased would want you to return the favor by looking out for his or her family.
9. “I’m devastated to hear that [Name] is no longer with us. I know how much you and your family loved him. He was such a bright light.”
This is another instance where it can bring a family member comfort to remember the good things about a deceased loved one. You can build off of this sentiment with a more specific story that celebrates the deceased.
Short ‘My Heart Goes Out to You’ Texts to Send a Friend
You might want to send a sympathy card or gift when a friend is going through a difficult time. But you also might want to let your friend know you’re available faster than the mail can arrive. These short text messages can communicate condolences or support.
10. “I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. I’m here to talk whenever you’re ready. You can call me day or night.”
A lot of people don’t want to send a condolence text message to a friend or loved one. They feel like it’s too impersonal. They’d rather pick up the phone and call to give their sympathy in a more immediate way. But a grieving friend may be overwhelmed.
Your friend may be inundated with calls and messages and in the midst of planning a funeral. Sending a text gives your friend an opportunity to respond right away or wait until a less hectic or emotionally draining time.
11. “You and your family have been on my mind a lot. I hope you’re all doing the best you can under the circumstances. Can I do anything to help any of you?”
It’s always nice to reach out to friends and loved ones and see how you can help. You can take that gesture to the next level by also extending offers of support to their family members.
Your friends or loved ones might be processing a death fairly well. But their kids or their siblings might be struggling and your friends or loved ones might not have the emotional bandwidth to deal with it. That’s where you come in.
12. “I wanted to reach out and tell you again how beautiful [Name]’s funeral was. How are you and your family doing? I’ve been thinking about you all.”
Families get an outpouring of love and support after someone dies. But after a few weeks, that attention and support can taper off. Send a text like this a few weeks after someone has died. It will help people to know that someone continues to care.
Use Your Words
Sometimes your friends and loved ones go through difficult times. When they do, you don’t want to lean on cliches like “sorry for your loss.”
You want to really convey a meaningful sentiment. These phrases fit in a number of situations or they may just inspire you to come up with an even more personal message.