20 Things You Can Say Instead Of “I’m Sorry For Your Loss”
Published Oct 26, 2020
“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” – Mother Teresa
The words we say carry a lot of power. We’ll inevitably have to offer our condolences to someone at one point in our lives. Finding the right words to speak to someone going through something this difficult feels almost impossible sometimes. You want to be able to comfort them and convey your emotions, but the words just aren’t coming to you.
If you’re feeling that way, you’ve come to the right place. Saying, “I’m sorry for your loss” isn’t bad, but it doesn’t quite hit the mark. Not only does it feel impersonal, but you know that they’ve probably heard that said to them a whole lot since their loved one’s passing. In this article, we’ll be sharing with you 20 different alternatives you can say instead of “I’m sorry for your loss.”
What Can I Say Instead Of “I’m Sorry For Your Loss”?
Don’t worry if you’re having trouble finding the right words to say; it happens. Some moments in life blindside us, and it’s perfectly normal to be at a loss for words.
People comfort others differently, so you should find what works for you. Some people express themselves better by sending gifts, doing acts of service, or simply spending time with their loved ones. But if you feel like you need to say something, here are 20 phrases more intimate and sincere than “I’m sorry for your loss.”
“How can I help you?”
The first thing you can tell them is not even much of a phrase because it leads to action. You can comfort someone through favors by cooking for them, cleaning their house, doing their laundry, etc. Doing anything that makes their life that much more manageable goes a long way, and they’ll never forget you for it.
“You have my deepest sympathy.”
This may be similar to “I’m sorry for your loss,” but it makes it much more personal than the original phrase. It’s not only more formal, but it’s also more heartfelt. This may be something you say to someone you aren’t that close to.
“I’m always here for you.”
Your presence goes a long way. Just knowing you will be there for them can automatically comfort them at all times, especially when needed.
“I’ve been keeping you in my thoughts a lot.”
Let your close friend or relative know you care about them. If you haven’t been in contact for a while, this will help comfort them, knowing how much they mean to you.
“You are so important to me.”
Inevitably, responsibilities and life get in the way of our relationships at times. Let them know you value that person and the relationship you have.
“You have been so strong.”
The loss of a loved one is an unbearable burden. Keeping oneself together despite that is an incredibly tough task, and you should acknowledge the strength your loved one has shown to go through that.
“I’m proud of you.”
One of the most comforting things you can tell someone is that you’re proud of them. These words can be very reassuring for your loved one, who is going through such a difficult time.
“I’m going to miss them so much.”
This phrase lets the bereaved know you’re also going through grief and mourning. It lets them know that they’re not alone through this.
“Everyone loved them. They could lighten the energy in a room in an instant.”
It will comfort the bereaved in knowing that those around them treasured the dearly departed. It would mean a lot for them to know that that person meant something to their community.
“Things won’t be the same without them.”
Things really won’t be the same. The surviving loved ones of the departed will have to live with the fact that they’re really gone. This statement further reinforces how important the deceased was.
“I can’t possibly imagine what you’re going through.”
Saying things like “it will be okay” or “you’ll get through this” trivialize the situation your loved one’s going through. Saying this phrase lets them know that it’s okay to go through what they’re going through. This phrase validates that it’s okay to feel whatever they’re feeling.
“I’ll be here to listen to you when you’re ready to talk.”
Some people won’t be very chatty, especially if the passing just happened. They’re still trying to process all the emotions they’re feeling in the moment. Just let them know whenever they’re ready and need someone to talk to, you’ll be there for them. This will go a long way.
“How are you doing?”
Open-ended questions encourage the bereaved to express themselves. Of course, you should expect they won’t be doing too well. Engage them in conversation if you feel like they’re comfortable with it.
“Do you need some space?”
Sometimes, space is the most important thing you can give someone. Too often, we go out of our way to comfort somebody when all they need is space and time alone to manage their emotions freely. Trying too hard to comfort them could be causing more good than harm.
“My heart breaks with you at their loss.”
Death is very rarely an isolated experience. Everybody who interacted with the deceased in some way, shape, or form will feel the effects of death. We all know the saying, “misery loves company.” And having someone to share the grief with can definitely help.
“Your mom lived a long life. She’s leaving behind a beautiful legacy.”
You live your entire life writing your legacy. Comfort the bereaved by reminding them of the beautiful legacy their loved one left for us.
“Nothing I can say can make the pain go away, but I hope you know I’m right here for you.”
While words are powerful, they can only do so much. At the end of the day, they’re not going to take the pain away. As a friend, all you can do is hope that the bereaved can healthily process their emotions and continue. You can help them with that as much as they need it.
“I know you are hurting, and that’s okay.”
Validate all their negative feelings. It’s perfectly okay not to be okay in situations like these. The gravity of these situations calls for these sorts of reactions. It lets them know it’s perfectly natural, and there’s nothing wrong with feeling how they do.
“Take as long as you need.”
Everyone processes grief in their own way, on their own timeline. Some people need more time than others, and that’s also okay. Nobody should have to be rushed into feeling better, and this phrase reiterates that.
“I love you.”
Possibly the simplest thing you can say to a loved one who just lost someone is “I love you.” This phrase is powerful, even all-encompassing in a way. It covers all the bases that you’ll be there for them through everything. It might just be the most powerful saying among all of these.
About The Author
Terrence Tan Ting is an industrial engineer by profession but a full time writer by passion. He loves to write about a wide range of topics from many different industries thanks to his undying curiosity.