When someone dies, it’s important to offer your condolences to the surviving family. In the past, this might have meant dropping by the family’s home, writing a card, or comforting the individual in person. Since social media changed the way we communicate, it’s not uncommon to send comforting messages on Facebook or another social media platform after a death.
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Many family members post a death announcement on social media after the passing of someone in their life. This is a way for friends and family to let them know they’re sorry for this loss and to offer support. However, you’ll want to tread carefully when it comes to saying the right thing. These 18 comforting messages are perfect for sharing on Facebook or a memorial platform like GatheringUs or Everloved after a death.
Post-loss 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.
Quick Tips on Facebook Etiquette After a Death
Because social media is so new, it’s not always clear how to best proceed. When faced with a surprising death, you might rush into offering your condolences, and you could step on someone’s toes. Follow these etiquette tips to make sure you’re putting the family first.
- Take a moment to process: It’s easy to feel like you need to post right away after reading a difficult message. If possible, take a moment to absorb this news and consider how to best respond.
- Spell check: Because emotions are high, mistakes happen. Nobody wants to misspell someone’s name or get something wrong with an important message like this.
- Don’t ask any questions: Facebook isn’t the time nor the place to ask questions about what happened. Stick to expressing your condolences and offering support.
- Consider a private message: If you’re particularly close to the person, send a private message or say sorry for your loss in person.
- Send a card: While a message or post online is usually welcome, it’s not a replacement for a physical card, flowers, or in-person gesture.
What to Say on Facebook After a Death
It’s helpful to have a template or guide of what to say after a death. Since this is social media, your message belongs to the internet forever. Here’s how to handle each unique situation.
In a Facebook status update
1. It is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of John Mason early this morning. He passed surrounded by his wife and children, and we know he is at peace.
If you’re making the death announcement or offering condolences through a post of your own, keep it short and sweet. Again, this isn’t the time to share details.
2. I would like to offer my full support to the Johnson family during their period of mourning. James was one of my best friends, and I’ll always remember his warm smile.
If you were close to the deceased, publicly showing your support to the family and a kind message about the individual is a kind gesture.
3. In honor of Jessie, the family is welcoming messages to her memorialized Facebook account. Your memories and kindness mean the world to us during this challenging time.
Facebook accounts offer memorial features that make it simple for friends and family to share memories, stories, and support.
4. I have such beautiful memories of my dear aunt Susan. Thank you to everyone for your support over these few weeks. I will be spending this time with my friends and family.
If your friends and family offered support during this time, thank them for their help.
5. Sending my condolences to the Johnson family during this difficult time. Know that I’m thinking of you.
For those who are close to a family that experienced a loss, publicly showing just how much you value them during this time means a lot.
6. Karen was a wonderful friend, and I wish her family nothing but warmth and support. Rest in peace.
Share a simple message about a deceased friend and let the family know you’re thinking of them.
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In a comment on a post
7. Thinking of you and your family.
If you weren’t close to this person, you don’t want to overstep your boundaries. This type of message is always appropriate.
8. He was a strong, caring person. He will be missed by all.
If you know the person who passed, remind the family of their unique attributes. Their legacy never fades even after death.
9. I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m thinking of you.
Another simple way to show support is by letting them know you’re sorry for this painful loss.
10. Sending hugs and my deepest condolences to your family.
If you were close to the surviving family, show that you’re there for them during this time.
11. I’m so sorry to hear this news. Please let me know if you need anything.
Even if you didn’t know the deceased personally, you can still offer support in small ways.
12. This is a beautiful memory, and I can see where you get your smile. I’m sending all of my love to you and your family.
If a photo is included in the message, comment on how it reminds you of a happy time. These kind words mean the world to the surviving family.
In a private message
13. Please know that you’re in my thoughts and prayers. I am so sorry for your loss. I will never forget Jess, and it was clear you meant the world to her.
Writing a private message is an impactful way to let this person know you’re thinking of them.
14. “Grief is in two parts. The first is loss. The second is the remaking of life.” Thinking of you during this time.
If you don’t know what to say, using one of these rest in peace quotes might help. These words don’t have to be your own to mean something.
15. I was so saddened to hear about David’s passing. You have my deepest sympathy, and we are all here for you if you need anything at all.
Offering your kind words as well as your support ensures this person knows they’re not alone.
16. I’m so sorry about the loss of Melissa. She was such an inspirational, positive person. Please know that you’re not alone. I’m just a phone call away if you need anything.
Losing a loved one is very isolating. Letting your friend or family member know that you’re just a phone call away bridges this gap.
17. I have no idea how to express my sorrow with words. I can’t begin to imagine how you’re feeling right now. Please know that my heartfelt condolences are with you at this time.
It’s not always possible to know exactly how someone feels, and that’s okay. You can still offer your kind words.
18. I’m so sorry for your loss. I wish you nothing but strength, comfort, and support. May Sarah rest in peace. We will never forget her bright personality.
Simple is usually best when it comes to offering your condolences. Letting your loved one know that you’re thinking of them and that you’ll never forget the deceased is a beacon of hope.
Offering Support Through Facebook
While social media gets a bad reputation, it really does bring people together. Offering your sympathy on Facebook after someone experiences a loss is a great way to show you’re there for someone. There isn’t usually a single best way to know what to say when someone dies. You’ll need to follow your gut and trust your own judgment. In the meantime, these messages above are a great guide to follow.
However, keep in mind that an online post is not a replacement for a sympathy card. If you’re close to the deceased or their family, writing a card or mailing funeral flowers is another sign of support. It’s all about putting their needs first and letting them know you’re thinking of them.
Whether you do this through Facebook, another platform, or in person, be respectful of what they’re experiencing.