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Choosing the Perfect Sympathy Sayings

Choosing the right sympathy sayings to express your sadness for someone’s loss can be quite challenging. This page will help you to not only find the right words, but compose an entire sympathy letter.

Salutations to Begin Your Letter

The examples below demonstrate how to begin a sympathy letter with an appropriate salutation or greeting.

  • Dearest_______,
  • My Dear Friend _______,
  • Dear _______,
  • Dear Mrs. _______,
  • Dear Mr. _______,
  • Dear Dr. and Mrs. _______,
  • Dear Rev. _______,
  • Dear Pastor _______,
  • Dear _______ and Family,
  • Dear Family _______,

Sympathy Sayings to Express Your Sorrow

Some words of comfort you can use to open your letter and express your sorrow are:

  • I am deeply saddened by _______death.
  • We are thinking of you during these difficult times.
  • I was truly saddened by the death of _______.
  • I am so sorry to hear of _______untimely death. 
  • I just learned of _______ tragic death and want you to know I am so sorry.
  • I am sorry to hear of _______’s passing.
  • I am very sorry to hear about the loss of your _______.
  • My family and I were saddened to learn of _______death.
  • It was a shock to hear the news of _______passing.
  • Word’s cannot express the sadness we feel for you dealing with the death of _______.
  • Please accept our heartfelt condolences on the passing of your _______
  • Our thoughts are with you and your family during this time of terrible sorrow.
  • The news of _______,s death fills us with much sadness.

Sympathy Sayings to Use in the Body of Your Letter

At this point in your letter you can also say some kind words about the deceased. The following phrases are popular and appropriate:

  • Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this sad time. I will always remember _____ fondly and have wonderful memories of many times spent with you all during the younger years! He leaves behind a wonderful family and I know you will all be a great source of comfort and support to one another.
  • We were so sorry to hear about _____'s passing. We hope that the love of family and friends will comfort and strengthen you in the days ahead.
  • So sorry to hear this sad news. We will miss _____ at the lake this summer. Thinking of you and your family at this time.
  • My condolences to you and your family on the passing of your _____. It is never easy to lose a parent, no matter your age. I pray for your peace and comfort as you continue your life journey without your _____'s earthly presence.
  • Condolences to your family on the passing of your brother/sister. He/she will always be in our hearts.
  • Words are never adequate in moments like these. We will say though, that our hearts go out to you, and we will always remember the joyous memories that we are privileged to have in knowing your _____.
  • May God's peace be with you. Cherish the memories you created with _____. I will always remember him/her for her caring and loving nature. 
  • Our condolences to you at this sad time. Your _____ was a wonderful man/woman. He/She always had a beautiful smile. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.

Offer Help to the Bereaved

These sympathy sayings are perfect for offering help to the bereaved in their time of need.

  • I’ll be happy to come over on _____ and take phone calls for you.
  • I know there are lots of things to deal with right now. I’ll come over after the funeral and help you with the insurance documents.
  • I’ll come over on _____ and help you to call everyone about the death and funeral arrangements.
  • I know that it is difficult for you and the children right now. I’ll help you to set up a fund so those who wish to can make a donation.
  • Since I lost _____ I attend regular support meetings. I have one on _____, I’d really like for you to join me.
  • I have _____ off, so I’ll come by and take the dogs for a walk.
  • On _____ afternoon I’ll stop by and we can go for a short bike ride and stop at that cute little café you like for lunch.
  • As you know I build websites for a living. I’d like to make one in memory of _____, so I’ll come by and go through some pictures with you.

Sympathy Sayings from the Bible

Bible verses like these make excellent sympathy sayings:

  • “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:18-31
  • “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26
  • “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18
  • "For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help." Psalm 22:24
  • "Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope." 1 Thessalonians 4:13
  • "Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God." 2 Corinthians 1:3,4
  • "Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed - in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory.” Corinthians 15:52-56
  • "For men are not cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men." Lamentations 3:31-33
  • "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave is your destruction?" Hosea 13:14
  • "He will swallow up death forever. The sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The Lord has spoken." Isaiah 25:8

If Composing Your Own Letter Use the KISS principle

Keep ISensitive and Simple - when writing words of sympathy, and do say the following:

  1. Say that you're sorry for their loss
  2. Share a funny memory of the deceased
  3. Mention their unique qualities
  4. Say that you'll miss them also
  5. Offer final words of support and encouragement

Common Misspellings of Words of Sympathy

Makes sure you avoid these common spelling mistakes if substituting your own words for any in our sample sympathy sayings.

  • Condolense
  • Condolesense
  • Bereeved
  • Berieved
  • Greeving
  • Greiving
  • Deceesd
  • Deceesed
  • Simpothie