In times of immense tragedy and grief, it is hard to find the right words. And writing a sympathy message can be challenging. When it comes to child loss, words cannot take the pain away. So what can you do to express your love and condolences?
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Sympathy Messages for the Loss of a Young Son
- Sympathy Messages for the Loss of a Young Daughter
- Sympathy Messages for the Loss of an Adult Child
It's important to write from the heart and not overthink the message. In times of sorrow and grief, people respond best to genuine, heartfelt messages. There is no quick fix or way to make the pain go away, but you can offer your presence.
Writing a compassionate note in a sympathy card or on an online memorial page to tell your friend or family member you are thinking of them will go a long way. These messages can provide support to a grieving person when they are having a tough day.
Whether you're sending something comforting, like a sympathy gift basket or a vase of fresh-cut flowers, or writing a short note, a sympathy message can provide tremendous relief during a difficult time. Here are some suggestions for sympathy messages.
Tip: If someone in your life recently lost an adult child, they might be sorting through the life left behind. And that's extremely challenging when they're already overwhelmed with grief. If you want to lend some practical support, our post-loss checklist can help.
Losing a child is something many of us can't relate to. But you can still offer your care and compassion. It is important to remind your loved one or friend that they are not alone. By expressing your condolences, you let that person know that you are here if they need a shoulder to cry on.
If you haven't walked in their shoes, it's important to stay away from a common response of "I understand how you feel." As much as you may want to relate to the person, a letter of condolence is not the time to do so. It's important to let the loved one or friend know you are an unconditional support.
- The legacy of your son [name] will live on in the hearts of everyone who knew him. We will celebrate his memory always.
- We extend our deepest condolences to you and your family in this time of grief. We are here for you.
- Your son was such a beautiful presence in this world. His soul has moved on, but he will always be with you. Please know we are thinking of you during this time.
- The joy your son brought into our lives was immeasurable. His presence was a gift. He will be greatly missed, and never forgotten.
- We are thinking of you. Our hearts ache for your family. We will hold [name] in our hearts forever. Please let us know if you need anything.
- [name] Brought tremendous love and light in this world. We are better for having known him.
- It's okay if you’re not okay. I am here for you. I will be a shoulder for you to lean on whenever you need it.
- The bond between you and [name] was incredible. In this time of heartbreak, please know I am here for you.
- Little boys leave footprints in our hearts. They are never forgotten. The memory of [name] will live on and we will celebrate his life each day.
- I am here for you. I will be an ear to listen whenever you need it. Know that you can always talk to me about your son.
- Your son brought so much joy into this world. One of my favorite memories of him is [share your favorite memory]
- My heart goes out to you and your family. Your son's memory will live on in the hearts of so many.
- Life is not measured by the breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away.
- Your son made a big impact on the lives of many people. Please know that I am here for you during this time and always.
- There are no right words to erase the pain you feel. Please know I am thinking of you. I love you very much.
Apologizing for loss is an almost automatic response when you hear someone has died. It turns out to be one of the things that grieving parents dislike the most.
Instead of "I'm sorry," share a favorite memory or offer a few kind words about their daughter. Here are some ideas to start you can with:
- Your daughter [name] was a beautiful person. And now she is an angel. Please know we are thinking of you and are here if you need us.
- In this time of deep suffering, please know that we love you. We’re here if you need anything.
- There are no words to ease your pain. Your daughter [name] was a wonderful presence in the world. She changed the lives of many. We are so grateful we got to know her.
- Her life here on earth was short but her impact was grand. The soul of [name] came here to do great things. And she succeeded.
- I will always treasure my memories of [name] Thank you for allowing me to be a part of her life.
- Wishing you peace in this time of suffering. Please know I love you.
- When our hearts break, they break open. I am here for you and wish you ease on this grief journey.
- You are wonderful parents and your daughter [name] was so blessed. Her light is shining down on the both of you.
- I am thinking of you. I am here for you in whatever capacity you need.
- It's okay to be sad and cry. Trust your emotions and allow yourself to grieve. Wishing you grace in the suffering.
- Our family extends our deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences to your family. We are here for you always.
- The legacy of [name] is eternal. She will live on in the hearts of the many lives she touched.
- The kindness of your sweet daughter [name] will live on. She was an incredible soul. Her light will shine down on each of us.
- My heart feels so heavy. Words cannot begin to express how sad I am for you and your family. I am here for you.
- Holding you close to my heart. I am here to help with anything you need, please don't hesitate to reach out.
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Parents want their children to outlive them. The loss of an adult child can invoke intense sorrow and complicated grief. You can play an influential role in a person's grief process by taking the time to write a note of sympathy. It's important to share from the heart.
If you don't know what to say, write "I don't know what to say, but I am thinking of you." Grieving people appreciate raw and real communication. You can also show your support through actions — consider a thoughtful gesture like offering to help with errands, sending a care package, or giving a meal delivery gift card.
It's important that you treat a grieving person like a human and that you don't ostracize them. The loss of a child can be unknown territory for a lot of us, but you can still offer your love. Stuck about what to say to a grieving parent? Consider one of these messages:
- It was such an honor to know [name]. Their memory will live on and they will never be forgotten.
- I am thinking of you in this difficult time. Please know I am here for you when you need a shoulder to cry on.
- I wish I could take some of your pain away. I am here for you and love you. Please reach out if you need anything at all.
- Your son/daughter was very blessed to have you as parents. They were a kind person and their legacy will live on.
- We are holding you close to our hearts. We are here if you need anything, day or night. Please don’t hesitate to call.
- Please know I am thinking of you always. I am just a phone call away. I am here for you no matter the time of day.
- [Name] touched the lives of many. I am grateful to have called them a friend. I will always remember their bright smile and caring heart.
- I promise to keep [name] memory alive in my heart always. Here is one of my favorite memories of [name and insert memory] I will cherish that memory forever.
- May you find comfort and peace in time. There is no need to rush your healing. You are being held by many.
- We will always remember your son/daughter. Their spirit will live on in the hearts of those who were lucky enough to know them.
Child loss is an experience no one wants to go through. To this day there is no name for a bereaved parent. If you lose a spouse, you are a widow, if you lose a parent, you’re an orphan. But there is no term for losing a child.
By expressing a note of sympathy, we are acknowledging the bereaved parent. We want them to know that in the horror of their grief, their child will never be forgotten.
Support Someone in Their Grief
A small sincere note can have a significant impact on someone’s healing. If you are planning to send flowers or a simple card, here are some suggested sympathy messages to go along with them.
A sympathy message doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s important to be genuine and thoughtful. Sharing a beloved memory, or letting the bereaved know you’re there for them is enough.
Aren't sure if a message is enough? Check out our ideas for the best sympathy gifts for parents who lost a child. Also let the parents know about special days of the year to honor a lost child, such as International Bereaved Father's Day.