How To Offer Condolences Via Text Message
Texting has become a part of modern day life. Very few people will claim not to have sent a text message to someone about something. In fact, today, SMS texting is fast becoming the substitute for actually talking, especially when it comes to the younger generation.
Is it appropriate to send a condolence text? Sending your condolences via text is dependent on your relationship with the bereaved. If it is your Grandfather, probably not a good idea; however, a younger friend would be a suitable way to express sorrow.
Short & Simple Condolences Text:
- I am so sorry for the passing of your sister. Call me when you have time - I want to help.
- Sincere condolences from our family to yours. Your Father was a loving, kind, and full of positive energy. May he Rest In Peace.
- So sorry for your loss. He lived an amazing life. Prayers to the Your Family.
- [Deceased] was a wonderful man to work with. He will be remembered by his [Company Name] family.
- Please accept the heartfelt sympathy from The Class of 1970 - North High School . We are holding you in our thoughts and prayers.
- [Name] my sympathy to you and family on the passing of your wife. May GOD continue to bless and comfort you at this time
- Accept my condolences.
- So sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you!
- My prayers are with you and family.
- [Name], You are in my prayers during this time of the loss of your brother.
Note: With an SMS Text, you can send a message of up to 160 characters to another device. Longer messages are commonly divided into multiple messages.
How do you write a condolence text?
Like many people, you may be at a loss for words. Very few people encounter death on a regular basis and often are not sure what to say. Reading through our list of suggested text messages will give you some ideas. You can even use them as is, if you feel that they adequately express your thoughts.
Without a second thought, when learning about
a happy event, we are more than ready to text messages of congratulations. Happy
Birthdays, Thank Youís, Anniversaries, Engagements, great achievements, winning
awards and all types of celebratory occasions get us tapping away on our mobile
devices. We can choose frivolous and colorful emojis to enhance our message and
have loads of fun.
But, when it comes to offering condolences, many people may hesitate after they have received the news. Apart from the expected emotions of shock, grief, sadness and loss, we are faced with a dilemma. Does one send a text message or email? Is it appropriate? How will it be received? What does one say? Dealing with news of a death is not something that one does every day and there is sure to be an amount of stress as to how to communicate with the bereaved.
Considerations For Sending A Condolence Text:
1 - Different age groups will respond differently.
For the younger generation, texting is a part
of life and sending condolence messages via a mobile device will probably be the
first thing that comes to mind. Texting is the way of communicating and it would
make sense to convey your initial thoughts and reactions in the same way.
The older generation, or people with a more formal outlook on life, may feel that sending a message via text is not appropriate. It may seem to be too impersonal, frivolous or informal. Calling and offering condolences via the phone will appear to be a better and more suitable way of expressing your thoughts.
2 - Consider how you usually communicate with the bereaved.
If you communicate regularly via text with the person suffering the loss, a text message will be acceptable and probably expected. It may seem strange to the bereaved not to receive an instant message from a close friend or family member who connects via text messages on a regular basis. Send a simple message and say that you will follow up with a phone call or visit when appropriate.
3 - What if you cannot easily get hold of the family or the bereaved person?
Trying to contact a bereaved person soon after a loss may be difficult. You may often find that the person is not answering their phone or has handed it over to a family spokesperson to field the calls. They could be grieving, comforting others, trying to cope or simply do want to talk to anyone at this early stage. In this case, sending a text message to let them know that you have heard the news and are grieving with them is a start. Say that you have tried to call and understand that they are not available. Text some suitable words from the heart that express your feelings. End by saying that you will follow up with another phone call in a day or so.
4 - How did you hear about the death?
Today, many people will text out the message of a death. It works well if the person is not close to you or is part of a large network, or well known in the community. Personally calling dozens of people may not be a viable option. Group texting is quick and efficient. If you belong to a WhatsApp or similar type of social media group, you may very well receive the sad news via a text. In this case, you can feel comfortable responding in a similar fashion.
5 - Is the bereaved a business colleague?
In the business world, you are probably often texting colleagues, suppliers and other people in your organization that you have possibly never met face to face or have not spoken to one on one. Sending a text message will be an acceptable means of communicating. You can express condolences from yourself, other colleagues, your department or section of the company.
6 - What if you are at a loss for words?
Many people feel that they cannot easily deal with death and bad news. They may feel awkward, tongue-tied or at a loss for words. You may feel embarrassed that your emotions will get the better of you on a personal call. In this case, send a text message and say that you are so upset that you cannot deal with a one on one call. Text a thoughtful message and end by saying that you will follow up soon when you can deal with the death and speak calmly.
7 - What if the person does not respond?
Donít take it personally if the person you are texting does not respond. They are probably dealing with all sorts of pressures, both emotional and logistically. Comforting other family members, coming to terms with their own grief and making funeral arrangements will be their first priority. Send your message and leave it at that. They will eventually get to sit down and follow up. Remember that they are probably receiving many messages and working through them all will take time.
8 - Offering help via text message
If you are available or live nearby, you can offer to help via sending a text message. People often need food, lifts, baby sitters or someone to run errands. If you can do this, say so in your message and be ready to respond if asked.
10 - It is becoming a trend to set up Social Media Pages or Forums.
If the deceased had a Social Media page, their death is often announced on the page by a family spokesperson. Followers of Social Media pages like Facebook are then able to message their condolences, feelings and thoughts on the page. Be respectful and keep it simple and sincere. Read the message that the family spokesperson has posted and try to keep to the same tone and feel. Often they may ask for personal experiences, photos or stories to build up a long-lasting keepsake of the deceased. In this case, you can feel free to express yourself and write about your special memories.
11 - On Social Media, you can offer condolences for a famous person that you admired.
Everyone has their personal heroes in life.
They may be movie stars, music icons, artists, authors, royalty, politicians or
other people in the spotlight. Prior to Social Media, learning about a death
would probably be via a printed newspaper, radio or TV news broadcast. This was
impersonal and simply transmitted information. Today, you are able to take a
much more personal approach to a death of your icon. Posting your message on
Social Media gives people a feeling of being involved and able to express your
You can choose to create your own post or you can add your message to existing posts. A word of caution - if you are planning on creating a new post or posting on a Facebook Wall, make sure that the family is aware of this and have given you a go ahead. They may still be informing close family or key people, and wonít want the news to be made public at that moment in time. Be as thoughtful and respectful as possible and if in doubt, rather do not post public messages.
If you find that a public or friends-only Social Media page has been created, then feel free to add your message. You can write your own words or choose from our suggested list of expressions depending on your relationship with the deceased.
12 - What about using Emoticons?
Adding emoticons to text messages has become an accepted part of the mobile messaging culture. They are fun and trendy and add character to your message. When it comes to text messages of condolences, it is probably preferable not to add emoticons, unless you are really close to the bereaved and they understand you. If in doubt, type a simple and meaningful message and leave out the emojis.
13 - Should you follow up with a formal communication?
Depending on how close you are to the
bereaved, you should consider some sort of formal communication as a follow up
to your text message. If the person is a remote colleague or someone you donít
know very well, a text message will suffice. If you have a closer relationship,
then there are several options you can consider.
Making a one-on-one phone call is the way it has been done for generations. Call the person up, have a chat and express your condolences. Donít ask leading questions if the cause of death was in any way tragic or unexpected. Rather allow the grieving person to talk when they are ready.
Sending a letter or sympathy card is an acceptable way of communicating. There is a great selection of sympathy cards that you buy and post. If you donít have time to get out and shop, you can even arrange Online to have one sent to the home via special Websites.
Paying a visit to the bereaved family is a wonderful gesture. Try to establish from the family spokesperson when the best time will be and take along a small gift or plate of food.
Attending the funeral or memorial service is the ultimate means of expressing your condolences. If you are able to attend the funeral, then do so. It shows your commitment and makes you part of the grieving process. It also allows you to speak directly to the bereaved and the family.