Writing guide: Condolence message for coworker (+ examples)

January 08, 2023  •  Reading Time: 7 min.

Are you looking for the right words because you want to express your condolences to a coworker?

A condolence message is a thoughtful gesture that is part of good business etiquette. By sending a personal note of condolence, you acknowledge the loss of another person and show that they are appreciated in their workplace. Condolences are often sent by the entire team, but they can also come from individuals, especially if you work closely with the affected employee.

That’s why in this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about condolence messages at work. We’ll first go into more detail about why a condolence message or simply some kind words are important in times of grief (even if you don’t know the colleague that well), and subsequently we also have helpful example messages you can send to a coworker.

📝 Note: We’ve included some samples that you and your team can send to the whole family when a colleague in your company has passed away as well.

What are sympathy messages?

These are thoughtful messages to send to someone who is grieving.

They serve as expressions of your emotional support. These messages are typically written to mourners, such as those who have lost a parent or a spouse.

Should you send a condolence message to a grieving coworker?

When a colleague loses a family member, partner or friend, it can be a truly upsetting time.

So, if an employee has suffered a loss or a colleague has passed away, you can acknowledge that bereavement by writing a sincere condolence note. This can indeed be very comforting during the grieving process. After all, just acknowledging the pain may create a sense of community in the workplace and can provide the emotional support one may need.

Condolences from coworkers can thus foster a compassionate work environment.

📝 Note: You don’t have to write a page-long letter (unless you want to), but a business sympathy card can be brief; three or four lines are usually enough.

Team at work discussing about condolence message they are sending together

21 examples of short condolence messages to send a coworker

We’ve put together 21 simple condolence messages you can send to an employee or their family members.

💡 Tip: Choose the sympathy message examples that best fit the individual situation in your office. You can also use more than one of the following sympathy messages and tailor them to the respective person.

Examples of condolence messages written by the entire team

  1. “We want to express our appreciation for you in this time of loss. Please know that our caring thoughts are with you in every act of support and care because we deeply understand your pain.”
  2. “All of your work family are sending their condolences and best wishes to you and your family. Know that many of us are thinking of you during this difficult time. We wish you courage.”
  3. “You and your family are in our prayers. In this difficult time, we wish you and your family strength and comfort.”
  4. “We are all so very sorry for your loss. May your [mother’s] soul rest in peace.”
  5. “You have our full support, so take as much time as you need. The entire team sends its sincere condolences during this trying time.”
  6. “With the deepest sympathy, from all of us.”
  7. “Sincere sympathy from all of us. We wish you and your family courage in this time of grief.”

Examples of condolence messages written by a single person

  1. “All of my thoughts and prayers are with you today.”
  2. “As you mourn the loss of your [father], I send my condolences to you and your family.”
  3. “My sincere condolences are with you. Although I can’t begin to know what you’re going through, please know that you have my most heartfelt sympathies.”
  4. “I was incredibly sorry to hear of your [mother’s] passing. Please accept my sincere sympathies.”
  5. “My heartfelt condolences go out to you and your beautiful family for losing such an amazing person.”
  6. “You and your family have my deepest condolences. May your [father’s] soul rest in peace.”
  7. “I am thinking about you and your entire family.”

Examples of condolence messages addressed to a coworker’s family

  1. “Tragically, this beautiful soul has left us. To all of us here, they were such an amazing person. We are sending the grieving family peace and our love. May the dearly departed rest in peace. We are so sorry for your loss.”
  2. “Our sincere condolences for your loss. [Name of deceased] was a wonderful friend and exceptional human being who will be sorely missed. Please just know that you have our heartfelt condolences; words cannot express how sorry we are for your loss.”
  3. “We are sorry to hear of your loss. He was a dear friend, a kind soul, and simply a great person. Please accept our deepest sympathies on behalf of the entire team who worked with him every day.”
  4. “We are all sending you positive thoughts, sincere prayers, and our warmest condolences.”
  5. “Wishing you strength to face the days ahead and loving memories to cherish always.”
  6. “We are sending all our love to the grieving family.”
  7. “Please accept our well-wishes and know that as the loved ones of such a wonderful person, you are in our thoughts and prayers.”

Example of a full condolence message (sympathy card, email or letter)

Here is an example that offers both a heartfelt message and encouragement.

Male hand holding pen to write sympathy message for a coworker

Dear Jada,

I was deeply saddened to learn of your loss.

Know that my thoughts are with you during this difficult time. I would like to wish you comfort in this time of sorrow, and my heartfelt condolences go out to you and your family. May the happy memories of your sister help bring you some comfort in this trying time.

Please do not hesitate to call me if there is anything I can do to help. Don’t worry about your ongoing projects right now; the team is taking care of your workload.

With heartfelt sympathy,

Mick

💡 Tip: Let these sympathy messages inspire you to write your own words and customize your own condolence card or sympathy gift with these sentiments.

📝 Note: You can also write a sweet message on the card that accompanies a bouquet of flowers if you just want to send flowers instead of a sympathy card.

Sympathy message on a card that can be sent to a coworker or their family member

Sympathy messages at work – conclusion & tips

When someone reaches out and expresses their sincere sympathy after a loss, it can be deeply meaningful to the grieving person.

When appropriate, sending condolence messages to coworkers can represent your own core values, promote an empathetic work environment and help maintain an encouraging company culture.

Since it can be challenging to find the appropriate words to express sympathy for another person’s loss, we’ve gathered a few more ideas to bear in mind when writing your message:

  • Don’t go into specifics concerning the deceased’s cause of death.
  • Do not compare your loss with that of the other person.
  • Don’t offer too much well-intentioned advice.
  • Don’t say something like, “I know precisely how you feel.”
  • Make sure to write in a tone that is utterly courteous.
  • When in doubt, pay more attention to your coworker than to the deceased in your message.

Practicing empathy and emotional intelligence at work is truly essential in all work settings. And as you can see, this means not only standing by your colleagues in times of success and happiness, but also in challenging times, such as when they are going through a mentally trying time because a loved one has just passed away.

Colleagues hugging and showing their compassion

Condolence message for coworker – FAQ

What do you write in a sympathy card?

Sympathy messages should be expressing your heartfelt condolences. So instead of simply saying “Sorry for your loss,” you can also write, “I am truly sorry to hear of the loss of your […]. Please accept my deepest sympathies on the painful loss of such a wonderful person.”

How do you express your deepest condolences?

To express your deepest sympathies, you can write the following sentiments: “Please accept my condolences on the passing of your […].”; “I am so sorry for your loss.”; “All of my thoughts and prayers are with you today.”; “Please accept my deepest sympathies.”

How can you offer condolences to a colleague?

When sending condolences to a coworker, you can of course also express your deepest sympathy in an emotional way: “I am sorry you have to go through such a trying time following the passing of […]. I’m thinking of you and hoping you have fond memories to lean on. At this time, please accept my deepest condolences.”