Sample Letter of Sympathy

Also see Guide for Writing Sympathy Letters

Writing a sympathy note or letter can mean so much, even though it seems like such a small gesture. A letter of sympathy shows someone that you are thinking of them and acknolwedging the depths of this loss. A letter certainly can't bring someone back, but it can give bereaved individuals comfort and peace, especially in knowing their loved one touched many lives. Including a bereavement verse may also help acknolwedge the loss.

Sample Sympathy Letters

Letter to a family member (from close friend of person passed)

    Dear Elizabeth,

    I was very saddened to hear about your mother's passing. She was someone that really lived every day to the fullest. While I know that words are only a small gesture of support, I want you to know that her spirit has touched many people's lives as it has mine. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

    I would like to extend an open invitation to run errands and watch the kids. I will call shortly to find out what I can do. Again -- please know that you are very loved and supported. Belle often shared with me how blessed she felt to have you in her life.

    My deepest sympathy and love to you and yours,



    Dear John & Family,

    Thank you for passing along the sad news of Mark's death. He was a friend that I cherished and someone that touched many people's lives.
    While I don't know your family very well, Mark shared things about you often. It was clear you meant so much to him. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you during this time.

    Warmest Regards,



    I came across this verse and I thought of Mark --

    "His life earnest, his actions kind,
    A willing hand, an active mind,
    Anxious to please, loath to offend,
    A loving brother and faithful friend."

Letter to wife/husband of deceased (from friend of deceased)

    Dear Lisa,

    I just learned of your husband's death. I want to extend my deepest sympathies to you and your children. Tom was so well-respected and everyone always had such kind things to say about him. Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I would like to plan some time to take the kids out in the coming weeks. I will call to schedule something that works best for you. Words feel inadequate at a time like this ... just know you are loved and supported by many.

    With love,


Letter to daughter/son of deceased (from friend of deceased)

    Dear Amber,

    Thank you for letting us know about your father's passing. We were very sad to hear this news. Your dad was so proud of you kids, and I hope you always know how special you were to him. I know there isn't much we can say or do to ease the pain you feel right now, but my heart is with you. He was such a talented person, and I know that lives on in you.

    With sympathy,