It can be difficult to know what to say or do when a friend or family member loses someone they love. Each person’s experience is deeply personal, and we often struggle to find the right words to let our friend know just how much we care. The most important thing is to be genuine, sensitive and sincere.
Be aware that everyone’s journey through grief is unique, and avoid sentiments like “it was for the best” or “everything happens for a reason”.
Maybe you’re searching for something more personal than the commonly expressed condolence “I’m sorry for your loss” to help convey your love and support.
But what else is there to say?
Alternate Ways to Say “I’m Sorry”
Consider using one of these phrases instead:
“I’m here whenever you need me.”
These words show your grieving friend or family member that they are not alone, and that you’re here for them at a time of their choosing. This gives your friend or family member space to grieve in their own way, while also letting them know you’re here to support them.
“I wish you comfort and peace.”
These well wishes are a simple way to bring comfort to a friend.
“I’m thinking of you.”
Hearing this phrase may help your grieving friend or family member to feel less alone. To know that you’re in others’ thoughts is comforting and conveys the message, “I know you’re going through a rough time, and you’re on my mind.”
“I can’t imagine how difficult this must be.”
Recognizing another’s painful experience can be validating, and may help the person to feel seen and less alone.
“He/She was a wonderful person, and they will be missed.”
By expressing your care for the person who has passed, you may give your friend or family member a moment of peace as they hear about how the person they’ve lost positively impacted your life.
“I love you, and I’m here.”
If you know the person well enough and feel comfortable, express your love for them. These are such powerful words that say, “You are incredibly important to me, and I have your back.”
Suggested Read: How To Support Someone Who Is Grieving: During And After A Loss
How to Write a Meaningful Condolence Letter
You may wish to share your condolences in a thoughtful message to your friend or family member. Writing a note offers an opportunity for you to recognize the loss, honor the person who has passed, and acknowledge your friend or family member’s grief. Besides bringing comfort, your message is a personal way to show your support in the midst of a very difficult time. You may wish to share your condolences in a post on the Everdays memorial page, in a letter, or in a brief note accompanying flowers.
Consider sharing a favorite memory of the deceased, admirable qualities, or ways in which he or she has impacted your life.
Here are some examples to help you get started:
- Our deepest sympathies for your loss. We’re here whenever you need anything.
- I am saddened to hear about your loss. Remembering all the fun memories and wonderful times we spent together as friends fills me with joy.
- Wishing you courage, strength and love to help you through this loss. Grandma Susan will stay ageless in the memories of those who loved her.
- Please accept my deepest condolences. I am thinking of you and your family during this difficult time.
- You are in our prayers.
- I’m thinking of you and Grandma Susan and keeping you both in my heart.
- We’re sending you love and comfort during this difficult time.
- May God comfort you and your family
- You are in my thoughts,
- With warm thoughts and care,
- With blessings and prayers,
- My sincere condolences,
For more examples read our blog How To Write A Meaningful Condolence Letter.
Every experience with loss is unique. Whether you have lost a friend, parent, grandparent or anyone else close to you, comparison will not help your family member or friend through their own experience. It’s important to show respect for each person’s unique journey, and to find ways to show your care and compassion by offering gentle words, active listening, and genuine acts of kindness.
Looking for other ways to comfort a friend during a difficult time? Read more thoughtful suggestions about ways you can show your support.