How to Respond to Condolences? or “I’m Sorry for Your Loss”

Responding to condolences can be challenging due to the pain of loss you’re experiencing at that moment. How to respond to “sorry for your loss”? How to respond to condolences?

The most straightforward response to condolences is to say thank you. Some longer responses to condolences are as follows: 

  • Thank you for your kindness and sympathy. 
  • Thank you for your support during this difficult time. 
  • We sincerely appreciate your prayers and thoughts.
  • Thank you for your expressions of sympathy.
  • Thank you for your support and prayers.

There are numerous ways to express your gratitude and appreciation for condolences. The response you choose depends on the person you are responding to and how you feel.

Read on to learn more about how you can respond to condolences or when someone says, “I’m sorry for your loss.”

How to Respond to Condolences? or “Sorry for Your Loss”

The simplest way to respond to condolences is to say “thank you.” People would understand if you nodded your head and said, “thank you.” This gesture is a polite response to all types of people offering their condolences.

You’re at your most vulnerable stage when you have just lost a loved one, and you’re grieving. At this phase in your life, you may be confused, dazed, and couldn’t focus. You may not be able to think clearly and would grope for words when offered condolences.

So if you want to keep it simple, just respond by saying thank you.

However, you can send more elaborate thank you cards later on when you’re a little bit stable or when you’ve recovered somewhat from your loss.

How to Respond to Condolences in Person?

During the wake of your loved one, people would come to you and give words of comfort and support. How would you respond to condolences in person? They may say: “My condolences” or “I’m sorry for your loss.”

There are various ways to reply to this outpouring of support when the person is in front of you. Here are some replies you could use:

  • “Thank you for your support.”
  • “I appreciate your coming out today to be with us. Thank you.”
  • “Thank you for taking that long trip to be with us.”
  • “I appreciate you taking the time to help me organize the funeral.”
  • “Thank you very much for your sympathy and donation. I’m sure your donation would go a long way.”
  • “I’m touched by your support for our father’s funeral. Thank you.”
  • “It must have been tiring to come here today. Thank you for joining us in putting grandma to rest.”
  • “Thank you for the flowers you have sent. I appreciate it a lot.”
  • “Thanks so much for dropping by. It means a lot to me.”
  • “Thank you for your kindness and sympathy. I’ll remember it forever.”
  • “I was touched by your empathy and helping hand. Thanks so much for being here with me.”
  • “Your comforting words have helped me go through this ordeal. Thank you so much.”
  • “Your moral and financial support has kept me going these past few days. Thank you.”
  • “I’ll never forget the kindness and empathy you’ve given me. Thank you so much.”
  • “Your kind words have helped me go through this sadness. Thank you.”
  • “I’m deeply moved by your comforting words. Thanks a lot.”

How to respond to “I’m sorry for your loss”? If you know the individual personally, you can add some personal information about the person, like: “Your comforting words deeply move me. Thanks a lot. How’s Luke doing?”

How to Respond to My Condolences Sent Online?

How to respond to “my condolences”? There are times that condolences may be sent online, through emails or e-cards. This occurrence is no different from offering your condolences in person. Respond sincerely to these messages of comfort and concern.

How to Respond to Condolences Using “Thank You” Cards?

You could also send ‘Thank You” cards to those who attended the funeral or to people who extended their condolences using cards. The funeral parlor sometimes offers standardized thank-you cards that you can sign and send to people thanking them for their words of support.

But if you want to be more personal and sincere, you can write your personal thoughts on a card instead. Whether you send the card online or offline, what counts is your sincerity. Here are some thank-you messages you can use.

Sample 1

“Dear _________, 

My family and I appreciate your condolences, help, and support during my father’s funeral and wake. We haven’t forgotten. Although it is a bit late, we would like to express our gratitude and appreciation for all that you have done for us.

Sincerely yours,

_____________ “

Sample 2

To: _____________ Family

Thank you for your time, support, and prayers at this difficult time. We sincerely appreciate it. We hope to be together again during happier times. 

From: __________ Family

how to respond to I'm sorry for your loss

Sample 3


Name of Recipient

Thank you very much for your support as well as condolences. Your comforting presence was a great consolation to us. Take care and best regards to the family.


Name of Sender

How to Respond to Condolences Given Online?

At this time of the technological explosion, online messages are the fastest way to communicate. Often, we receive a letter or message of condolences through our email or Chat Boxes. You could give them a call, but you should also reply online to their messages and letters.

 If this happens, it’s only proper to reply accordingly. Here are messages you may use to respond to condolences given online.

  • “I received your message today, and thank you for your concern and sympathy; my family deeply appreciates it.”
  • “Your card has brightened up my day. I’m grateful for your concern and friendship. I hope better days will come sooner.”
  • “Your constant support and encouragement have helped me get through this hard time successfully. I always treasure our friendship. Thanks for your support.” 
  • “The flowers you sent mean the world to me. It means there are people out there rooting for me to recover from this sad phase in my life. Thank you so much, and take care.”
  • “We appreciate your cash donation in honor of my late grandfather. We would never forget your good deed.” 

We’ve discussed numerous ways on how to respond to “sorry for your loss”; let’s now proceed with other ways by which you can respond to this sentence.

Other Ways to Respond to Condolences

1. Post a Response on Your Social Media Accounts

Nowadays, with the explosion of the Internet, messages can reach your intended recipient within seconds. Learn how to use online apps to express your “thank you” messages fully. Here are some ways you can do this using Facebook:

  • On your Facebook (FB) account, you can post your “thank you” graphic note or card with matching GIFs or photos. Ensure that you can share it only with those you want to share your response with. Facebook will allow you to show your posts only to followers/friends you want when you tag them or screen your viewers.
  • You can customize the note. Just search for “thank you” notes on the site. Nevertheless, it’s best to compose your response as it shows your gratitude and sincerity. To do this, you can type on the search bar at the upper left-hand corner of the FB Home Page: “cards to respond to condolences” and click “search.” Your search will yield several thank-you cards that you could personalize and share on your homepage.
  • If you want, you can also create an event by clicking on “More,” “Events,” and then “Create New Event.” This feature is found on the upper left-hand column of your FB Home Page. You can then write your response to condolences and tag the people you would like to say “thank you” to.

FB’s advantage is that you can control who can view your post by choosing between private or public sharing at the bottom of your post or by tagging people to view your post.

You may want to use Twitter too, but it’s more public, and you don’t have much control as to who would view your tweets, so FB is preferable. You can also use only 140 characters on Twitter; hence, you can’t write longer sentences to express your gratitude fully.

2. Publish a Response Online

You could post a thank-you message on the funeral parlor’s website or your blog – if you have one. The advantage of posting on your blog is that you can create a whole article and narrate your experience on how friends helped you and your family overcome a loved one’s loss.

In your blog post, you can include photos or videos of the funeral, so everyone present during the event can view them as much as they want to.

3. Post a Video on YouTube

You can create a private video thanking all the people who have shared their time and support during the wake of your loved one. Appropriate background music will make the presentation more memorable. 

Remember that you’re creating a masterpiece that could last a lifetime, and for posterity’s sake. Let go of your ingenuity and create a video that would reflect your gratitude to people who offered their condolences. 

how to respond to my condolences

4. Use e-Cards

For easily customized free e-cards, you could use Blue Mountain e-cards or 123 Greetings. Both sites offer excellent thank you cards for all occasions. 

The cards come in all designs and styles that could fit anyone’s taste. Write a unique message and add them to the cards, and you’re ready to go. 

5. Respond Through Email

Responding through email is one of the fastest ways to say “thank you.” Within seconds your email will reach its intended recipient. You either write a letter of thanks or use an e-card to express your gratitude. You could add photos or videos in your email to show your sincerity.

The advantage of an email is that you can write lengthy letters and be more creative in conveying your gratitude. Furthermore, your message could reach the receiver within seconds.

6. Publish a Response in Your Local Newspaper

If you want to go the traditional way, you could also publish an obituary in your local newspaper. You could then express your gratitude to those who, in one way or the other, have helped you through this challenging time.

Tips on How to Respond to Death Condolences or “I’m Sorry for Your Loss”

1. When saying “thank you,” look at the person in the eye and focus on what you’re saying. Give the person your undivided attention. Your action will show your ardent sincerity. 

2. If you have forgotten to thank some people. Go ahead and do it now, even if it’s rather late, better late than never.

3. You could still send cards to people you have already met and have thanked personally. This action will guarantee that you don’t miss showing your gratitude to everyone.

4. A handwritten note would be more appreciated by people who have written their condolences too. Take time to respond in kind.

5. If the person has done more than consoling you, such as giving cash donations, buying wreaths, or helping out physically, you have to mention all these in your thank you note.

6. There are free templates for condolences emails that you can pattern your letter on. The Internet offers numerous apps that you can benefit from. All you have to do is to search for them online. Google Search can be your friend in this aspect.

Conclusion – How to Respond to “Sorry for Your Loss” or Condolences?

The best responses to condolences are as follows:

  • “Thank you for your support during this difficult time.” 
  • “Thank you for your kindness and sympathy.” 
  • “We sincerely appreciate your prayers and thoughts.”
  • “Thank you for your support and prayers.”
  • “Thank you for your expressions of sympathy.”

You can also keep things simple and just say thank you.

Be ingenious and create your own message to show that you sincerely appreciate all the condolences that you have received. Don’t just copy-paste. Compose a unique note and express your gratitude.

Read next:

How to Respond to a “How Are You” Text