Support the Bereaved

What to Say to Grieving Friends

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Helping your grieving friend can be challenging because every person grieves differently. Not to mention, those grieving often don’t know what it is that they need either.

The holidays are extra tricky, too. Do you wish them a “Merry” and “Bright” Christmas to cheer them up? Probably not. What about “Happy New Year” or other popular dates? What do you say to someone grieving?

Instead of sending that unhelpful and dreaded “Happy Holiday” text message, here are supportive alternatives. Keep in mind that you know your friend best. Write the text in a way that feels natural to you.

The following grief messages are examples you can send to a friend:

Hi (Person’s Name),

Wishing you a Happy (Insert Holiday) doesn’t feel right. Instead, I hope it is gentle to you as you grieve (their loved one’s name).

grief text message


Hi (Person’s Name),

Please don’t feel obligated to respond, and know that I’m thinking of you this (insert holiday here) as you grieve (their loved one’s name).”

grief support for friend 02


Hi (Person’s Name),

I can imagine not having (their loved one’s name) this holiday season is hard. Please know I’m here to listen to you and support you.

grief text message to friend


Hi (Person’s Name),

Remember when (their loved one’s name) and you and I (tell a good memory)? I thought about them this holiday season and wanted to share it with you.

grief text message


Hi (Person’s Name),

I’m here to support you during your first (insert holiday here) without (their loved one’s name). I’ll call you later to check in.

grief text message


A gentle reminder: Please know that these are general guidelines and templates. Every griever is different. Always pay attention to how someone responds, and sit with their pain rather than offer encouragement.

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