writing a sympathy message

Sending Comfort with a Holiday Sympathy Message

Sending a sympathy message to someone who has lost a loved one is very natural in the days surrounding the funeral. But grief doesn’t fade away in just a couple days, weeks, or even months. Families often deal with the grief of losing someone for years, and the holidays can be an especially difficult time. When you’re thinking of friends and family members this holiday season, consider sending a sympathy message to those who are still grieving a loss.

A sympathy message lets them know they aren’t alone

One of the most difficult parts of dealing with grief is feeling alone. Though it may seem small to you, sending a simple sympathy message to a grieving family can be an incredible comfort. Just knowing that someone is thinking of them makes it much easier to deal with the pain of loss.

If you live close by, consider having coffee or dinner with the friend or family member dealing with the loss, especially if they don’t have many other relationships close by.

Crafting an appropriate sympathy message

It can be difficult to know what to say, but the most important thing is to let them know you are thinking of them. Here are some ideas for crafting an appropriate and meaningful sympathy message.

  • Let them know you are thinking of them.
  • Share a fond memory of the deceased.
  • Keep it short and simple, the most important thing is that they know they aren’t alone in their grief.
  • Using a hand-written card can be a lot more meaningful than a Facebook message or email; be thoughtful about the way you choose to deliver your message.

What else can you do?

If your friend or family member doesn’t have other family in the area, invite them to your celebrations. It will not only show your support for them, it will also help them combat the loneliness they are undoubtedly experiencing. This might be especially true if the person lost a spouse; someone they spent every holiday with even when other family was far away. Help them find some joy and community in the holidays by inviting them to be a part of your own community and family. It’s a big gesture but one that is sure to be genuinely appreciated.

Remember your friends and family who have lost someone this holiday season. A sympathy message could be just the thing to help them cope with grief and find some joy this year.


For more ideas, Hallmark has a number of great suggestions and appropriate phrases to include when you are crafting your sympathy message.

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