Sympathy Sayings
When You Just Need a Starting Point

The following sympathy sayings template allows you to say as much or as little as you care to elaborate when writing a sympathy letter or card.

Dear ___________,
Offer your condolences. Talk about the person who died/or the loss in summary. Offer some specific aid (optional). Closing salutation.

Sympathy Sayings

Simple enough isn’t it? The same template can be used in any number of condolence situations. We have provided some example sympathy sayings to help you get started in writing your own sympathy card messages.

Dear RoseAnne,
I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your father. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain of losing a parent. Although I didn’t know your father very well, he was always so kind and fun loving. I will miss speaking with him about his beautiful roses – he was such a key figure in our community. Since I only live a few doors down from his house, please let me know if I can help pick up any mail, or address any minor maintenance needs. I would be happy to mow the lawn for the next month if that would help, for instance. Please take care and let me know if I can be of any help.
Take Care,

Still anxious because you didn’t know the person who died but still want to send a sympathy card message? This is rather more difficult because you won’t be able to talk about the person. All is not lost, however. On these occasions, you can substitute sympathy sayings that highlight the special qualities of the deceased, based on what you have observed or have heard from other people.

Dear Lois,
I am so sorry for the loss of your father. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain of losing a parent. I can tell that you had a very special bond from the way you have often spoken lovingly about your father. Your selfless support throughout his illness is a testament to your love. He raised an wonderful and loving daughter. I expect you will have many arrangements to see to in upcoming weeks. I would be happy to take care of the dogs for a few days if it would be helpful. You and John are in our thoughts and prayers.
Pam and Denis

Still at a loss as to how to write a sympathy card when the loss is about someone you don’t know? Are you still struggling to make it personal and genuine?

Sympathy Letter by Abrahman Lincoln

For additional inspiration, look at this letter that was written by Abraham Lincoln to a mother who lost several sons during the civil war. Lincoln had never met her nor any of her children.

Dear Madam,
I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant-General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.
Yours very sincerely and respectfully,
Abraham Lincoln

Like Abraham Lincoln, you can be sure that your friend will feel the intention behind your note.

More Sympathy Sayings and Messages

Dear _____,
There are people we know and then there are people we treasure. ____ was the most precious treasure we had. His/her presence in our lives will always be remembered with happiness. Love,

We were so shocked to hear of your great loss. It was very unexpected. We pray that you will be comforted in the days ahead. _____ will remain in our hearts and memories forever. You have been a wonderful ___ (the receiver's relation with the deceased) to him/her. Please accept our deepest condolences.
Sam and Louise

We are with you in this hard time. _____ was such a very loving person. S/he enlightened the hearts of many. We will cherish his/her memory forever. Please know that we want to help and are there for you
Sam and Louise

I am very disturbed by _____ unexpected death. I will come to meet you as soon as possible. Please look after yourself.

We mourn the loss of our dear ______. We are deeply grieved. We cannot imagine what you must be going through. Just remember we are always there for you and are happy to look after _____ if that would help. Our caring thoughts are with you.
Sam and Louise.

Words are very inadequate to express the sorrow I am feeling. I pray to God to give you courage during this sad time. May God bless you, and endow you with his love and care. Stay strong.

We are so sorry to hear about your great loss. _____ was such a marvelous person. We will always miss him/her. Our deepest sympathies are with you. We love you and are there for you.
Sam and Louise

In the words of the Psalmist, "The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit." He is with you, and will never leave you nor forsake you. I look forward to hugging you in person soon. With love and prayers.

If tears could build a stairway,
And memories a lane,
I'd walk right up to Heaven
And bring you home again - Unknown

Once you have decided on the most appropriate sympathy sayings for your situation, we suggest reviewing our list of great closing salutations.

Also, now that you know where to start in writing your sympathy card message, you might want to check out some of our other posts on supporting a friend or family member who is hurting.

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