Life After Loss” provides you with helpful ways to cope with tragedy and loss. From advice on dealing with impossible pain to suggestions for finding incredible power, we share expert tips from grief counselors and emotionally focused therapists that will assist you through the grieving process, step by step. Whether you’re looking for self-care tips or ways to comfort a loved one, this series will help bring about comfort and closure.

Writing a sympathy card can be an emotional experience. Finding the right words to comfort someone who is grieving is often difficult. To help get you started, we’re sharing thoughtful sympathy card messages that will show empathy while offering support. Remember to use these ideas as inspiration, because the most meaningful messages come from your heart.

“We often struggle to find the right thing to say,” says Jim McCann, founder and chairman of “A few simple messages of support can be extremely comforting to those who are grieving.”

Shirley Enebrad, certified grief recovery specialist says sympathy cards show you care. “Tell the person you are there and willing to listen anytime day or night,” she says. She suggests letting the griever know you’ll check in on them, and that following up is essential. “I find the best way to comfort anyone experiencing loss is to be present.”

According to Enebrad, it’s best not to offer unsolicited advice when someone’s grieving, because everyone processes loss differently. She advises not to interject stories of your own grief, and to avoid messages along the lines of “I know how you are feeling” when expressing sympathy.

No matter your relationship, we have supportive words for grieving family members, friends, and colleagues. Remember to use these ideas as inspiration, because the most meaningful messages come from your heart.

Five ideas for writing a sympathy card message for a family member

  • What an amazing person and what a remarkable life. I feel so lucky that ___ was part of our family.
  • Celebrating the life of a wonderful man/woman and mourning his/her passing with you.
  • Our family will not be the same without ___ . I know we’ll find comfort in each other and we”ll get through this together.
  • There are no words for the legacy ___ has left on our family. His/her shining personality will live on in our hearts.
  • ___ has made a difference in so many lives. I’m grateful to have been a member of his/her family.
Photo of woman trying to figure out what to write in a sympathy card.

7 ideas for writing a sympathy card message for a friend

  • Thinking of you as you celebrate ___’s beautiful life. He/she will live on in your heart.
  • I know I can’t make your pain go away, but I want you to know I’m here for you with a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen with, or anything else you may need.
  • Sending healing prayers and comforting hugs. I am so sorry for your loss.
  • Thinking of you and wishing you moments of peace and comfort as you remember someone who was so close to you.
  • We’re so very sorry for your loss. Our family will keep your family in our thoughts and prayers.
  • My heart goes out to you for the loss of your dear friend. I hope your happy memories will help you through this difficult time.
  • You and ___ were the ultimate duo. I’m so sorry for your loss.

8 ideas for writing a sympathy card message for a colleague

  • Wishing you comfort and peace during this difficult time.
  • Sending love, thoughts, and prayers to you and your family during this tough time.
  • ___ touched so many lives in the very best way. I’m grateful I got the chance to know him/her as both a colleague and a friend.

Holding you close in my thoughts and hoping you are doing okay.

Keeping you in my warmest thoughts as you navigate this difficult time — and wishing you hope and healing when you’re ready.

I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of ___. May the special memories you made together help you through this difficult time.

  • We’re saddened to hear about the passing of ___. We share in your sorrow.
  • Please accept my deepest condolences to you over the loss of ___. I offer you my heartfelt support and friendship in this difficult time.

Sympathy card messages for acquaintances

  • I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. Wishing you peace during this difficult time.
  • Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
  • Thinking of you in these difficult times.
  • I’m so sorry to hear about ___. I know how much his/her smile brightened your day. I’m here if you want to talk.
  • We’re sorry to hear about the passing of ___. Sending love.

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Nicole DiGiose is a lifestyle writer who serves as an editor and writer for 1-800-Flowers. Previously, she's been published in Electronic Products, EE Times, Chilled Magazine, and local newspapers based in her hometown.

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