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Sympathy Quotes for a friend

Messages of condolence: what should you say to a friend?

Many people struggle to know what to say in this situation. Finding the right sympathy quote to use can be difficult.

The passing of someone you love can be a challenging time in anyone’s life, and a struggle to witness for anyone close to the bereaved.

We hope that you find some inspiration in this guide to help you put together the most suitable message of condolence for you.

Sending a message of Sympathy

When a friend is experiencing bereavement it can be a huge help for them to simply know that you’re there for them. 

One way to say this is by sending a sympathy card, or a message of condolence via other means, such as by sending a letter, text/social media message or email.

An introduction to sympathy cards

Sympathy cards were brought in during the 19th century and used to look very different to those available nowadays. 

The cards were traditionally flat and their purpose was to announce someone’s death and provide a short obituary containing facts about them. 
Following on from these cards, the brand Hallmark began producing these cards in the 1920s and developed them into the folded messages of sympathy, rather than just a method of announcing a death, that they are today.

What to write in a sympathy card

Often, selecting a sympathy card is the easiest part. Knowing what to write inside of it at such a challenging time can be difficult. 

Ware some common but meaningful sympathy quotes that can be written in cards to friends:

  • “I am [so] sorry for your loss.” 
  • “My heart goes out to you [and/or] your family.”
  • “You [and your family] have my deepest sympathies.” 
  • “I am only a phone call away if you need to talk.”
  • “I am hear for you [and your family], whatever you need.”
  • “I am thinking of you [and your family], now more than ever.” 
  • “I wanted to express my deepest condolences to you [and your family] during this difficult time.”

Short Condolence message to a Friend

  • “Your [lost loved one] was a pillar of the community and will be sorely missed.”
  • “We hope that your happy memories with [Name] bring you peace and comfort during this difficult time.” 
  • “Words cannot express how saddened we are to hear of the passing of [Name]. We are all here to support you.”
  • “Sharing in your grief as you remember [Name].”
  • “You have my heartfelt sympathy during this time.”

Condolence message for friend mother or Father death

  • “You have taken such good care of your [mother/father] these last few years and have our condolences for this great loss.”
  • “[He/She/They] were lucky to have you.”  
  • “Thinking of you as you celebrate [your parent’s] remarkable life.”
  • “We miss your lovely [mother/father/parent’s Name] alongside you and wish you comfort and peace during this time.”
  • “Your [mother/father] was a one-of-a-kind person. We were lucky to know [her/him/them].” 
  • “Nobody could tell a better story than your [mother/father]. I will cherish the time I spent with [her/him/them].”

Sympathy quotes for the loss of a sibling

  • “I am heartbroken to learn of the loss of your [brother/sister]. Please accept my sincere condolences.” 
  • “We are honored to have known your [brother/sister]. They changed our lives in so many ways [give an example].” 
  • “Your [brother/sister] had such a positive impact on so many lives. [He/She/They] will live long in our memories.”
  • “ I hope it eases your grief somewhat to know that your [brother’s/sister’s] life will be celebrated by [his/her/their] many friends.” 
  • “There is nothing I can say to ease the pain of the loss of [Name], but please know that I am here for you.”

Sympathy quotes for the loss of a spouse

  • “Love does not die. Your [husband/wife/partner]’s love will stay with you.”
  • “I always admired the love shared between you. It is a bond that can never be broken.” 
  • “I have been thinking about [insert specific memory] and of how wonderful [Name] was. I share in your grief.” 
  • “I am grateful to have known [Name], they were one of the most [funny] and [intelligent] people I ever had the pleasure of meeting.” 
  • “Your [husband/wife/partner] was an amazing [colleague and] friend. I will miss them.” 
  • “Your [husband/wife/partner] was a very special person. They will be missed.”

Sympathy quotes for the loss of a child

  • “[Name] may be gone, but they will always be a part of you.” 
  • “Although [Name] was only with us for a short time, we will remember them forever.” 
  • “[Name] could not have wished for a more loving parent. You made their short time with us incredibly special. I am so sorry for your loss.” 
  • “We are missing [Name] alongside you and grieve with you. You are not alone.” 
  • “It is heartbreaking to think that [Name] is no longer with us. Please know that we will be here for you during the weeks and months to come.”

Sympathy quotes for the loss of a pet

  • “[Name] was an amazing [type of animal]. It is always so heartbreaking when they leave us, I am so sorry that you have lost [him/her].” 
  • “I remember when [Name] [describe memory], they were definitely part of the family. Sorry for your loss.”
  • “We are thinking of you as you grieve [Name].”
  • “[Name] was irreplaceable. I am sorry to hear of [his/her] passing. We are thinking of you.”
  • “Losing such a big part of the family is never easy. They will be missed.”

Christian sympathy quotes

With over 27.5 million people (46.2%) in the 2021 UK Census reporting as Christian, it remains the majority religion in the country.

If your friend is Christian, it might add a personal touch to send them a religious message of condolence. Some common examples are: 

  • “I am praying for you during this difficult time. If you ever need to talk, I am here.” 
  • Matthew 5:4
    “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” 
  • Psalm 147:3
    “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
  • John 16:22
    “Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.” 
  • Luke 20:36
    “For they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angela and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.” 
  • Psalm 73:26
    “My flesh and heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

Popular islamic messages of condolence

Followers of Islam make up the second-largest religious group in the UK, with 6.5% (3.9 million people) describing themselves as “Muslim” in the 2021 Census

When someone who is Muslim passes away there is a traditional three day mourning period after their passing.

Sympathy messages or cards are welcomed, particularly if they are handwritten and talk about the deceased positively. 

If sent during the three day mourning period then messages of condolence are particularly well received. They can also be sent after this time.

Here are some popular Islamic condolence messages to send a friend: 

  • “May Almighty Allah dwell him in Jannatul Firdaus.” 
  • “It is Allah that takes and it is He that gives, and He prescribes a certain destiny for every matter.” 
  • “May the Almighty Allah expand his grave and give [him/her/them] eternal peace.”
  • “Surely we belong to Allah and to Him shall we return.” 
  • “May Allah give you patience and ease to pass through these trials.”
  • If you need further inspiration then here are 50 ‘In Loving Memory’ quotes to help honor a lost loved one.