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12 Suggestions for How to Express Condolences

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Sometimes it's hard to know what to say. Here are 12 suggestions for expressing your support in a simple, but meaningful way. 


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  1. “I’m so sorry for your loss.” It may seem cliché, but this is a short, sweet, and heartfelt way to express your condolences to a grieving friend.


  1. “You’re in my thoughts/prayers.” This simple yet supportive phrase lets the grieving person know you’re aware of their painful situation. By telling them you’re thinking of or praying for them, it can help them feel less isolated during this difficult time.


  1. “I’m here for you whenever you need me.” This lets your friend know you’ll be there to offer support when they need it most. It may seem like a simple phrase, but it can offer immense comfort to a grieving person. Just make sure you follow through if and when your friend reaches out for help.


  1. “She was a wonderful person.” Don’t be afraid to mention the deceased when you offer condolences. In fact, your grieving friend will likely want to talk about their loved one as that’s probably all they’re thinking about.


  1. “Remember when…?” Feel free to share funny stories and fond memories about the deceased. Not only can this offer some comic relief, but it’s extremely comforting to your grieving friend. More than anything, grieving people want to reflect on their loved one’s life, and telling stories is a great way to do that.


  1. “What can I do for you?” By asking your grieving friend what she needs, you’re offering your unconditional support. She may respond with, “Nothing,” and that’s okay. Just make sure she knows you’re there for her if and when she does need you.


  1. “I love you.” If you’re offering condolences to a dear friend or relative, it can be incredibly comforting to remind him of your love. Grieving people often feel deserted, but telling them you love them makes them feel less alone in this world.


  1. “This must be incredibly hard for you.” This phrase can be very consoling for a grieving person. When you acknowledge the pain and grief your friend or relative is feeling, they feel understood and less alone.


  1. “I don’t know what to say.” Many people feel tongue-tied when it’s time to offer condolences. It’s perfectly fine to admit you don’t have the right words to express your sympathy. In fact, your grieving friend will likely appreciate your candor and is likely feeling a little speechless herself.


  1. “Would you like to talk about it?” One of the best ways to express condolences is to offer a listening ear. If your grieving friend needs to talk about her loss, listen intently. If she doesn’t have anything to say at the moment, make sure she knows you’re there for her whenever she’s ready.


  1. Say it with flowers. Not sure sure how to express your condolences in words? Consider sending flowers or another memorial gift to your grieving friend. This is a thoughtful way to let the bereaved know you care for them.


  1. “I’ve brought you a meal.” Want to express condolences to a grieving friend or neighbor? Drop off a hearty casserole or some other comforting meal that they can eat right away or freeze and reheat later. Not much of a cook? Bring them a few staples from the grocery store, such as bread, lunch meat, cheese, milk, and eggs. It may seem like small gesture, but even the simplest acts of kindness can mean the world to a grieving person.


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