48 Sympathy Messages for Colleagues

Thứ sáu - 26/04/2024 23:11
Try these messages to express condolences to a grieving coworker or manager, or the family of a deceased colleague When someone suffers a loss, offering condolences can give them a sense of comfort. But what if that person is a coworker?...
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When someone suffers a loss, offering condolences can give them a sense of comfort. But what if that person is a coworker? As you might expect, expressing sympathy in a professional relationship is both important and meaningful—and it’s not difficult if you know what to say. We’ve put together a list of condolence messages to say to a colleague, whether they’ve lost a spouse, parent, extended family member, or even their job. We’ve also included email templates for condolence messages. Keep reading to find the perfect way to express condolences to your coworker.

Section 1 of 9:

From the Whole Team or Company

  1. Step 1 Please accept our sincere condolences.
    Use this in a sympathy card, letter, or any context where you want to come across as more formal. Sometimes, formality is appropriate, especially in professional relationships.
    • Mention your sadness by adding “The whole team is heartbroken for your loss.”
  2. 2
    We wish you strength and healing during this difficult time. Support your colleague with this kindhearted message. They may not feel strong yet, and they may not be fully healed. But they’ll know their coworkers are thinking about them, and that’s what matters.
    • Include this towards the end of an email or sympathy card.
  3. 3
    Please send our best wishes to your family. Acknowledge that their loss is felt by many. After all, when someone passes away, the resulting grief often ripples through families and communities.
    • They’ll appreciate this gesture, even if their colleagues haven’t met their family members.
  4. 4
    You can count on us to take care of things here for now. Give them peace of mind by taking the burden of work off their shoulders. They’ll be grateful for the help, especially when they go back to work down the line.[1]
    • Add “We hope you take this time to heal” to give them space to recover.
    • Avoid questions such as “Is there any way we can make things easier when you get back?” Instead, offer to help or encourage them to reach out to the team when needed.
  5. 5
    Focus on yourself and your family for now. Encourage them to take care of their own needs, and their family’s, before thinking about work. This also gives them time to address administrative headaches that come with death, like planning a funeral or managing a deceased relative’s estate.
    • If they’re taking a specific amount of bereavement time, you can mention that time in your message. For instance: “Take the next two weeks to focus on yourself and your family.”
  6. Step 6 We’ll be here for you when you return.
    Assure them that their coworkers will help them transition back to work, when the time comes. Going back to “normal” is difficult after a major loss, but having support can make that transition easier.
    • If you’re not sure when they’ll be returning to work, you can modify it: “When you’re ready to return, we’ll be here for you.”
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Section 2 of 9:

General Sympathy Messages for Any Loss

  1. Step 1 I’m so sorry to hear of your loss.
    Use this simple message to express your sympathy to any colleague who has suffered a loss. You can use it regardless of how well you know your coworker or the person who passed away.
    • This line can be said in person at a funeral or wake, or in a written message.
  2. 2
    My deepest sympathies to you and your family. Show them you’re keeping their whole family in your thoughts. Mention specific family members if you know them. For instance, if someone has lost a spouse, you can say “My deepest sympathies to you and your children.”
    • Mention people by name when possible. For example, if their children’s names are Sara and Brian, you could say “My deepest sympathies to you, Sara, and Brian.”
  3. 3
    My heart goes out to you. Write this in an office sympathy card or condolence message. It’s short, straightforward, and sincere—exactly the kind of note your coworker might appreciate, especially if it’s written alongside messages from other colleagues.
    • You can also say “My heart goes out to your family.”
  4. 4
    I have no words. I’m so, so sorry. Don’t be afraid to admit when words fail you. Sometimes, a loss is just too great to adequately express. By acknowledging this, you’re acknowledging the enormity of what has happened.
    • Don’t be afraid of silence, either. Sometimes, a grieving person simply needs to feel seen and heard.
  5. 5
    I’ll be here for you if you need anything. Let them know you’ll still be thinking about them after the wake or funeral. Grieving people may feel isolated and lonely in the months following a loss, once the phone calls and sympathy cards stop. Remind them that you’ll still be there to help in the future.[2]
    • Reach out to them again in a few weeks or months after the funeral, if you feel it’s appropriate. A quick check-in email or phone call could be greatly appreciated.
  6. Step 6 If there’s any way I can help when you get back, let me know.
    Assure them they’ll have your personal support when they return to work. Having a trusted colleague to lean on can be incredibly helpful to someone recovering from a loss.[3]
    • If you have a good working relationship with them, offer to help with specific projects or tasks.
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Section 3 of 9:

Loss of a Parent

  1. Step 1 I’m so saddened to learn that your mother/father has passed.
    Use this formal message in an email, card, or other written note. It’s the perfect tone if you want to be sincere, but keep things professional.
    • If their parent died suddenly, tweak the message accordingly: “I’m so saddened to learn of your mother’s unexpected passing.”
  2. 2
    I’m devastated to hear of your mother’s/father’s tragic passing. Opt for this sort of message if their parent’s death was especially tragic or traumatizing. Losing a parent to an accident or severe illness is especially painful, and your colleague may appreciate you acknowledging that pain.
    • Avoid mentioning the specific way someone died, especially if the death was violent or via suicide.
    • Instead, you can acknowledge the circumstances by adding “I’m shocked and heartbroken for your family.”
  3. 3
    My deepest condolences for the death of your mom/dad. Choose a more informal tone like this if you know your coworker well. Using a personal touch means a lot when it comes from a colleague you’ve worked with for years.
    • If your coworker is a very close friend, you can be even more informal: “I’m so sorry to hear about your dad.” “I heard about your mom’s passing. I’m so sorry.”
  4. 4
    As someone who has lost a parent, I feel for you, deeply. Show them that you truly understand how they feel. If you’ve lost a parent, you have special insight into their situation. Sharing that insight allows you to connect with them on a more genuine level.
    • If you lost your parent recently, you can mention that as well: “Having lost my mother just last year, I truly feel your pain”
  5. 5
    May you and your siblings find peace during this difficult time. Acknowledge that their loss isn’t theirs alone. Siblings who lose a parent experience grief together. This can be especially challenging, depending on the relationships they have with their siblings.
    • When possible, be specific: “May you and your brother find peace during this difficult time” or “May you and your sisters find peace.”
  6. Step 6 My condolences to your children as well, for the loss of their grandparent.
    Use this to acknowledge the grief that your coworker’s kids also feel. Losing a grandparent can be devastating, especially for young children.
    • If you know their children by name, mention them: “My condolences to Jason and Michael for the loss of their grandmother, too.”
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Section 4 of 9:

Loss of a Spouse or Partner

  1. Step 1 I’m so sorry to hear that your spouse has passed away.
    Use this message if you didn’t know your coworker’s spouse personally. You can also customize it for the gender of the spouse, if you like.
    • For instance, “I’m so so sorry to hear that your husband has passed away.”
  2. 2
    My condolences for the death of your beloved partner. Choose this if your coworker wasn’t married to their romantic partner. Use words like “beloved” or “wonderful” to make it clear that their partner was no less important to them than a married spouse.
    • Personalize the message by mentioning their partner’s name: “My condolences for the death of your beloved partner, David.”
  3. 3
    You and your children are in my thoughts. Express your sympathy to their children for the loss of their parent. It’s a kind gesture, and your coworker’s kids may appreciate it as well, whether they’re adults or still very young.[4]
    • If you know their children and see them at the wake or funeral, you can offer condolences to them directly.
  4. 4
    Having lost my own spouse, I understand the pain you’re feeling. Share your experience to show they’re not alone. If you’ve lost a spouse, you can empathize with your coworker on a level that others can’t.
    • If your spouse passed away under similar circumstances, you can acknowledge that too.
    • For example, you could say: “Having also lost my wife to cancer, I know the pain you’re feeling.”
  5. 5
    I’m so grateful to have met your spouse before they passed. Mention a time you met their spouse, such as at a work event. You can even mention a fond memory of their spouse, if you have one to share.
    • You could say, “I’m so grateful to have met Simon at last year’s company party. He was such a sweet, funny guy. I’ll remember him fondly.”
  6. Step 6 Your spouse was a lovely person and I’ll miss them.
    Use this message if you knew their spouse and were close to them. Sometimes, a coworker’s spouse is a frequent guest at company events, parties, and after-work gatherings. Mentioning this makes your message more personal.
    • If you saw them on specific occasions, you can mention those as well: “Your husband was the life of every holiday party.” “We always enjoyed having your wife join us at company picnics.”
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Section 5 of 9:

Loss of a Sibling, Close Relative, or Other Family Member

  1. Step 1 My sympathies for the loss of your sister/brother.
    Write this in a note, card, or email to your coworker. It’s perfect for a formal message like that. As always, you can mention their sibling by name if you knew them personally.
    • For instance, “My sympathies for the loss of your brother, David.”
  2. 2
    I know the pain of losing a sibling, and nothing I say can ease that pain. Show them you understand what they’re going through. If you’ve lost a sibling, you know how painful it can be. Sharing that pain can be comforting to someone in a time of grief.
    • Saying “Nothing I say can ease that pain” may seem blunt, but some people may find it very sincere.
  3. 3
    I’m devastated to hear of your son/daughter’s passing. Say this when a coworker has lost a child. Always use their child’s name if you knew the child personally, or if your coworker ever mentioned their child by name.
    • For example: “I’m devastated to hear of Adam’s passing.” “I’m heartbroken to learn that your daughter, Emily, has passed away.”
    • If you have children of your own, you can add “As a parent, my heart weeps for your loss.”
    • Remember that losing a child is especially devastating, whether the child was young or fully grown.
  4. 4
    Having lost my son/daughter, I know the agony you’re feeling. Use this message to connect with them in a way few people can. If you have lost a child, and your coworker has just lost theirs, your words of condolence carry a special weight.
    • If you lost your child under similar circumstances, such as due to an illness, you can mention that too: “Having lost my son to cancer, I know the agony you’re feeling.”
  5. 5
    My heart aches for you and your family. Express sympathy for their family’s pain, too. Losing a sibling may mean that their children have lost an aunt or uncle, or their nieces or nephews have lost a parent. By acknowledging this, you acknowledge the full scope of their grief.
    • You can say this to your coworker’s relatives as well, if you meet them during the wake or funeral.
  6. Step 6 I’m so sorry for your family’s loss.
    Say this to your coworker and their relatives at a wake or funeral. It’s simple, clear, and appropriate for any kind of loss. You can also write it in a card or sympathy email.
    • If you’re using this in a written note, you can modify it to include the family’s name: “My condolences to the entire Smith family for this terrible loss.”
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Section 6 of 9:

Religious and Spiritual Messages

  1. Step 1 You and your family are in my prayers.
    Comfort them with a promise that you’ll ask God to watch over them. If they share your faith, they’ll almost certainly appreciate it.
    • If they’re not religious or are of a different faith, they may still feel grateful for the gesture.
  2. 2
    May God give you strength in the face of this loss. Encourage them to turn to God for support. Depending on their specific faith, they may find solace and healing through their relationship with God.
    • Feel free to adjust the wording to match their faith, when appropriate. For instance, you could say, “May Allah give you strength” or “May Jesus give you strength.”
  3. 3
    They’ll be waiting for you in Heaven. Assure them that they’ll see their loved one again someday. This can be hugely comforting to someone who believes in Heaven and the afterlife.
    • You can even add that their loved one is waiting in Heaven with other deceased relatives.
  4. 4
    May your faith guide you during this painful time. Use this for any religious or spiritual person who has suffered a loss. For instance, someone who practices Buddhism may turn towards their faith for healing, even if they don’t pray to any particular god.
    • Remember that some non-religious people may still be spiritual, and may appreciate this sort of message.
  5. 5
    May God watch over you and your loved ones. Remind them of the importance of God in their life during this difficult period. They may believe that God’s presence could heal and reassure them, and help them move forward.
    • Depending on your faith, you could also say “May Christ watch over you,” “May Jesus watch over you,” or “May Allah watch over you.”
  6. Step 6 My church is open to you in this time of need.
    Invite them into your house of worship if you feel it would bring them comfort. This is an especially kind gesture if you and your coworker share the same faith or beliefs, though it may still be appreciated by someone of a different faith.
    • If you belong to the same local house of worship, you can say “You know our church is open to you in this time of need.”
    • Avoid extending such an invitation if your own religious beliefs conflict with theirs.
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Section 7 of 9:

When a Coworker has Passed Away

  1. Step 1 My colleagues and I offer our deepest sympathies.
    Write this in a message to your deceased coworker’s loved ones. You can even personalize it by naming specific colleagues, or by mentioning the company as a whole. For example:
    • “My colleagues, Jose, Tim, and I offer our deepest sympathies.
    • “On behalf of the entire XYZ Inc. team, we offer our deepest sympathies.”
  2. 2
    They taught me so much, and I’m heartbroken that they’re gone. Acknowledge if the coworker who died was a mentor, manager, or someone you looked up to. You can also tweak the message to reflect the specific working relationship:
    • “Michael taught me how to be a good manager.”
    • “Stephanie was a role model to me when I first joined the company.”
  3. 3
    They were such a wonderful colleague and I’ll miss them terribly. Express any positive feelings you had about them. You can keep it general, or you can be as specific as you like.
    • “Adam had a great sense of humor.”
    • “Emily was the most hardworking person I’ve ever known.”
  4. 4
    I’m shocked by their passing. They were a friend to all of us. Show that their passing is truly a loss for you and your colleagues. Add details about their personality to make the message more personal, or talk about their importance to the team.[5]
    • “Her creativity and energy were infectious. She’ll be sorely missed.”
    • “We’ll always remember his funny stories and witty jokes.”
  5. Step 5 We’ve lost a talented leader and role model.
    Choose this option when the person who died was a manager, executive, or had some other leadership role. Mention their specific position and talents to give the message a more personal touch:
    • “He was a beloved board member and a natural leader.”
    • “She was a fantastic director and a true visionary.”
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Section 8 of 9:

Condolences for When a Coworker Loses their Job

  1. Step 1 I’m so sorry to see you go under these circumstances.
    Make it clear that you aren’t happy about the company’s decision to terminate them. If they were fired, avoid saying so directly.
    • If they’re being laid off, you can acknowledge that as well: “I’m so sorry to see you impacted by these cutbacks.”
  2. 2
    You were a fantastic member of the team. We’ll miss you. Tell them that they were a valued and respected colleague. While they may be out of a job, it may be comforting to know that their closest coworkers appreciated their contribution to the team.
    • Mention their position, if you like: “You’re a fantastic programmer.” “You’re an excellent tutor.”
  3. 3
    Having been in your situation, I know the pain. Remind them that many people get laid off or fired over the course of their careers. They aren’t alone, and they’ll bounce back from this crisis one way or another. Add details about your own experience if you like:
    • “I was laid off three times in my first five years as a programmer, so I know the pain.”
    • “I was fired from my first publishing job. It hurt a lot, but I bounced back, and you will too.”
  4. 4
    It was a pleasure working with you, and I hope our paths cross again. Keep your professional connection with them intact, even if you don’t work together anymore. Add your contact information or encourage them to add you to LinkedIn or other social media:
    • “I’d love to stay in touch. Add me on LinkedIn.”
    • “Follow me on Instagram and let me know how you’re doing. I’ll be sure to send gig opportunities your way.”
  5. Step 5 Please let me know if I can help during this transition.
    Offer them support as they begin looking for work. Put them in touch with other employers, especially if you have contacts at other organizations. Help them wrap up their projects before their last day.
    • Avoid being pushy. If they decline your help, accept their answer and let them know you’re available if they change their mind.
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Section 9 of 9:

Example Sympathy Emails

  1. Step 1 From the whole team/office:
    Dear Emily,We are so saddened to hear about your mom’s passing. Please accept our condolences for your loss.We know this is a difficult time for you and your family. Please take as much time as you need before returning to the office. Don’t worry about your workload. The team will handle everything until you get back.Wish sympathy,Mike Miazatti, Angela Smith, and the rest of the marketing team
  2. Step 2 From one colleague to another:
    Dear Michael,I am writing to offer my heartfelt condolences for the passing of your wife, Maria. My thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time.Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help. Don’t worry about your projects here at the office. The rest of the team and I will handle everything while you’re gone. In the meantime, I hope you’ll find healing and peace.With deepest sympathy,Dana Yoshizuki
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