When a friend or family member is going through a major loss, it's natural to struggle to find the right words. Even though it can feel extremely difficult to come up with what to say to someone who lost a child, you've got this. We've got lots of tips to help.
It all comes down to understanding what's appropriate to say and what not to say to a grieving parent. Focusing on empathy and compassion can help you find the right words to support them.
Specific Things to Say to Someone Who Lost a Child
The most comforting words for a mother who has lost a son, a dad who has lost a daughter, or anyone who is grieving a child are words of sharing their burden. If your friend or family member recently lost a child, there are a few ways you can make them feel less alone with this profound loss:
- Offer genuine support: "I love you and am here for you."
- Acknowledge when you don't know what to say: "I don't have words to fully express just how sorry I am to hear about your loss."
- Be there for them: "I'm here for you if you ever want to talk."
- Offer continuous support: "May I call or text to check in with you later?"
- Offer practical help: "May I bring by some dinner for you tonight?"
Although it can be uncomfortable, start by thinking about what you would need and how you would feel in this terrible situation. If they're coming from a place of empathy, the words you say will be perfect.
What to Say to Someone Who Lost Their Son
It's difficult to know what to say to a grieving mother or father, but it can help to have some examples of sympathy messages for the loss of a son:
- Your son had such an incredible soul, and words can't describe how unfair this is. I am here for you at any time, day or night.
- Your son was absolutely amazing, and I feel so grateful to have met him. I love you so much and am here to support you. May I check in with you later today to see if you need anything?
- Words can't describe how much I feel for you. Know that I am here for you during this time. If you're comfortable with me doing so, may I drop off some dinner for you this week?
What to Say to Someone Who Lost Their Daughter
Losing a daughter can be equally devastating. If you're struggling for the right words, these examples of sympathy messages for someone who lost their daughter may help inspire you:
- Your daughter had the most incredible spirit and will be greatly missed by all who knew her. Know that I am here for you if you ever want to talk. I love you. May I check in with you later?
- Your daughter was incredibly special, and I feel so lucky to have known her. I love you so much and am available to help with anything you need at any point. If you're okay with it, may I bring over some groceries for you?
- I feel so honored to have known your daughter. I am here for you during this time and would like to help out in any way possible.
Things to Say to a Parent Grieving a Non-Binary Child
Using the proper pronouns in your sympathy message can mean a lot to parent who has lost a non-binary child. These examples can inspire you to find the perfect words:
- I was so sorry to hear about the loss of your child. They were an amazing person. I'm here if you need someone to listen.
- You were a wonderful parent to Sawyer. They clearly adored you. I'm so sorry you're going through this right now.
- I was so proud to know your kid and get a chance to spend time with them. I'll be checking in over the coming days and weeks, but please call me if you want to talk.
Although the loss of a child is terrible for both parents, people often wonder what to say to a grieving mother in particular. If you're close, start by honoring her relationship with her child and telling her she was a good mother. Follow up with offers of help and support.
What to Say to Someone Who Lost Their Baby
Losing a baby is impossibly difficult. If your friend or family member lost a baby, you can say some of these things:
- I am beyond sorry to hear of the loss of (insert deceased baby's name). I want to help in any way you'd like. Let me know if you're comfortable with me coming over and helping out with laundry or any other chores you have. I love you so much.
- I'm here for you and thinking of you. What would be most helpful for you? May I bring over some groceries for you later or help watch (insert names of any other children and/or pets)? I'd love to give you a little breather if possible.
- While I can't say anything to take away what you may be feeling, know that I love you so much and will be here for you at any time. May I call or text to check in with you later?
What to Say to Someone Who Lost a Child to Drugs
If your friend or family member had a child pass away due to drug-related reasons, it's really difficult to know how to express your condolences. The thing is, you don't have to directly address the reason their child is gone. You can just show you care with messages like these:
- I was beyond saddened to hear of the loss of (insert child's name). I just wanted to check in and see how you are doing today. Know that I am thinking of you and am here for you if you want to talk.
- I am truly so sorry to hear of your loss. I am here to support you during this time. Would you be okay with me dropping off some dinner for you this week?
Things to Say to Someone Who Lost a Child Suddenly
If your friend or family member lost a child suddenly, it can feel shocking for everyone. Words may not come easily, but these are some to use as a starting point:
- Words cannot express how wholeheartedly devastated I am to hear of the loss of (insert child's name). Know that I will be here for you for anything you need. Are there some ways I can help you simplify your to-do list so you can take some time for yourself?
- I am so, so sorry to hear of the loss of (insert child's name). I love you so much and am here to support you. May I help you out with groceries, pet care, chores? Please let me know- I truly am available at any time to help you.
What Do You Write in a Sympathy Card for Someone Who Lost a Child?
Sending a sympathy card to a parent or parents who have lost a child is a thoughtful gesture. You can consider saying things like this:
- Sending your condolences: "I am so sorry to hear of the loss of (insert child's name).
- Offering a short anecdote or observation: "(Insert child's name) had such a beautiful soul and I feel so lucky to have spent time with them."
- Offering support: "I am here for you and am thinking of you."
- Signing off in a considerate way: "Sending all of my love."
What Not to Say to a Grieving Parent
Even though you're coming from a place of love and support, it's possible to say the wrong thing. In general, it's best to avoid these things:
- Making your connection about you: "I lost a loved one too."
- Assuming you understand what they are experiencing: "I totally get how you feel."
- Isolating them: "I can't imagine what you're going through right now."
- Bringing up anything religious unless they have shared their beliefs openly with you: "This was all in God's plan."
- Offering unsolicited advice: "You should..."
Words of Comfort for the Loss of a Child
If you know someone who lost a family member, especially a child, offer genuine condolences, check in with them, and offer to help out with anything they may need if you're able to. You may choose to send a sympathy card, a gift, or call or text them to connect.
While it may feel difficult to come up with what to say to a grieving parent, know that your heartfelt message may be incredibly meaningful for the parent or parents receiving it. If you haven't found just the right message to share, there are some more examples of what to say other than sorry for your loss and how to comfort someone over text.