5 Tips for Writing a Sympathy Message

When writing a sympathy message and expressing condolences, it can be difficult to figure out exactly what to say. After all, you want to make sure that the wording is just right and that your feelings are properly expressed. 

If you are looking to write your own sympathy message but don’t know where to begin, here are five tips on how to write a sympathy message including a few ideas and writing samples to get you started:

1. Show your empathy

A condolence is just an expression of compassion and sympathy. Be authentic and honest about your care and concern. Don’t feel like you need to write a lengthy message—you can keep your message brief, especially if you’ve already shared your condolences in person or if you didn’t know the deceased very well. Whatever the case, you will want your message to show your concern in a warm way.

You can fill in the blanks on your own condolence message:

  • “Please accept my most heartfelt sympathies for the loss of your …”
  • “You and your family are in our hearts/minds/prayers for the loss of…”
  • “My condolences on the passing of your…”

2. Show appreciation for the deceased.

Your sympathy message is also a way to express some feelings about the deceased individual. Family and close friends will often take great comfort in knowing how important and beloved their loved one is. If you truly admired the deceased, this is the time to let that be known.

Some notes you can make in your message to show appreciation include:

  • “Your _____ touched so many lives for the good.”
  • “I’m very grateful that I had the opportunity to know…”
  • “What a great person and what an amazing life.”
  • “I am honored and blessed to have known…”

3. Acknowledge their feelings, too.

Validating the loved one’s sadness during their time of need can help them get through a very overwhelming time. Loved ones may try to outwardly remain strong, and acknowledging their feelings can help them cope and know that it’s ok to grieve

Here are a few simple ways to say that you understand:

  • “This must be a difficult time for you.”
  • “I’m sure your heart is aching.”
  • “My heart goes out to you and your family during this time.”
  • “I know that words are inadequate at a time like this, but I wanted you to know how very sorry my family is for your loss.”

4. Share a personal memory.

Many people who lose a loved one find that sympathy messages with personal memories mixed into it bring the most comfort. This allows them to focus on happier memories instead of dwelling on the loss. Sharing memories can help with the overall healing process and add warmth to your message. It may be something that a lot of people will remember, or it might be something small—remember, no memory is too insignificant.

These memories can be a personal anecdote or something as simple as:

  • “I’ll remember _______ in so many positive ways.”
  • “________ always had a big smile and a terrific sense of humor.”
  • “___________ will always have a special place in my heart.”

5. Sign off with heartfelt sympathy.

To complete your sympathy message, you want to make sure to end with a real heartfelt closing. For example, you can sign your message with phrases like:

  • “With deepest sympathy”
  • “Lifting you up in prayer”
  • “God bless you and comfort you”

This respectful closing is a way to gracefully wrap up your condolences and show that they are at the center of your thoughts and prayers.

It is really tricky to write out a sympathy message that expresses everything you feel. A lot of times we can’t put our feelings into the proper words. Thankfully, by just writing up a sympathy message and sending it out to the grieving loved ones, the recipient will know that you care. 

If you’re still at a loss for words, the funeral directors and staff at Storke Funeral Home would be honored to answer any questions you may have for expressing your deepest sympathies with your loved ones. Reach out today.

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