Sample Sympathy Wording
on the loss of Mother or Father

I sincerely hope my sample sympathy wording will help you find the right words of condolence if someone close to you loses a parent. I have been in the same position and can assure you that lovingly penned condolences are received with heartfelt thanks.

After my mum died 16 years ago, we received so many lovely cards and letters, each of which are still treasured today.

Sympathy wording is not easy to write, but it is important that you do write, to let your friends and loved ones know that you are thinking about them and that you are there for them if and when needed.

I hope the sympathy wording below will be of help to you finding the words of condolence you need to write at such a sad time.

Sympathy wording to a good friend on the loss of Father

Dear Terence,

I heard the sad news, from Emma, this morning.  I'm so sorry. No words of mine can ease your pain right now.  Geoff was a good dad to you and Tony, you were so lucky to have him. All the love and happy times you shared will be etched in your heart forever.

You and your family are in my thoughts and I send my warmest love and condolences.



Sympathy wording for a friend of mine on the loss of his Papa.

Dear Ian,

My sincerest condolences on the death of your Papa. Please know that you are in our thoughts and we wish you enough strength, today, tomorrow and in the coming months to get through this most difficult time.

We are here for you if you need to talk or for us to listen.

With our love and sympathy


Sympathy wording to a neigbour on the loss of dad

Dear Jane,

I am so sorry to hear that your dad has passed away.  Dad told me the sad news, this morning, on the phone.  It is such a shock. 

Your dad lived to a grand old age and I will, forever, remember his happy smile and cheerful whistle. I can still picture him washing his car, in the driveway, every week. 

The next days and weeks will be difficult ones so make sure you take time out, as and when you need it.  Grief is a long journey so don't rush it.

You were a great comfort to me all those years ago when my mum died so if I can help in any way, please let me know.  I am a good listener.

Thinking of you and your family at this sad time.

Lots of love,



Sympathy wording on death of Mother

Sympathy wording I wrote to a friend when her mum died.

Dear Julia and family,

I have just heard your heartbreaking news.  I cannot find any words to ease your sadness as I truly know how you feel.  I hope that you were able to see your beloved mum before she passed.

Grief is a long journey so take as much time as you need. Think of your mum, speak her name and share in all the happy memories you have.

Sending masses of hugs from us all.

With our deepest sympathy,

Sarah and family


Dearest Patrick and James,

Words just aren't enough to express our shock and sadness upon hearing of the passing of your beloved mum.

But please know that you are in our thoughts and hearts at this very sad time.

Wherever she is, she will always be with us, tucked safe in our hearts.

With our love and deepest sympathy.

Sarah and Thomas


Sympathy Wording

Dear Susan and family,

I am so sad to hear of your mum's passing.  I have so many special memories of her as we were growing up, memories that will last a lifetime.

She always filled me in on what was happening when I flew over to visit dad.  I used to pop round, with the boys, for a quick cup of tea, when we were on our way to the shops.  I will never forget her kindness and generosity when mum was ill, all those years ago.  My mum really couldn't have asked for a nicer sister-in-law.

I know how much you will miss her and at the moment it is difficult to come to terms with her death but she is, at peace, with your dad now.

Please know that you and your family are in our thoughts and once we are able to fly again, it will be lovely to meet up. Sadly, I won't be able to attend the funeral but I'll be thinking of you on Thursday.

With all our love and sympathy.


I recently attended a benefits choir concert in aid of raising money for a childrens hospice, here, in Germany.  One of the readings, I found, very moving and here is an English translation of it.

The original Das Märchen von der traurigen Traurigkeit is by Inge Wuthe, a Gestalt therapist. It is a story that encourages us to reflect on how we deal with sadness.

You might like to include it in your sympathy wording or have it printed to include in a card.

The Fairy Tale of The Sad Sadness

Once, there was a little old woman walking along a dusty roadside. She stopped by a huddled figure and looked down. She could not recognise very much.

The figure which sat there in the dust, seemed to be disembodied resembling a flannel blanket with human contours. The small woman stooped down a little and asked: “Who are you?”

Two lightless eyes looked up wearily: “Me? I am the Sadness” whispered a voice so softly that the little old woman had trouble understanding her.

“Oh, the Sadness!” she exclaimed in a voice almost as if she were greeting an old friend.

“Do you know me?” the Sadness asked, suspiciously.

“Of course I know you", the old woman answered. "Every now and then you have accompanied me part of the way.”

“Yes, but … why don’t you flee from me? Aren’t you afraid?” Sadness said suspiciously.

“Oh why should I run away from you, my dear? You know very well that you can catch up with anyone. But what I want to ask you is, why do you look so sad?”

 I am…. sad,” the grey figure answered in a brittle voice.

The old woman sat down beside her. “So you are sad…” she repeated, nodding her head in understanding.” Do you want to tell me why you are so?"

The Sadness sighed deeply: Could it be that this time someone really wanted to listen to her? How often she had wished for that. “Oh. You know …” she began hesitantly and deeply astonished, “it is true that nobody likes me. It is my destiny to go among people and remain with them for a while. But almost everyone reacts as if I were the plague and they have developed so many mechanisms to deny my presence. "

"Surely you're right," the old woman put in. "But tell me a little about it."

The Sadness swallowed, “They invented sentences with which they want to banish me. They say: Rubbish, life is fun. And their fake laughter leads to cramps in their stomachs and makes them short of breath. They say: Praised be that which makes us tough. And then they get a pain in their heart. They say: You have to pull yourself together. And they feel a cramp in their shoulders and in their backs. They say: Only weaklings cry. And with the build up of tears their heads almost explode. Or they numb themselves with drugs and alcohol so that they do not have to feel me.”

“Oh yes,” the old woman acknowledged, “I have met such people often. But you only want to help don't you?"

The Sadness crept a little more into herself. "Yes, I want that," she said simply, "but I can only help if people allow me, you know. I try to give them space between themselves and the world. I help them build a nest for them to fall into and tend their wounds.  Sad people have especially thin skins. Some sorrows break open like badly healed wounds, which hurt a lot. But only someone who allows Sadness and cries all their bottled up tears can really heal the wounds. But people do not want me to help them. Instead they put on a bright laugh over their scars. Or they arm themselves with thick armor made of bitterness.”

Now the Sadness was silent and her crying was deep and desperate.

The little old woman comfortingly hugged the huddled figure in her arms. "How soft and gentle she feels," she thought, tenderly stroking the trembling bundle. "Just cry, Sadness," she whispered affectionately, "rest, so you can regain strength, I know that many people reject and deny you, but I also know that some are ready for you. And from now on you will not walk alone.   I will accompany you so that discouragement does not gain power."

The sadness had stopped crying. She straightened up and looked at her companion in surprise.
"But tell me, who are you?"
"Me," the little old woman replied and smiled quietly. "I am hope!"


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