Caring Words of Sympathy for the Loss of a Mother

Published February 7, 2020
At the Funeral

Knowing what to say to someone who has just lost their mother may feel daunting. You may feel nervous to say the wrong thing and exacerbate the situation.

Finding the Right Words to Say to Someone in Mourning

Whether you opt to send a sympathy card, a caring gift, or offer kind words, there are always meaningful ways you can show the person in mourning that you support them during this time. The following sayings were written by the author of this article. Although they are written for the loss of a mother, many could also be adjusted to condolences on the death of a father, if needed.

What to Write in a Sympathy Card

Sending a sympathy card is a sweet way to show the person in mourning that you are there for them and are thinking of them. You can say:

  • Your mother's kindness and generosity of spirit were overwhelming. She will certainly be missed.
  • Thinking about you and sending lots of love during this difficult time.
  • I love you and am always here for you.
  • She was an amazing woman with the kindest heart and I'm thinking of you.
  • Please don't hesitate to ask for anything at all during this time. It's my pleasure to help out in any way possible.
  • I'm so grateful that I knew your mother. She was the most wonderful person.
  • I can imagine how difficult this time may be for you. I want you to know that your mother was amazing and I know how much she loved you.
  • Your mom always lit up the room when she entered it. That same light shines on in you. My biggest condolences for your loss.
  • Your mom's friendship meant the world to me. She will be missed every day. I am here to support you during this time.
  • Feelings of grief ebb and flow. I will be here for you during it all with open arms.
  • Your mother was a gift to this world and her compassion will carry on through you. She will be deeply missed.
  • Losing someone so special can feel incredibly overwhelming. I am sending love to you and your family during this trying time.
  • Your mother had the most incredible ability to connect with anyone who crossed her path. Her beautiful presence will be missed.
woman hugging girl on the beach

What to Say to Someone During a Planned Visit

Planned visits offer you a chance to prepare what you're going to say to someone who is grieving the loss of their mother. Because planned visits are more likely to be with closer friends or relatives, you can connect on a deeper level. You may say:

  • Your mother's kind nature was a joy to witness. I see that same kindness in you and know that she'd be proud of how you're moving through this difficult time.
  • No matter how you feel or what you're going through, I am here to walk alongside you as you process this loss.
  • I can only imagine how much you miss your mom. I miss her so much too. What happened was devastating and I'm here for you in any way you need.
  • Losing a mother can feel as if the wind was knocked out of you. Nothing I can say or do can remove what you're experiencing right now, but I do know you are strong and she would be so very proud of you.
  • I see so much of your mom in you and know that losing her was tremendously devastating. I'd love to help you out over the next few weeks. Is there anything I can cook or bring you?
  • I know how close you were to your mom. No matter what you need, you can count on me.
  • Your mom had a way of making everyone feel so loved. You have that same gift and it's been incredible to see that carried on.
  • I know that you and your mom were best friends. I know I can never replace the incredible person she was, but I am always here for you.
  • Experiencing a loss this profound can take quite a bit of time to move through. No matter what you're feeling or need, I've got your back.
  • We will always remember your amazing mama. Be kind with yourself during this time and know that I will be here for you.
two generations women embracing

What to Say When You Run in to Someone in Public

When you run into someone in public, you'll need to suss out the situation before saying anything to them right away. If you get any signs of them not wanting to chat, try not to take it personally. They may just not be ready to connect, or aren't comfortable doing so in public in that moment. If they approach you, or give you signs of openness such as facing you, moving towards you, smiling, or beginning to chat with you, you can consider saying:

  • I just wanted to let you know how sorry I am to hear about your loss. Would you mind if I dropped off some dinner for you later?
  • I heard about your mom passing away and want to let you know that I am absolutely able to help out in any way possible. If you need help with your kids or pets, please count on me.
  • I was so shocked to hear of your mother passing. I know how special she was to you. I am so sorry for your loss.
  • I can't believe she passed away. How are you doing? Is there anything I can do for you?
  • My condolences for your loss. I'd love to have you over for dinner if you feel up for it. If not, may I bring something over?
  • I know that your mom went through a lot and fought so hard. I am so saddened to hear of her passing.
  • I know there's nothing I can really say to make you feel any differently, but know that if there's anything at all that you need, I am here for you.
  • Do you mind if I mention your mom? She was such an incredible person and will certainly be missed by many.
  • I am at a loss for words regarding your mom's passing. Would it be okay if I checked in with you later to see how you're doing?

Religious Words of Comfort For Someone Grieving

Mentioning religious words of comfort can feel soothing and thoughtful to those in mourning. Before bringing up anything religious, it's always best to think abut who is receiving this information and whether they are religious. You can say:

  • I know your mom is watching over you and protecting you. Your mom's spirit will continue to guide you just as she did when she was here.
  • During the ups and downs of life, I hope you take a bit of comfort knowing that your mom will always be with you.
  • Heaven became a little brighter when your mom passed away.
  • God will continue to protect you and will watch over your mother in heaven.
  • I felt so blessed to know your mom and know that her spirit will remain with you.
  • Your beautiful mother is now an angel, watching over you, protecting you, and guiding you with love.
mom teaching her young son to walk

What to Say to an Acquaintance in Mourning

If an acquaintance of yours has lost their mother, you can definitely pass along your condolences. Just be mindful of how close you are to this person when speaking with them. You can say:

  • I am terribly sorry to hear about your loss and am here if you need anything.
  • I know how hard it is to lose someone you love and I'm here for you.
  • I was saddened to hear of your loss of your mother.
  • My condolences for your loss. I know from what you told me that your mom was a really special person.
  • I know we don't know each other super well, but I've experienced losing a mother as well if you ever want to talk.
  • My heart breaks knowing that you've lost your mom. Is there anything I can do for you?

What to Say to Someone Grieving the Loss of Their Estranged Mother

Regardless of what type of relationship was had, it can still feel overwhelming to lose a mother. If your friend or family member loses their mother who they were not close with, or had a challenging relationship with, you can consider saying:

  • I know your relationship with your mom wasn't what you had hoped it would be, and I am here for you if you would like to talk about her passing.
  • I am so sorry for your loss. I know that you two weren't on speaking terms so this may feel confusing to go through. I am always here to chat if you want to process what you're feeling.
  • I understand what it's like to lose someone who you had a strained relationship with. It can come with its share of ups and downs. Know that I am here for you.
  • I know this loss may feel confusing or strange to experience. Please let me know if there's anything I can do for you.
  • Please let me know if you'd like to talk about your mother passing. Whether you feel a ton of emotions or feel nothing, I am here to listen non-judgementally.
  • This may be a difficult time for you. I am always here to lend a hand or offer a shoulder to cry on.

When to Send Sympathy Cards or Gifts

Ideally sympathy cards should be sent as soon as you possibly can. This shows the individual in mourning that you are thinking of them during this difficult time.

Being Supportive

The mourning process has its ups and downs and there is no set way that one person will go through it. The best way to be there for your friend, family member, or acquaintance is to offer kind, non-judgmental words from your heart. Here are some more ways how to say "I'm sorry for your loss".

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Caring Words of Sympathy for the Loss of a Mother