Sympathy message: Gilded Sentiments Card

There are moments in life when loss becomes a reality. Whether someone has lost a partner, close friend, parent, coworker, or pet, it’s a time that calls for reflection and support. While it might not be easy to find the right words, it’s important to express compassion during this tough time with a heartfelt sympathy message

To help you through the process, we’re sharing sympathy message ideas for a variety of scenarios. We’ll also offer some tips on how to structure it, along with wording ideas to inspire your own personal message. 

When to Send a Sympathy Message

Sympathy message: Hi There Card

Design: Signature Greenvelope

We often send sympathy messages soon after the loss of a loved one, including beloved pets. These messages are typically sent days or weeks after the loss. 

This isn’t the only moment that’s appropriate for a message of sympathy, though. You can send a sympathy message at any point in the grieving process. It might be especially thoughtful to send one around a holiday that’s challenging for the recipient — like an anniversary or Father’s Day. Think about when your recipient needs love and support the most, and consider sending them a sympathy card during that particular time. 

How to Structure a Thoughtful Sympathy Message

Virtual Hug Card

Design: Signature Greenvelope

Trying to find the right words during a difficult moment can feel intimidating but it’s certainly not impossible. Whether someone is facing the loss of a spouse or the loss of a pet, these tips cover the basics so you can craft a thoughtful sympathy card message

Address the Recipient

Start your message by addressing the recipient and matching the formality to your relationship with them. For instance, you might start your message with “My darling [Name]” for a close friend, while “Dear [Name]” would work for an acquaintance or colleague. 

Share Your Sympathy

Next, write your message of condolence. This is where you share words of sympathy and express caring thoughts. Phrases like “sorry for your loss” and “deepest condolences” are common choices, but we’ve also shared other wording ideas further below. 

Make It Personal

After you’ve shared some words of condolence, add a note to make it personal. If the person is religious, you could share a comforting bible verse or a quote from another religious text. Share a happy memory you have of the person who has passed. For instance, you might write “I’ll always remember” or “I’ll never forget” followed by a specific memory. 

You could also keep things more general with “I have so many loving memories of our good times together.” Even if you didn’t know the person who has passed, you can focus on their importance to the recipient as a way to connect and empathize. 

Offer Your Support

If you’re able to, offer support to someone in a challenging time of need. Use this space to make your time or skills available to the grieving person or to let them know you’re available to talk if they want to. Phrases like “I’m always here for you, “Call anytime,” or “You’re in my prayers” are warm and supportive.

While you want to express your warmest condolences, you also want to ensure that you follow through on any specific offers of support. For instance, if you say, “I’d like to donate [item] in honor of your wife” or “I’ll drop a freshly cooked [meal] over to your house,” be sure to carry out that promise.

Sign Off with Warmth

Lastly, close out your sympathy message with a warm goodbye. Match this to your greeting so the note flows well, and choose language you’d usually use with the recipient. A short but sweet “With love” can work, or you could choose “Sending my love” or “With deepest condolences” instead. 

Sympathy Message Wording Ideas for Different Occasions

Peaceful Poppies Card

Design: Signature Greenvelope

Once you know how to structure your message, it’s time to write one. If the words aren’t flowing or you’re concerned about writing the wrong thing, don’t worry. Here’s a collection of condolence messages that you can send based on who the recipient is or who you’re honoring. Use these as the basis for your “sorry for your loss” message or to spark inspiration for your note. 

Short Sympathy Messages for Anyone

Your message doesn’t have to be long to make an impact. Here are a few brief words of sympathy to share in a condolence card, text, or phone call

  • Sending you love at this difficult time.
  • Thinking of you.
  • With deepest sympathies.
  • May [Name] rest in peace.
  • You have my sincere sympathy, [Name].

Sympathy Messages for a Close Loved One

It’s always a sad time when someone you care about is experiencing loss. We often feel that pain or heartbreak as if it were our own. If you want to send a message to a close friend or family member, here are some wording ideas for a “thinking of you” card:

  • Holding you close in my heart as we remember [Name] and celebrate their remarkable life. Sending you my deepest condolences, dear friend
  • Sending you my heartfelt sympathy, [Name]. Your mom was a wonderful soul and our fond memories will live on.
  • All my love and support go to you on hearing about the loss of your beloved [relation]. I know how much they meant to you.
  • Sending all my love to you and your family. If there’s anything I can do to support you, know that I’ll always be here. 
  • So sorry to hear about the loss of your dear [relation]. Sending my warmest condolences to you at this time. 

Sympathy Messages for a Coworker, Neighbor, or Other Acquaintance

Sometimes there are moments when we find ourselves writing to someone we don’t know very well, like the partner of a coworker or neighbor who has passed. If you’re not sure what to say, here are some sincere condolences you can share: 

  • I was sorry to hear about the passing of your partner, Mr./Mrs. [Name]. It was always wonderful to see their lovely smile. 
  • Sending you strength at this time of sorrow, dear neighbor. Let us know if we can help with the garden or any errands during the week. 
  • It won’t be the same without [Name] at work. He was a wonderful man and we have so many good memories of him. He always made us laugh and he loved his family deeply. Sending you our heartfelt condolences
  • [Name] was an amazing person at work, as I’m sure they were at home too. Know that we’ll always remember them for their incredible [trait].
  • I’m so sorry to hear that Mr./Mrs. [Name] is no longer with us. Wishing you peace and comfort during this difficult time

Where to Share Your Sympathy Messages

Daydreams Card

Design: Signature Greenvelope

There are many ways to share a message of condolence with someone you care about. While a phone call or handwritten sympathy note are traditional methods for close friends and family members, an online card or text message can sometimes feel less intrusive yet still warm and thoughtful.

Choose the method of delivery that feels most appropriate for the situation and your relationship. You may pick up the phone to call a close friend but prefer to send a card to a coworker or boss. 

Show You Care with a Thoughtful Sympathy Message 

In moments of grief and sadness, it’s those warm messages from friends, family members, and the community that bring a bit of comfort. To that end, we hope this guide will help you craft a sympathy message for someone who needs it.

Browse our collection of sympathy cards to find a card that helps you express your sentiments. When you find a design that you like, you can easily customize it and personalize the message with words that inspire a sense of peace, love, and support for those going through a difficult time