Offering support to someone struggling with an illness, coping with a loss, or otherwise enduring a painful experience can be challenging. You want to be certain your message truly comforts them. Thus, you might not want to resort to sending generic messages that don’t authentically express your feelings.
For example, while there’s nothing wrong with saying “thinking of you and your family” in these circumstances, that message is so common that you may feel it isn’t meaningful enough.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- How to Say "Thinking of You and Your Family" After a Loss or Tragedy
- How to Say "Thinking of You and Your Family" to a Coworker or Colleague
- How to Say "Thinking of You and Your Family" During an Illness
Don’t worry if that’s the case. There are many alternative thinking of you messages you can use instead. The following are a few noteworthy examples. Consider them the next time you’re offering a friend or family member your sympathies.
How to Say "Thinking of You and Your Family" After a Loss or Tragedy
Instead of simply saying “sorry for your loss” or “thinking of you” when offering condolences, you may want to use one of these messages:
1. “Thank you all for being there for me when [personal example]. I’m here to do the same. Let me know what I can do.”
Offering your support to someone and their family by thanking them for being there for you in a specific way in the past demonstrates that you’ve taken the time to genuinely think about them. You’re not just saying they’re in your thoughts. You’re proving it.
2. “Want to talk this week? What time works for you?”
Anyone can say “I’m thinking of you and your family” when a friend has suffered a loss. Show you truly mean it by offering to talk with them about the experience.
3. “If you need any help with watching the kids, getting groceries, or anything at all, I’m more than happy to chip in.”
This is another version of the above example. A “thinking of you message” is more meaningful when it includes offers to help in specific ways.
4. “Be well today. Call if you need!”
This example highlights an important point: you don’t need to stop sending “thinking of you and your family” messages after the initial mourning period. For example, you might send this message to a friend on the first birthday or holiday after their loved one’s passing.
5. “You’re always in our hearts, but especially right now.”
An alternative to a traditional “thinking of you” message doesn’t need to be too different to offer comfort. Simply letting someone know they’re in your heart, not just your mind, may be enough to ensure your words are more meaningful.
6. “I can’t imagine what you’re all feeling, but I know your strength will guide you through this.”
Once more, you can show you’re actually thinking of someone and their family by sending a message that highlights their admirable traits.
7. “You and yours will be in our family’s prayers.”
This alternative to “Thinking of you and your family” may not be as original as some of the other options on this list, but it earns a spot because of how meaningful it can be to someone hearing it if they’re religious. Those with strong religious values often take comfort in knowing that friends and family who share those values are praying for them in the aftermath of a painful loss.
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How to Say "Thinking of You and Your Family" to a Coworker or Colleague
Friends and loved ones aren’t the only people in our lives who need support when they’re in pain. Colleagues and coworkers appreciate “thinking of you” messages as well. Options to consider include:
8. “Our deepest sympathies. Remember, your family is priority number one right now. We can take care of everything here in the meantime.”
Did a coworker have to suddenly take a break from work due to an unexpected loss? If so, consider not only offering your sympathy but also letting them know they don’t need to stress about work while they focus on their loved ones.
9. “Everyone here loves you and hopes you and your family are doing well!”
Send this message with a sympathy card from the entire team to tell a coworker they’re not a respected colleague, but also a beloved friend.
10. “We are deeply sorry. Take all the time you need.”
Knowing your fellow team members are considering your personal needs and offering to take over some of your responsibilities can be very helpful when you have to take a break from work after a loss.
11. “We’re happy to meet up with you at lunch any day this month if you’d like.”
Even if someone isn’t completely ready to return to work during a difficult time, they might appreciate returning to some sense of normalcy by seeing their coworkers in another context. Show a colleague you’re thinking of them and their family by offering to take them to lunch with the rest of the team.
12. “Please let us know if we can support you and your family in any way, just like you always support us.”
Offering to help a coworker and their family during a difficult time is always a thoughtful gesture, particularly if you also use the opportunity to thank them for their hard work.
13. “We were lucky enough to work with [coworker’s name]. We’re ready to help in any way we can during this difficult time.”
This is a somewhat unique example because it involves not necessarily offering support to a coworker, but rather to the family of a coworker after their passing.
14. “Everyone at the office says hi and hopes you and yours are doing well.”
Has a coworker or colleague taken time off to cope with a loss or similar painful circumstance? If so, simply sending them an email or text with this type of message is an easy but thoughtful way to let them know their coworkers are thinking of them while they’re away.
How to Say "Thinking of You and Your Family" During an Illness
Knowing friends and loved ones are thinking of them can make a big difference in someone’s emotional state when they’re ill or injured. Offer that kind of emotional support with a message such as:
15. “We just want you to know how much we admire all your strength right now.”
A “thinking of you” message is often more effective and helpful when it actually describes what you’re specifically thinking about when the person to whom you’re sending the message is on your mind. For example, if a friend or relative is ill, you could tell them and their family you’re impressed with the way they’re bravely facing such a challenge.
16. “Hope this gift box helps while you’re getting better.”
As the message implies, you’d include these words with a “get well soon” gift box. Taking the time to not only send a “thinking of you” message but also thinking of you gifts will more deeply emphasize just how much a friend or loved one is on your mind as they recover from an illness. Consider including gifts for their family too.
17. “You’ve got this! Need me to bring over or send anything?”
Again, someone may be more inclined to genuinely believe they’re in your thoughts if you offer to help them in some way during a challenging life experience. You could make life easier for someone who’s ill and their family by simply offering to send groceries or similar necessities during a time when they may be too busy to handle such errands themselves.
18. “How are you (and the family!) doing?”
Remember, a simple message can sometimes be the right one. Giving someone a chance to talk about how they and their loved ones are feeling when they’re ill or injured lets them know you’re not just thinking of them, you’re willing to set aside time to support them.
19. “Here’s your daily message of strength…”
This is another unique “thinking of you and your family” message for someone recovering from an injury or illness. Make it clear you’re thinking about them every day by sending them a daily quote about strength or a similar topic.
20. “Hey, check out this…”
This is also a unique example. Sometimes, a person who’s ill may feel a sense of isolation from their friends during their recovery. Instead of receiving nothing but “get well” and “thinking of you” messages, they might also want to receive the kinds of messages they’d get if they were healthy.
For instance, maybe you’d typically send a friend links to funny or entertaining online content when they weren’t recovering from a sickness. Consider periodically sending those messages during their recovery, too. This won’t just show them they’re on your mind. It can also help them feel as though life is still relatively normal.
21. “Looking forward to times like these again in the future!”
This is a message you would send to a friend or relative struggling with an illness if you’ve found the perfect picture of a happy memory you have of them and their family. Sending this message along with the picture will give them something to look forward to as they recover.
"Thinking of You and Your Family": Alternatives to Consider
Whether you’re helping a grieving friend, offering support to a colleague, or letting someone know they’re on your mind while they’re ill, there are many ways to remind them they’re in your thoughts. These are a few examples worth keeping in mind.