May he rest in peace:
On Writing condolence messages

From “I am sorry for your loss” and “may he rest in peace” to “we’re deeply saddened” and beyond: condolences are among the most difficult things to write. What should you say? Or not say? How do you strike the right tone?

This page will help get you started. It lists more than 100 condolences that you can use in various settings. Feel free to modify them as you see fit; think of the below messages as starting points, to get you thinking.

General condolence messages

The condolence messages below are appropriate for almost all situations.

  • May peace be with you.
  • As a testament to your strength and courage, you are in our prayers.
  • We hope you find peace in your time of grief.
  • Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers.
  • Let the memories provide comfort in your journey through this loss.
  • I send my prayers and support to you and your family during this difficult time.
  • We are thinking of you during these difficult times.
  • My deepest sympathies to you and your family.
  • Rest In Peace, dear friend.
  • My heart is saddened by your loss.
  • No matter where he /she is, he/she will always be with us.
  • My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.
  • I’m heartbroken by your loss. Sending you prayers and loving thoughts.
  • Only time will ease this pain.
  • May his/her soul be at peace.
  • My heart aches for you and your family.

Condolence messages for loss of mother

  • I’m so sorry for your loss. I know she’s smiling somewhere, as she watches over all of you.
  • Your mother was beautiful inside and out. I hope that she is safe with the Angels now.
  • My thoughts and prayers are with you as you deal with your loss and with the absence of your mother. Thank you for sharing her with us all.
  • Your mother was so loved and was so good to everyone who knew her. She will be missed by so many. God be with you.
  • May your mother’s soul rest in peace.
  • Your mom was special to me; we shared so many good times together.
  • I’m so glad that I had a long-lasting friendship with your Mom.
  • Her life was her gift to you, her family, and to those she touched with her quick wit and caring heart.
  • Your mother will be very missed.
  • She was a gem, and will be greatly missed.
  • I’m truly sorry to hear about your mom. She was such a great person.
  • Your mom touched so many lives. May her spirit continue to live through you and your family.
  • Remembering her wonderful and gentle soul will forever remain in our hearts. May she rest in peace.
  • May her soul rest in peace and light forever.
  • Your mom was such a sweetheart, and was so full of love for others. May she rest in peace and be free from pain.
  • I’m so sorry for your loss. Your mother was a wonderful woman. I wish peace and comfort to you and your family.
  • Your mom was such a beautiful soul. The world has lost a wonderful person. I know you will hold on to the memories and the lessons she has taught you
  • She taught us love is the only truth.
  • She was a very special person and always will be. May God be with you and your family in this time of sadness.

Condolence messages for loss of father

  • My thoughts and prayers are with you as you deal with your loss and with the absence of your father. Thank you for sharing him with us all.
  • Your dad was special to me, we shared good times together.
  • Your dad will be very missed. May he rest in peace.
  • His passing has shocked us, and I’m sure devastated you. I have such fond memories of him.
  • I have a special place in my heart for your Dad. Thanks for the contribution he made to our family.
  • His spirit is everywhere, like a beautiful light that he took with him.
  • My heart goes out to you. I’m terribly sorry for your loss. I know your Dad was a very special man. May you find peace in this new reality that your dad now becomes a part of you.
  • His soul will live forever in our hearts.
  • He touched so many hearts, and opened so many minds.
  • We are grateful to have had him/her in our lives.
  • May his soul rest in peace.
  • My thoughts and prayers are with you as you are dealing with your loss and with the absence of your father.
  • May your father’s soul rest in peace.
  • I would like to send condolences to your family on the passing of your father. There are many things you can learn from him.
  • He was such a wonderful person, and I will always be grateful for having known him/.
  • Your father has taught me how to be a good human being. He was a gentle, kind and selfless man.
  • He was were like a star in the universe. My heart is so sad. Goodbye.
  • We’re happy we had him in our lives.
  • His loving warmth will be forever with us.
  • He will not be forgotten, and will be greatly missed. Rest in peace, my friend.
  • Your father was a very honest and trustworthy man.

Religious condolence messages: “May he rest in peace” and beyond

  • May God be with you and your family.
  • I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.
  • May God grant you and your family the strength to bear this loss.
  • God bless you and keep you in his care.
  • May the Lord bless you in this time of need.
  • God bless you and your family.
  • May God comfort you during this time of grief.
  • I’m praying for you.
  • May God be with you.
  • God bless you and keep you.
  • I hope God gives strength to your family during this painful time.
  • May God take care of you and watch over you.
  • We wish that God will grant you the power to overcome this difficult moment.
  • May God’s mercy and blessing be upon your family at this difficult time.
  • God bless the departed soul.
  • May you find strength in Him as you endure the pain and sorrow of your loss.

Bible condolence messages

  • Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. – John 14:27
  • O Lord my God, I called to you for help and you healed me. – Psalms 30:2
  • I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go… I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you. – Genesis 28:15
  • For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones. – Isaiah 49:13
  • My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. – Psalms 73:26
  • The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs… You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. – Isaiah 58:11
  • The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The Lord protects the simple hearted; when I was in great need, he saved me. – Psalms 116:5-6
  • And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. – 1 Peter 5:10
  • Even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. – Psalms 139:12
  • Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. My yoke is easy, and my burden is light. – Matthew 11:28
  • As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you. – Isaiah 66:13
  • For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. – Corinthians 1:5
  • Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me. – Psalm 23:7
  • Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. – Psalm 116:15
  • The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. – Deuteronomy 31:8

Short condolence messages: “Sorry to hear that …”

Short condolence messages are sometimes necessary in situations where space is limited, for example on a note attached to a floral bouquet.

  • Condolences to you and your family.
  • Deepest sympathies to you and your family.
  • We send our heartfelt condolences.
  • Heartfelt condolences.
  • Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this painful time.
  • I pray for your comfort and strength during this difficult time.
  • I wish peace and mercy upon your family.
  • May the soul of the departed rest in peace.
  • My condolences for your family’s loss.
  • Heartfelt condolences to the departed soul.
  • My prayers and heartfelt sympathies to the bereaved family.
  • My thoughts and prayers are with you during this trying time.
  • Our heartfelt condolences to the family.
  • May the departed soul rest in peace.
  • Our thoughts and prayers are with you in this time of grief.
  • Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
  • Please accept our sincere and heartfelt condolences.

Best sympathy quotes

These sympathy quotes by famous people will help you to craft the perfect condolence message. They will help you to embrace the moments of sadness and the moments of joy in grief and life.

Become the reason that your grief-stricken loved one, friend, or colleague smiles, even if they are still hurting. You can offer them that smile right now by using the below condolence quotes for inspiration:

  • “A great soul serves everyone all the time. A great soul never dies. It brings us together again and again.” –  Maya Angelou
  • “A mother’s grief is as timeless as her love.” —Joanne Cacciatore
  • “Across the years I will walk with you, in deep green forests, on shores of sand and when our time on earth is through, in heaven too, you will have my hand!” – Robert Sexton
  • “As we go through the journey of life, we must remember that the impressions we leave behind will define who and what we are. They are just as individual as the paths we have chosen to walk. So leave good impressions wherever you go.” – Dave Hedges
  • “Earth hath no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal.” – Thomas Moore
  • “For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity.” –  William Penn
  • “Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.” – Vicki Harrison
  • “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
  •  “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
  • “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” – Abraham Lincoln
  • “It is not length of life, but depth of life.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “Like a bird singing in the rain, let grateful memories survive in time of sorrow.” –Robert Louis Stevenson
  • “May love be what you remember most.” –  Darcie Sims
  • “Oh heart, if one should say to you that the soul perishes like the body, answer that the flower withers, but the seed remains. ” – Kahlil Gibran
  • “The morning glory blooms but for an hour and yet it differs not at heart from the giant pine that lives for a thousand years” – Teitoku Matsunaga, Japanese Poet
  • “There are no goodbyes for us. Wherever you are, you will always be in my heart.” – Mahatma Gandhi
  • “There is no pain so great as the Memory of joy in present grief.” – Aeschylus
  • “There is something about losing your mother that is permanent and inexpressible a wound that will never quite heal.”  – Susan Wiggs
  • “Those we love and lose are always connected by heartstrings into infinity.” – Terri Guillemets
  • “To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” – Thomas Campbell
  • “What is lovely never dies, But passes into other loveliness.” – Thomas Bailey Aldrich
  • “What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” – Helen Keller
  • “When I am lonely, I think of you and all that you brought to my life. Your memory rests gently on my soul.” – Cindy Adkins
  • “When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” – Kahlil Gibran
  • “While we are mourning the loss of our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil.” – John Taylor
  • “Wishing you strength for today and hope for tomorrow.” – Renee O’Neill
  • “Sorrow is so easy to express and yet so hard to tell.” – Joni Mitchell

The best condolences for a cat or dog (or other pet)

  • He was a loyal and faithful friend.
  • It’s sad to say goodbye to a great cat/dog.
  • Rest In Peace, little brother/sister.
  • She’ll always be my princess.
  • He was such a fun-loving and sweet cat/dog.
  • Sad to say goodbye to a good friend.
  • You were the perfect companion and the little friend we needed to make our life complete. 
  • Thank you for the happy times. You were a good friend to us.
  • We’ll miss him/her. He/she was a wonderful dog.
  • Goodnight, my friend. We’ll see you at the Rainbow Bridge.
  •  We were all so sad to hear about ___. He/she was so good to us and our family, and always so happy to see us.
  •  ___ looked after you and kept you safe. 
  •  I have such fond memories of ___.
  • ___ was a brave cat/dog. He’s at the rainbow bridge now.
  • RIP __, you were one of the brave ones.
  • I’m so glad we had a long-lasting friendship with ___.
  • I miss you, sweet dog/cat.
  • I’m so sad about __. I hope he didn’t suffer and went quickly.
  • He was such a kind and gentle dog/cat.

Beyond “May he rest in peace”: some tips on writing condolence messages

Writing a sympathy message when someone dies is never easy. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Be compassionate. Express your sympathy to the bereaved by your kind words.
  • Your thoughts should focus on the time you spent with the person.
  • Say something sincere and meaningful. Express how you are feeling in your own words, saying you are sad, grieving, worried,  concerned, etc. 
  • Do not try to say that you understand how they feel. 
  • Try to avoid clichés and vague comments.
  • Tell them you have been thinking about them, saying you are sad and your thoughts and prayers are with them. 
  • Ask the bereaved about what they might need. 
  • Remember that it is not about you, or what you have gone through. 
  • Don’t expect the grieving person to reply. They may not reply at all.
  • If possible, avoid mentioning that date of death, as it may feel insensitive.

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