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Expressions of sympathy for loss of father

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Expressions of sympathy for loss of father
September 03, 2018 Anniversary Wishes 2 comments

I hope our samples of sympathy messages for loss of father can help you express your deepest sympathy to the family at loss. One of the most distressing times.

Last year I wrote an article entitled How to Write a Sympathy Card. I received feedback that it was helpful, so I decided to put together this bigger version for you, full of lots more helpful tips and advice. Why not bookmark it, so you can refer back to it when required? Read through our guide and learn how best to convey your condolences to friends, family and acquaintances when they lose a loved one. You can express your sympathy via many methods, but nothing is held as close as a handwritten sympathy card during and after periods of grief.

Who do I address the card to?

First things first, who should you address the card to? This is a common question in this situation, so here is a simple guide. If you knew the deceased well, address your note to the closest living relative – usually the wife/husband, or eldest child. If you didn’t know the deceased but your friend or relative was a close friend or close relative of the deceased, write to them. If a friend’s parent has passed away, write to your friend. You can always add an “and family” onto the end of your greeting, if you wish.

How do I address the envelope?

Address the envelope formally, with titles and full names, using the classic rules.

Short sympathy messages

The below are some short, generic messages that convey your sympathy. If you’d like to keep your message concise, these phrases are ideal, or they can be combined, or added in with more personalised messages, quotes, or biblical references to write a longer piece. Whilst a short message is fine, remember that just “Dear Brian, with love from Lucy” is not enough, and comes across as nonchalant.

  • I’m thinking of you
  • I’m thinking of you during this difficult time
  • You’re in my thoughts
  • I am so sorry for your loss
  • You are in my prayers
  • My deepest sympathy
  • My sincere sympathy
  • Please accept my condolences
  • With warmest condolences
  • With heartfelt condolences
  • My heart goes out to you at this difficult time
  • My heart goes out to you at this time of sorrow
  • I am deeply sorry to hear about the death of [insert name]
  • I am deeply sorry to hear about the passing of [insert name]
  • Wishing you peace to bring comfort, courage to face the days ahead, and loving memories to forever hold dear in your hearts
  • With love
  • With love and hugs
  • With love at this sad time
  • Sending you and the family love
  • With thoughts of peace and courage for you
  • I will miss [insert name] very much
  • May you be comforted by the outpouring of love surrounding you
  • May your heart and soul find peace and comfort
  • I was very saddened to hear that [insert name] passed away
  • I am missing [insert name] along with you
  • I am sharing in your sadness as you remember [insert name]
  • Thinking of you as you celebrate [insert name]’s life
  • Thinking of you and hoping you are doing OK
  • God bless
  • Wishing you peace
  • Wishing you healing
  • With you in sorrow
  • I am sharing your sadness
  • Sending caring thoughts your way
  • [Insert name] will live in my memories forever
  • [Insert name] will be sadly missed
  • Words cannot even begin to express my sorrow
  • Please remember that you are not alone, and I am always here for you
  • May your happy memories give you peace and comfort during this challenging time
  • My heart is aching for your loss

Sympathy for the loss of a mother

Image credit: Raimund14

  • When I think of your mother, I think of a strong, confident woman who would have done anything to protect her children and ensure their happiness.
  • Living without the one person who has loved you unconditionally all your life – even before you were born – must be so difficult. I am sending my most sincere condolences on the loss of your beloved mother.
  • Words cannot begin to express the pain you must be feeling at the loss of your mother, the irreplaceable woman who brought you into the world and loved you unconditionally throughout your life.
  • I was so sorry to learn of your mother’s passing. She was a wonderful woman, who will be truly missed by many.
  • Mums remain in our hearts forever, even after they pass away. I am so sorry for your loss.
  • It takes a special person to be a Mum, but it takes an extra special Mum to bring up a wonderful child. Your Mum was clearly one of the best. I am so sorry for your loss.
  • Mothers carry their children in their hearts, and children carry mothers in their hearts too. Keep your Mum there, and carry her memory with you always. She was a wonderful woman, and I am so sorry for your loss.
  • Please accept my sincere condolences for the loss of your mother. From all I heard about her, she was a wonderful woman to be admired. What wonderful memories you must have of her.

Sympathy for the loss of a father

Image credit: Raimund14

  • Your father was one of the nicest people I knew, and I know that he was a great dad too. I am so sorry for your loss.
  • My condolences to you for the passing of your father. He was a wonderful man, and there will never be another man like him.
  • Your father was always talking about you and bragging about how wonderful you were. I hope you know that you meant the world to him. He was a great man and will be sorely missed.
  • I am so sorry for your loss. Your father was a great man, and I know how close you were to him. He will be missed by many.
  • I am sorry to hear of your father’s passing. I will remember him as a kind, funny man who would do anything to help anyone. You are in my thoughts at this difficult time.

Sympathy for the loss of a child

Image credit: Raimund14

Nobody ever expects their child to pass away before them, but sadly it does happen. Knowing what to say in this situation can seem impossible. Here are a few ideas for you:

  • The shadow cast by his parents certainly allowed him to shine brightly in his world. Good for you both to have raised [insert name] to be his own man and yet so remarkably like his parents.
  • If a woman is to be judged by her friends and family, [insert name] is to be judged at the highest level.
  • I feel as though I was blessed to have been graced by [insert name]’s big heart and kind personality. It is truly the mark of wonderful parents. Every bit of my heart goes out to you during this most difficult time.
  • I am truly sorry for your loss. The loss of a child is absolutely heartbreaking. My heart aches for you and your family. [Insert name] was a wonderful child and she will be terribly missed by so many.
  • Words can not express the sorrow and pain I feel for the loss of your son/daughter. [Insert name] will be greatly missed. With my deepest sympathy.

Sympathy for the loss of a pet

Image credit: Vagengeym

The passing away of a pet can often by overlooked by others, when it is often a harrowing time for the owners. Be prepared next time a beloved pet dies, with a message along these lines:

  • May fond memories of [insert name] bring you peace and comfort at this difficult time.
  • To lose a friend is never easy. Please know that you are in my thoughts at this difficult time.
  • It is so hard to say goodbye to such a special companion. My thoughts are with you.
  • Some pets are friends. Others are family. The loss of [insert name] can’t be easy – he was a wonderful and loyal dog. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.
  • Pets never really leave us – they live on in our hearts and our fond memories.
  • You are in my thoughts following the sad passing of [insert name]. Please know that she touched many lives with her lovely nature and unusual meow. She will be missed.

Sympathy quotes

Image credit: fotoscool

Sometimes you might want to let someone else do the talking for you, or to enhance what you have already written by adding a suitable quote. Here are some useful examples:

  • “To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die” – Thomas Campbell
  • “Like a bird singing in the rain, let grateful memories survive in time of sorrow” – Robert Louis Stevenson
  • “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years” – Abraham Lincoln
  • “I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love” – Leo Buscaglia
  • “How very softly you tiptoed into our world, almost silently, only a moment you stayed. But what an imprint your footsteps have left upon our hearts” – Dorothy Ferguson

Biblical verses

Image credit: utah778

If you or the card recipient are Christian, then perhaps a biblical verse could provide some comfort. The same, of course, goes for other religions. Here are some suitable examples from the bible:

  • “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” – Matthew 5:4
  • “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10
  • “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28

Some general tips for writing a sympathy card

Image credit: pic.r

When personalising the card to your situation, remember to:

  • Select an appropriate card. It doesn’t have to be a sympathy card specifically – it could be a blank card with a nice picture on the front.
  • Take your time – don’t write your sympathy card in a rush
  • Keep it short if you’re struggling with what to write – it’s better to send a card with a short message inside than a card containing a long, ill-informed or offensive message.
  • Compliment the deceased
  • Share a favourite memory of the deceased
  • Say something uplifting – don’t dwell on the negatives
  • Offer practical help. Don’t just write, “If you need anything, you know where I am”, as that is too vague and won’t be taken up. Instead, offer a hand with specific practical tasks such as childcare, cooking or ironing. Don’t make promises you can’t keep though; if you can’t babysit for them every weekend for the next 6 months, don’t say you can.

What NOT to write in a sympathy card

The reason most of us struggle to write sympathy cards is, we are terrified of writing something that could further upset, offend or anger the recipient. You also need to avoid belittling any feelings they are having. With all of this in mind, keep these phrases and topics out of your writing:

  • “You will…”
  • “You should…”
  • “I know exactly how you feel”
  • “He was too young…”
  • “It’s for the best”
  • “They’re in a better place now”
  • “You can always remarry” or “You’ll meet someone else”
  • “At least they lived a long life”
  • “Everything happens for a reason”
  • “It could be worse…”
  • “At least you have other children”
  • “It will get easier in time”
  • “It’s time for you to move on”
  • Any details about the manner of the deceased’s death

In summary, don’t allocate blame, don’t discuss the circumstances of the death, don’t offer advice, and don’t tell them they will feel better in X amount of time. Put yourself in their shoes, and think about the words which would bring you comfort at such a time, and which words wouldn’t.

Sympathy card message examples

Here are a couple of examples, to give you a feel for the kind of thing you can write in your own cards:

Loss of a father

“Dear Sarah,

I am so sorry for your loss. Steven was a wonderful man, with a heart of gold, and I will miss him dearly. His laugh was infectious, and I’ll never forget our camping trips in France. He often spoke of your achievements during our games of golf – a true sign of a proud parent. You meant the world to him, and I know the feeling was very much mutual. Please know that you are in my thoughts at this difficult time, and I would be more than happy to look after Milo and Maude for you if you would like some time out. They are welcome to stay over at my house anytime.

Sending you and the family all my love.


Loss of a friend

“Dear Stephanie,

I am deeply sorry to hear about the passing of Jennie. To me she always seemed to be a whirlwind of fun and laughter, and I couldn’t help but feel uplifted in her presence. I know what a support she was to you over the years too, especially during sixth form, when you were inseparable and sneaking out late to go to parties.

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years” – Abraham Lincoln

If you’d like some help with washing and ironing during this difficult time, please let me know. I can collect and drop it off again, so you can concentrate on looking after yourself.

Thinking of you,

Love from Louise”

Loss of a son to suicide

” My dear friend Fran,

I was shocked and saddened to hear about Jamie’s death. I cannot imagine the heartache you must feel. Words seem so inadequate to express my sadness. He was a wonderful young man, so kind and thoughtful, and I know he will be deeply missed by many. If I can help with meals, just let me know –  I can cook you and the family some meals and drop them off, or I can come round to your house and cook. Whichever you would prefer.

Remembering with you, the life of your precious son.

Lots of love,


Follow up on your sympathy card

Image credit: manera

Whilst it is lovely of you to send a sympathy card to someone who has recently been bereaved, it is also nice to follow up your card with further contact – whether that be in person, by telephone, email, or a letter. It is also a nice idea to get in touch on the anniversary of their loved one’s death, to let them know you are thinking of them. Offer support and any practical help they might still need, and also let them know that it is perfectly OK for them to still be feeling sad.

Featured image credit, for original image: Pat1984

Please accept my/our heartfelt condolences, words cannot begin to express the . immense void left behind by the loss of their beloved father / mother/ brother.

100 Uplifting Sympathy Messages For Loved Ones

expressions of sympathy for loss of father

Bible Verses for Sympathy Cards

“O LORD, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear.” Psalm 10:17

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1 “From the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:2

“When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.” Psalm 94:19

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:2

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phillipians 4:7

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6

“Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” Corinthians 1:3–4

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Sympathy messages: what to write in a sympathy card

expressions of sympathy for loss of father

Sample Sympathy Letters on the Loss of a Mother or Father

We hope that these sample sympathy letters will make it easier for you to write and express your condolences when a tragedy happens and a friend or relative or yours loses a parent, whether it be a mother or a father.  The first four of these are actual letters sent to my daughter when my husband died.  We'd like to thank those who sent them, they were of enormous comfort.  We have changed names and places for privacy reasons. 

The images on this page are Sympathy Cards which we created specially from our own photographs. All the cards are customisable, so you can add your letter and send direct to your friend or relative.  Sales help us to continue our work in helping the grieving on this site.  Click on the cards to find out more. 

Or see the complete range of Sympathy Cards here. 

To a close friend on the loss of their Dad:

Hi Lovely

Thank you so much for your call last night. I am devastated for you and Tom, your Mum, Martin, the grand kids and the countless people who your Dad made friends with over the years. I have been thinking of you all day today and have found myself telling countless people at work about how sad I am for you and how sudden this has all been.

If things were different I would love to be able to jump on the next flight to hold your hand and give you a hug. I will be with you in thoughts over the weeks to come and send you all my love. Xxxx

Why not add a link to this site to your sympathy letter - it will be a comforting resource for your friend or loved one in their grief?

Another sample sympathy letter to a friend when their Dad died:

Dear Jenny

I am so sorry to read your devastating news. I never met your Dad, but know how wonderful and supportive he was to you over the years and can only start to imagine what you are feeling now.

You will gradually find comfort in all the happy memories. Your parents found their new life in Australia and lived the last years of his life in contentment there, surrounded by family.

Your dad lived to see you find happiness and security and love. He will have died content for knowing that. AND best of all he did not suffer a long illness.

Make sure you find time to grieve and allow yourself to do so - and don't expect it to pass quickly. Losing a parent takes time to process for us mortals. Do you remember I was in the aftermath of losing my dad when we first became close? I didn't fully recover from that for at least two years - and made some very strange decisions and acted out of character for much of that time.

I wish I could be with you to try to help somehow. I'm giving you a big hug now from halfway across the globe.

Sending love to you and all your family.

Take care and hang on in there. 

Sample sympathy note from a dear friend on the death of a father:

So sorry to hear the sad news. I know exactly how you must be feeling right now having lost my dad two years ago. Please send our sympathy to your mum, brother and all your loved ones. It is a help that your Dad didn't suffer but such a terrible shock that will take forever to heal. As you say your Dad had a wonderful life and you can celebrate that luckily you are managing to feel that way. I also believe you should celebrate the life lived and not the sorrow of death.

Here is a poem that helped me a lot, I hope it does the same for you...

Miss Me but Let Me Go

PS  Anytime you feel like it , just go on chat and pour your heart out. I'll always be there.

Sympathy message in response to an email announcing the death of a father:

Such sad news and it must have been a very difficult e-mail for you to write. We're really thinking of you all and especially your Mum and Tim. I'm sure that John and Mary must have adored their Grandpa and it will be hard for all of you to adjust to life without Charlie around. We always think of him as larger-than-life and such a warm, generous, funny and lovely friend to us. It is really hard to think that we won’t see him again.

I won't say more, the last thing you need is an e-mail of information to take in.
We're really thinking of you, Linda, so please contact us whenever you wish. You'll hear from us soon.

With lots of love

Sample sympathy letter to a friend on the loss of her mother

Dear Pat

The news we received this morning about the loss of your wonderful mother, although expected, made us feel very sad.  It was a privilege to call her a friend. She always had such great stories to tell, many exciting episodes, during her long life.
Her positive attitude despite her failing health made every visit a pleasure. There is never anyone quite like a Mum, despite her living for over 90 years, your loss must be very difficult. Our family want to say you are all in our thoughts at this difficult time.

With best wishes

Sample sympathy letter to a friend on the loss of her father

Dearest Sally

Our deepest condolences are sent to you in this note. What a terrible shock for you and the rest of your family. Your Dad was a lovely man and even though I only met him the once I can remember his warmth and openness. Such a sad time for you. If I can do anything to help please let me know.   Thinking of you, if you want to chat you have my number.

Lots of love and a big hug

Send Flowers Too. . .

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Related Pages: 

Our Best Sympathy Gift Picks

Memorial Jewelry and Keepsakes

We hope these sample sympathy letters have been helpful to you.  You may also find it useful to read our advice on helping others cope with grief.

Grief and Sympathy Home > Words of Sympathy > Sample Sympathy Letters

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Your mom/dad was such an incredible person. s/he loved you so much and prepared you to handle this tragic loss.

Sympathy Words To Write About Dad

expressions of sympathy for loss of father

Writing a sympathy card is often an emotional and intimidating experience. It can be challenging to find the right words to offer support, comfort, and empathy. We know how important it is to lend a piece of your heart and pay your respects, while being thoughtful, mindful, and open with your condolences. 

Here are 40 meaningful messages to inspire an intimate, heartfelt offering of sympathy and compassion. Consider them starters to help your personal note flow. They may inspire you or you can use them as guidelines, but remember the most thoughtful messages come from the heart.

From a family member:

  1. I am thankful to have shared memories with _____. I will miss him/her and his/her impact on our family. 
  2. Our family will not be the same without _______. I hope we can find comfort together during this difficult time. 
  3. No words will ever do justice to the impact ________ has left on our family. 
  4. The legacy ______ has left on our family is unmatched by any words that can be written. 
  5. I will miss _______ and will carry our memories together for the rest of my life. 
  6. _______ made a difference in so many lives. I am thankful to have been a member of his/her family, learning and growing from him/her. 
  7. Where lives pass, memories carry on forever. 
  8. I am saddened to learn of the loss our family has suffered and hope to move through this difficult time together as one. 
  9. I hope we can celebrate the life _______ lived, remembering the good times we’ve shared as a family. 
  10. Our family will forever remain strong together and will share in the journey to finding peace after this difficult loss. 

From a colleague

  1. Please know we are thinking of you and your family during this difficult time. 
  2. We are so lucky to have you as a member of our office and are saddened to hear of your loss. Please know you are in our thoughts. 
  3. Wishing you peace and comfort during this hard time. 
  4. We are so sorry to have learned about your loss. We are here for you however needed. 
  5. The office is with you in your thoughts during this time of healing.
  6. We are saddened to learn of the loss you’ve had, please let us know how we may help you heal. 
  7. I hope this card finds you surrounded by strength and compassion.
  8. Please accept our warmest condolences, we are deeply sorry for your loss. 
  9. Our hearts are saddened to learn of your loss, please know we are with you. 
  10. We hope you know we are by your side during this time of sorrow. 

From a friend:

  1. Wishing you peace and comfort during this difficult time.
  2. Please know you are in our thoughts, and in our hearts. 
  3. Words fail to express my sorrow for your loss. Please know I am with you through this difficult time.
  4. My heart goes out to you and your family. 
  5. The joy _____ brought to our lives will not be forgotten. 
  6. Please know I am here to listen, comfort, and lean on during this difficult time. 
  7. I hope it brings you comfort to know that I am celebrating the life ______ lived and am thankful for his impact on my life. 
  8. Please accept my deepest sympathy for your loss. 
  9. Please know we are only a phone call away.
  10. Hoping these words will help you find comfort during this time of sorrow.

From all of us:

  1. We are deeply sorry for your loss.
  2. May you find comfort in knowing you are not alone, you are surrounded by those who care for you.
  3. Please remember that we love and care about you and will be here for you always.
  4. It was truly a pleasure to have gotten to know ______. He/she will be missed dearly.
  5. We hope this card finds you surrounded by love and compassion.
  6. May time help you heal and bring you peace.
  7. The loss of a loved one is never easy, but know we are with you through your grief.
  8. We are thankful to be a part of your life and hope we can offer comfort and strength during your time of need.
  9. We hold you close in our thoughts and hope you know you can lean on us for whatever you may need.
  10. Sending you lots of love and comfort, we are so sorry for your loss.

By Connor McGury for Lovepop

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Offer heartfelt condolences with these sympathy message ideas and tips from Our words can't take away the pain of losing a loved one, but they can go a long “It was truly a pleasure working with your father for 17 years.

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