When someone dies, there are go-to phrases that we lean on just to have something to say. “Sorry for your loss” is the gold standard. “Let me know how can I help” is another popular phrase. And when you sign a condolence card or message, you often conclude by saying “With deepest sympathy” before signing your name.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What Does ‘With Deepest Sympathy’ Mean?
- How to Say ‘With Deepest Sympathy’ in a Card Signature
- How to Say ‘With Deepest Sympathy’ in a Text
- How to Say ‘With Deepest Sympathy’ on Social Media
- How to Say ‘With Deepest Sympathy’ in a Professional Setting
- Popular ‘With Deepest Sympathy’ Quotes and Sayings
While this is a lovely sentiment, it’s a little formal. It doesn’t always sound like something people would say in modern parlance. There has been a recent shift in sympathy card etiquette to focus less on formality and more on sincerity. A heartfelt message can mean a lot more to someone than a stiff, ceremonial signoff.
Below you’ll find a list of alternative ways to say “With deepest sympathy” when sending a condolence card or text message. We also share other ways you can express that thought on social media or in professional communications.
What Does ‘With Deepest Sympathy’ Mean?
Common etiquette indicates that when someone dies, you should express your condolences to the friends and family members they left behind. Condolences are simply an expression of sympathy, typically given upon the occasion of a death.
One of the most common ways we phrase our condolences is by saying, “I’m sorry for your loss.” In fact, that turn of phrase has become so common that it has become something of a cliche.
Many people struggle to find the right words to say to someone grieving a loss. But they also don’t want to rely on a saying that has become so overused that it feels meaningless. They may look for alternate ways to express their condolences. “With deepest sympathies” is one of those alternative turns of phrase. It simply means that you are expressing your condolences in a heartfelt manner.
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How to Say ‘With Deepest Sympathy’ in a Card Signature
When you don’t know what to say to someone who is grieving, a sympathy card can be a great tool. There are wonderful sympathy cards available for sale that express sympathy in a lovely way. If you can’t find the right words, a professional greeting card can help you out.
But just signing your name to the bottom can feel like too small of a contribution. Just a single signature signoff can add a little more of a personal touch.
Here are some good ways you can sign a sympathy card instead of "with deepest sympathy":
- "My sincere condolences for your loss."
- "I'm sending my love to you and your family."
- "I will be keeping you in my thoughts, and holding you in my heart."
- "I know [Name] loved lilies. I hope that looking at these can remind you of happier times together."
1. “My sincere condolences for your loss.”
Using the word “my” in your signature line makes this sentiment feel a lot less formal. It is more intimate. Using the word “sincere” also helps to underscore the personal aspect of the message.
2. “I’m sending my love to you and your family.”
When you send a condolence card to someone, remember they aren’t the only one in mourning. Their family has also likely been affected by the loss. This message conveys that and extends your sentiments to them as well.
3. “I will be keeping you in my thoughts, and holding you in my heart.”
When someone dies, their loved ones will get inundated with cards expressing remorse and sending sympathy. But these sentiments can feel fleeting. This message shows that you will continue exhibiting care and concern for someone in mourning. When you write a message like this, be sure to follow up with them in a few weeks to see how they’re holding up. This kind of follow-up contact means a lot to people.
4. “I know [Name] loved lilies. I hope that looking at these can remind you of happier times together.”
A lot of times condolence cards are sent along with flowers. If you send a sympathy card with flowers, you can speak about why you chose the ones you did. That adds a personal element of comfort to the gesture.
How to Say ‘With Deepest Sympathy’ in a Text
In the past, people have shied away forms ending sympathy messages via text. For older people especially, it can feel like too informal of a medium to talk about serious subjects. But in recent years, that attitude has changed. A sympathy text allows you to reach out to someone instantaneously. In some cases, you may not have the time to go buy a card and then wait days for it to be delivered.
You can express your condolences in the timeliest of manners. Calling someone who is in mourning can actually be stressful for them. They may feel obligated to answer the phone even though they’re struggling emotionally and caught up in funeral planning. A text message gives them the freedom to respond if and only if they feel up to it.
Here are some ways to communicate your sympathy both beautifully and efficiently through a text message instead of saying "with deepest sympathy":
4. “I understand there are no words I can say to make you feel better. I just wanted to reach out and let you know how much I care.”
It’s okay to acknowledge that there isn’t anything you can say to truly ease someone’s pain. A sentiment like this gives them tacit permission to continue feeling grief and sadness.
6. “I know you are dealing with a lot right now. I’m here for you whenever you need to talk. You can call me day or night.”
A text like this lets the recipient know that you are there for them when they are ready. It’s a way to offer support while still giving them space to respond on their own time.
7. “I have also lost someone close to me. While I can’t know exactly what you’re going through, I do empathize.”
If you’ve been personally touched by a death in the family, you can let the person who is grieving know that. Just take care not to center yourself or your own feelings. Make room for their grief.
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8. “I know you’ve had a very difficult few weeks. I just wanted to check in and see how you’re holding up. You have been on my mind.”
When people send condolences, they sometimes think they have met their obligation. They sent a sympathy card, and now they’re off the hook. But grief doesn’t end in a day, and neither should sympathy. Texting gives you the opportunity to send a follow-up message to see how people are doing in the aftermath.
How to Say ‘With Deepest Sympathy’ on Social Media
The etiquette around social media postings after someone’s death is complex. As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t talk about someone’s death on social media unless you know the news has been formally announced. But once people know what’s going on, you can certainly express your condolences via social media. Here are some good ways you can phrase your message.
9. “I was so sorry to hear that [Name] passed away. They were a very special person, and they will be deeply missed.”
When you post on a social media platform like Facebook or Instagram, you aren’t just speaking to the person you’re expressing condolences to. Everyone can witness your words. It’s a good idea to focus your sentiment on an aspect of the deceased’s personality.
10. “[Name] was there for me during a very difficult time in my life. I will never forget their support. I want to be there for you while you cope with their loss.”
It can be really good for someone in mourning to hear about a positive impact the deceased made on the world. It shows that their presence in the world will continue to reverberate even after they’re gone.
11. “[Name] never met a stranger — everyone was a potential friend. She was so warm and welcoming to all that she met. I’m grateful to have known her.”
Social media is a great place to emphasize the more social aspects of the deceased. A message like this won’t just comfort family members — it will comfort everyone in the deceased’s personal orbit.
12. “I’m so sorry to hear that [Name] succumbed to their illness. I am trying to take comfort in knowing that they are no longer in pain. My heart goes out to you for your loss.”
If the deceased passed away after a long illness, a message like this acknowledges their struggle. It also puts a positive spin on a difficult situation.
How to Say ‘With Deepest Sympathy’ in a Professional Setting
Some people try to keep their personal and professional lives as separate as possible. But there are times when you may need to send a personal message to a professional acquaintance. Expressing condolences for a personal loss is one such occasion. These messages allow you to convey your condolences sincerely but professionally.
13. “I understand you have recently experienced a personal loss. Please accept my condolences during this difficult time.”
This response balances a more professional tone with personal interest. It also helps as a good way to show sincerity without feeling like you’re stepping over any boundaries.
14. “I want to convey my sincere condolences to you and your family during this difficult time.”
This is another message that balances a professional tone with some keywords that personalize it. The inclusion of the family makes the message a little more intimate.
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15. “I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. If there’s anything I can do to help ease your workload during this time, don’t hesitate to let me know.”
If you have a coworker dealing with a personal tragedy, you can offer your support. Even if you aren’t close, you may be able to relieve their burden at work. This frees up their attention for more personal matters.
16. “I know we don’t know each other well, but I’m here if you need someone neutral to talk to during this difficult time.”
If you know someone professionally and are open to knowing them personally as well, this is a great way to communicate that. Sometimes people need someone to talk to that is separate from a hard situation. You can offer to be that sounding board.
Popular ‘With Deepest Sympathy’ Quotes and Sayings
If you’re still struggling to find the right words to express your condolences, you can always look for a little inspiration. Writers and poets have grappled with subjects like grief and loss for centuries and have expressed their feelings artfully. Use one of these famous quotes as a jumping-off point to express your own condolences.
17. “Deep grief sometimes is almost like a specific location, a coordinate on a map of time. When you are standing in that forest of sorrow, you cannot imagine that you could ever find your way to a better place. But if someone can assure you that they themselves have stood in that same place, and now have moved on, sometimes this will bring hope.” by Elizabeth Gilbert
Because every death is a unique experience, you can’t know exactly what a grieving person is going through. This message shows that you’ve walked the same path without focusing on your own experience too much.
18. “There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.” by Washington Irving
Some people feel that visibly expressing an emotion makes them seem weak. This quote gives them permission to be less stoic.
19. “I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love.” by Leo Buscaglia
When someone dies, it hits home that they won’t be there with us to experience all of our joys in life. This quote reminds us that we will carry them with us in everything that we do.
20. “Like a bird singing in the rain, let grateful memories survive in time of sorrow.” by Robert Louis Stevenson
This short but sweet quote serves as a gentle reminder that good times will come again.
21. “Life is eternal; and love is immortal; and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.” by William Penn
What lies beyond the mortal plane is unknowable to those of us who are still here. This quote provides hope that there is something beautiful in that unfathomable place.
Alternative Ways to Say 'With Deepest Sympathy' to Someone in Mourning
It’s not always easy to know how to sign a sympathy card. It’s tempting to lean on tried-and-true phrases and sayings to communicate your condolences.
But there are only so many times a person can hear popular phrases like “thoughts and prayers” before they begin to lose all meaning. More personalized and heartfelt expressions of sympathy tend to resonate a lot more.