When you learn of a friend’s loss, your first instinct may be to reach out and offer your support. But what do you say when you don’t know what to say? It can be difficult to find the right words in moments like this. Here are a few tips on what to text when someone dies, the how-to for composing your words of condolence.

Condolence Messages Matter

When someone you know suffers a loss, it’s hard to know what to say. You may feel if you offer condolences, it won’t be enough. However, even a simple text message can be a meaningful way to offer hope to a grieving loved one.

While a couple decades ago, most individuals offered their sincerest sympathy through a condolence card or phone calls, the 2020s are a new era. While most individuals appreciate condolence cards and phone calls, text messaging is also a good way to let someone know how much you care. These days, a friend can feel your love through a text message as you use your own words to express your condolences.

Whether by phone call, card, Facebook post message comment, or a private message, express your condolences in the most compassionate way possible to let a grieving individual know that you offer your deepest sympathy. 

It’s natural to feel unsure of what to say. The most crucial thing to know when you text condolences is that there are no perfect words that will heal a grieving person. However, if you can send a comforting text with words that offer your sympathy with genuine care, your message will matter!

Heartfelt Condolences: Examples of Messages You Can Send

Perhaps you lost a loved one in your life before, and you know how much it means to offer support and comforting words to those with a grieving broken heart. You want to get the message across that you are offering support during their challenging time.

Here are 21 text examples of what a short condolence message to a grieving friend may look like:

  1. “I’m so sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers. If you need help with funeral arrangements, I’m just a text or phone call away.”
  2. “My heart goes out to you during this difficult time. Your uncle was a special person who was loved by all who knew him.”
  3. “I am deeply saddened to hear the news of your sister’s passing. I am here for you if you need anything, anytime.”
  4. “Thinking of you today with love and sending my deepest sympathies.”
  5. “Sending love and peace to you in this hard time.”
  6. “Wishing you comfort in the midst of sorrow. Your brother was a bright light and he will be missed by all who knew him.”
  7. “I know you were incredibly close with your Dad. I am very sorry to hear of your loss.”
  8. “My deepest sympathy for your loss. Your mother was a great friend to me and I feel honored to have known her!”
  9. “I am here to listen if you need to talk about anything.”
  10. “I can’t imagine how hard this must be for you and your family during this time.”
  11. “My heart hurts knowing you’re grieving the passing of your loved one. Let me know if I can bring by a hot meal anytime.”
  12. “You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers today.”
  13. “Sending love, light, and healing energy your way during this difficult time.”
  14. “I’m so sorry for the pain that you must be feeling right now; please know that I am here for you if you need a listening ear or shoulder to cry on.”
  15. “I’m sending warm wishes of peace and comfort to you in this difficult time.”
  16. “I wish I could take away your pain, but know that I’m here for you if you need me.”
  17. “Your sudden loss is such a shock to us. We are profoundly sad at this news and here for you for anything you need.”
  18. “Please know that your daughter will be deeply missed and we are here for you if you need anything at all”
  19. “Words cannot express how sorry I am to hear of the passing of your cousin. Please know that I’m thinking of you all.”
  20. “Let me know if there is anything I can do to help during this difficult time as you’re going through the grieving process.”
  21. “My heart goes out to you and your family as you grieve the loss of your beloved aunt. I have only happy memories of her and our times all together.”

No matter what words you choose, remember that a message of condolence is an expression of love and support for a close friend.

A Condolence Message for a Family Member

A condolence text for a family member may be longer or less formal depending on who the family member is. You may also want to make your text messages more personal and offer to help in ways that you know your family would appreciate.

For example, for a sister who lost a mother-in-law, you might say, “I am so sorry to hear the news of your mother-in-law’s passing. I am here for you and if you need help with the kids, just bring them by.”

A couple days later, you might send, “Just wanted to check in and see if you need anything. I know you have so many wonderful memories with your MIL and your hubs Steve must be just heartbroken. Seriously let me know what you need so I can help.” Perhaps you may even offer to put up some out of town relatives at your house for a few days or host a dinner at your home for her family in town.

If you haven’t heard from your sis in a few days, perhaps you might stop by to give hugs and spend a few hours listening and seeing where they need your help the most. Perhaps you can bring their laundry to your house and return it the next day. Or maybe you could take the kids shopping or do some grocery shopping for them all.

Bringing your good vibes over to visit can help a struggling family who may feel exhausted and stressed from funeral planning, out of town family, and daily sadness.

Considering What Not to Say in a Condolences Text Message

If the point of sending a message is to help someone who lost a loved one, you certainly do not want to use hurtful or offensive words. 

While most messages likely contain the “right words” to help a friend, you can also say the wrong thing (even without meaning to) and make a person feel bad.

Let’s look at some of the things you would not want to say to someone who is grieving. Many of these are what’s called “backhanded compliments” while others are insensitive or plain emotionally abusive. 

Saying something nice to sugarcoat mean comments does not make them better either.

What Not to Say to a Grieving Person

  • “I never cared for your sister, but I know you loved her a great deal…”
  • “So sorry to hear about your brother. He was not a great person, but I’m sure he’s in a better place now…”
  • “I can’t say that your mom will be greatly missed, but at least she raised a wonderful daughter.”
  • “Your uncle was not a dear friend, but I considered him an acquaintance sometimes. He could be a bit of a jerk. Hope you’re okay tho.”
  • “Just wanted to check in. I know your son’s been gone for a week now, so I’m sure you’re feeling better by now…”
  • “I know you’re grieving your mother’s death, but I really don’t want to date you anymore…”
  • “Sorry to hear about your brother’s death. Just know that grief is not as bad as people make it out to be. You’ll feel better in a few days. Promise.”
  • “Not sure what’s up with your family members. None of them are calling me back about Billy’s passing. Hopefully at least you will respond!”
  • “Sorry to message you, but a sympathy card costs money and this is easier…”
  • “I know this is a time of grief for you with your Dad passing away yesterday, but my boyfriend broke up with me and I need you to call me back ASAP please.”
  • “I understand what you’re going through since I’ve been a person grieving before too. The key is to just refuse to cry. I swear you’ll feel better in no time.”
  • “You think your grief is hard? Just your cousin died. I lost my Mom last year!”

It’s difficult to know what to say, but if you put yourself in the shoes of the person grieving, your empathy can help you offer the support and condolence messages that a friend or family member needs.

We Can Help

If you or a loved one needs to plan a funeral, at Renaissance Funeral Home and Crematory, we are here for you. We offer the advice and support you need to make plans for a loved one.

We know your heart hurts and living day to day through grief is difficult. That’s why we work hard to create memorable and healing memorials and funeral services. Let us take care of it all so you can take time to rest and connect with your loved ones. We’re here for everything you need, down to the smallest detail.

Get in touch today and find out how we can help support you and your family as you celebrate the life of your loved one.