We live in a world where there are many ways of communication. When someone you care about has experienced the death of a loved one, reaching out by text can be a wonderful way to let them know that you are thinking of them. Finding the right words can be overwhelming; we are here to help.
Should you text someone who is grieving?
A written acknowledgment can go a long way.
Often times people who are grieving don’t have the emotional energy to talk in person or by phone. A text message lets them know that you are thinking of them, and allows them the space to choose when to contact you.
How do you express grief over text?
The etiquette around texting is dependent on your relationship with the person who has suffered a loss.
It also depends on how well you knew the person who passed.
If it was a professional relationship, or a distant friend, a simple text expressing your condolences can tell them that you are on their mind.
I worked with your mom. She was kind, and always had a smile for everyone. I am thinking of you during this difficult time.
If it is a close friend or family member who has suffered a loss, texts are going to be in addition to in-person support. Often times people are inundated with help before and during the funeral; after they can often feel isolated, and like the world returned to normal without them. Texting during this time reminds them that they, and the person that they have lost, were not forgotten.
Important things to remember with text messages
- Refer to their loved one by name. This will remind them that their person isn’t forgotten.
- Don’t say that you know how they feel. Let them tell you.
- Offer to help. Grocery pickup, babysitting, meal drop-off (even better if it can be frozen), and lawn work are good starts.
- Let them know that if they need to talk you are there to listen.
Don’t stop checking in
The death of a loved one can be very isolating. Sending a text message weekly, then monthly, the yearly on their death anniversary (or birthday, or wedding anniversary) is a thoughtful way to let the person you are caring for know that they, and their loved one, aren’t forgotten.
After the funeral is a great time to offer additional support, like a meal or a listening ear.
I want to check in and let you know that I am thinking of you today. I would love to bring you a meal; is tomorrow a good day to bring one over?
I was going on a walk and I was thinking about how funny your dad was. He always had a joke and knew exactly when to insert the punch line. I am so glad that I knew him.
Keep in mind that the person experiencing a loss may not be ready to talk; and leading up to the funeral, they may be too busy to respond. After the funeral, they are working through their grief process, and may not have the energy to respond. So don’t expect a reply; but if you get one, be sure to follow through. They are reaching out, and you can make a real difference by holding space for them while they are grieving.
What are some comforting words for someone who is grieving? What to say?
Check out these templates to help you craft a nice message.
What to text a coworker, boss, or client who has lost a loved one
I am thinking of you during this difficult time.
I am so sorry that you lost someone close to you. If there is anything you need, don’t hesitate to let me know.
My prayers are with you during this difficult time.
I never met _____, but you spoke of them often. I am truly sorry for your loss, and I am here for you during this painful time.
What to text when someone loses a child
There are no words for your loss. I am here for you if you need anything.
Your child was a bright light in this world. I was lucky to have met them while they were here. Please let me know if there is anything I can do.
I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your child (daughter, son, grandchild). I would love to bring you dinner. Does tomorrow work?
What to text someone who loses a parent
I am so sorry to hear of your mother/father’s passing. She/he must have been very special to have raised someone like you.
I am so sorry to hear of your parent’s passing. Please know that you aren’t alone in this journey.
Your father was such a hard worker. The world is a better place because of him.
Your mother was an inspiration to me. Her nurturing presence will never be forgotten.
Your mother was a powerhouse. I will never forget her strength, and I am thinking of you during this difficult time.
What to text someone who loses a spouse
I don’t know how you feel, but I do want you to know that I am here for you if you need anything.
I knew your (husband/wife). They loved you and spoke of you every day. Please know that they won’t be forgotten.
I am truly sorry to hear of your wife’s passing. I would love to stop by with some groceries, what day works for you?
You have been on my mind; I would love to take your kids for a day this weekend. What are some of their favorite things to do?
What to text someone who lost a loved one due to a long illness
I’m so sorry for everything that you have gone through. I am here if you need me.
I would love to take something off of your to-do list. Can I pick up some groceries or bring over a meal?
Your (husband, child, mother, friend) fought really hard. I was honored to have been a part of their life, and I am thinking of you. I will never forget them.
I am thinking of you and the difficult journey you have been through. Thank you for caring for your loved one during their time of need. I would like to return the favor and care for you; can I take your kids for the afternoon?
Religious things to text to a person who has suffered a loss
IMPORTANT: Make sure that the person you are texting subscribes to the same religion as you. If someone doesn’t believe in your god, quoting him may not be helpful (regardless of your good intentions).
May God hold you during this difficult time. I will be including you and (deceased name) in my thoughts and prayers.
I am sure that your loved one is in heaven right now. May their soul rest in peace.
I am looking forward to seeing (name) in heaven. May god bring you peace and ease until you are reunited with them as well.