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How to write a condolence message

26 November 2023

Guide Wills
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“Remember me with smiles and laughter, for that is how I will remember you all.”

— Laura Ingalls Wilder

Write from your heart

Writing a condolence message can be daunting. The key is to keep your message short, simple and sincere. Write like you are talking to the person who will receive it. Read your message more than once. Does it express your thoughts and emotions? Is the tone appropriate given your relationship to the deceased and their family?


Write your words on a blank page and once you’re satisfied they accurately represents your feelings, transcribe them in your best handwriting onto a card or personal stationery.

Example words to start

  • I/We are so sorry for your loss
  • I/We are sharing in your sadness as I/we remember [insert deceased’s name]
  • I/We was/were saddened to hear that your [relationship with deceased] passed away
  • My/Our thoughts are with you and your family
  • Thinking of you and your loved ones during this difficult time
  • My/Our words can’t express how saddened I am/ we are to hear of your loss
  • Know that you are in our thoughts and prayers
  • Remembering your lovely [mother, brother, husband, sister etc.] and wishing you peace and comfort
  • With my/our heartfelt sympathy
  • May the love of those around you support you
  • My/our love and thoughts are with you

Example words to close

Be mindful when closing your message, try not to make it too distant or formal. You might want to consider something along the lines of:

  1. Please accept my/our condolences
  2. With caring thoughts
  3. Warmest condolences
  4. With sympathy

The important thing is to take your time when writing your message and not strive to find the perfection. The best thing you can do to support those grieving the loss of a loved one is to show your feelings and write from the heart. They may find comfort in the knowledge that their loved one had a positive impact on other people around them.

Useful resources


6 steps to prepare a will

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Executor Checklist

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8 reasons to update your will

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Original artwork ‘Four Sisters Coming Together’ by Melissa Bell 2023