Ideas on What to Write When Someone Passes

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When someone you know passes on, regardless of age, you can’t help but think about how the death affects the family and friends of the deceased. When a close friend or relative dies, you might struggle to come up with words that will bring comfort to those closest to her. When sending a sympathy card, or composing a few paragraphs to say at a memorial service, find appropriate words that honor the life of the one who passed.

Sympathy Cards when an Adult Passes

Some people carefully select a sympathy card that conveys how they feel and simply sign their names at the bottom. In many cases, though, people feel they should add a personal note. Suitable phrases include, “Our thoughts are with you at this most difficult time,” “Please know that we are here if you need us” and “Bill was a wonderful man. You are in our thoughts and prayers.” If you barely knew the deceased, you can still offer comfort to family. Writing things like “Our deepest sympathies are with you” and “We are sorry for your loss. Our prayers are with you” are appropriate.

Sympathy Cards when a Child Passes

It’s terribly difficult to find the right words to say when a child dies. No matter the circumstances of the death, words that comfort parents and family often seem beyond reach. Even if the child was very sick or suffering, avoid phrases like, “She’s in a better place now,” “It was for the best” or “You can have more children.” You might consider including a few lines from a poem, or you can just be honest and write what is in your heart such as what you remember about the child or things that the child did or said that you found touching. Grieving family members will appreciate your honesty rather than judge your composition skills.

What to Write for a Eulogy

Keep in mind while writing your words down that a eulogy is a tribute to the person who died. Include past achievements and focus on things that were a source of pride for the deceased; for example, talk about his spouse, children and grandchildren. Write about the positive things of his life and leave out the negative. Include a few touching remembrances that will make others chuckle because memorials aren’t only about sadness and saying goodbye; they are also about remembering the humorous and wonderful times.


One of the biggest fears that survivors have is that others will forget their loved one. When writing a note or speaking about the deceased, don’t be afraid to mention her by name. Reading or hearing her name will bring comfort to loved ones in realizing that others still remember and think of her often.