When someone dies, the depth of the loved ones’ sorrow is difficult to fathom. “My condolences” is an expression acknowledging the pain others experience in a loss. The word “condolences” meaning shows understanding and sympathy that someone is suffering in their loss of a loved one.

Let’s look at the gestures that express our “condolences,” to those grieving.

The Written Word

In our world of digital consumption, videos are the norm. We watch Netflix, YouTube, and news channels in video form more than we read. However, there is something sweet and simple about sitting down to write someone a heartfelt card. Even a quick note attached to dinner or flowers can mean the world to a grieving soul. 

The way we express concern for another through words can give comfort. A bereaved person can read our words and take solace in them over and again. We can offer a glimpse into a brighter future and provide hope. We can inspire new ways of seeing the world and give comfort to those contemplating past mistakes. 

If you’re looking for the right words to say, let them come from a heart that empathizes with the one grieving. Give your “heartfelt condolences” by letting them know how much they mean to you. Tell them how their loss hurts you too. 

If the words won’t come, but you want to write something and need inspiration, check out these 75 sympathy message examples.


Flowers are a language all their own. A family with an appreciation for beauty may find this expression of your care a bright spot amid their sorrow. You can bring this expression of your condolences on a quick visit to the family, deliver to their home or funeral home, or plan for the flowers to arrive at their place of work.

You can choose an arrangement that genuinely expresses your thoughts and feelings clearly. There are varied styles of flowers, potted plants that could last a lifetime, sprays to make a funeral beautiful, and wreaths to brighten doorways. There is no limit on how you can give this type of grief expression.

For ideas on popular funeral arrangements, check out our extensive flowers catalog at Renaissance. You can also read this article about 15 popular funeral flower styles.


A heartfelt note with cash tucked inside is as caring as any type of condolence. If the family desires scholarship funds or gifts to charities instead of flowers, giving to their charity or fund shows respect for the family and what they need.

Every family is unique in how they process grief and what they need from their loved ones to get through this bleak time. Some families truly appreciate the more practical side of life and the funds required to care for the physical needs of others after their loss.

In some cases, any funds given to the family are necessary for their continued well-being after losing a wage-earner. Those without life insurance or a plan in place for the family after their death often leave financially struggling loved ones behind.

Being There

Another way to show your condolences to the grieving family is by just showing up. Be there for the funeral, any visitations, family get-togethers, friends gathering for a drink. You can be the one planning the get-togethers or just be one who counted on to come. Calling the bereaved and listening as they process what has happened can be everything they need at that moment. 

Often, the loved ones who have lost someone just need a listening ear to talk about what has happened. They might need to repeat the same stories or turn of events repeatedly until it makes sense to them in a way that moves them forward. Many bereaved will not go to a counselor but will often rely on the ear of a good friend.


Showing your sympathy for a family can often come through by doing things for them. Shopping, caring for children, and keeping a home running are essential tasks that may be more than a bereaved person can handle. They may need help with practical tasks that overwhelm them. Offering to care for children, take care of dinners or groceries, or do some cleaning are heartfelt ways of showing love and concern for someone grieving. 

Making arrangements for food after a funeral, ordering dinners for the family, arranging a list of people who will handle dinners for a few weeks: these are all condolences in the form of service to the bereaved.

Express Your Condolences

However you choose to offer condolences to those grieving a loss, remember that we all want others to show how much they care for us. When we feel alone and hopeless, we need others to come alongside and feel our pain and bear our burdens with us. 

Find Help

If you have recently lost a loved one, we at Renaissance Funeral Home want to make the process of saying goodbye a bit easier. We are a full-service funeral home offering a chapel, areas to greet and share time with your loved ones, an on-site crematory, and most any type of service or funeral type you imagine for your loved one. We take care of the cumbersome details and plans when a loved one passes away.