I'm sorry for your loss

A simple "I'm sorry for your loss" can be used when you don't know the person well, but you want to convey your condolences to them. They may be someone with whom you work, someone who attends your church or even someone you see on occasion. You can send the sentiment with a card to their home or offer it in person.

You're in my thoughts

is a good way to let someone you know that you care about them and how they are feeling in their time of loss. This is generally for someone you know casually or it could be a co-worker that you see frequently. It is a good way to let the bereaved know they are not alone in their time of sorrow.

I am here for you when you need a friend.

If you want to tell someone you know you are available to them if they need to talk, you can write a short note in a sympathy card to let them know "I am here for you when you need a friend." Too often people put too much space between themselves and a bereaved person because they don't know what to say or do and that can leave the mourner feeling alone.

"He, or she, was a great person" 

For someone who has died that you knew, telling the family "He, or she, was a great person" can help them know they are not alone in their grief. If the person wasn't such a great person, don't use this sentiment as it can open up a can of worms that you don't want exposed.

Our hearts are with you in this time of sorrow

is another way to let the bereaved they are not alone in their mourning. Put this sentiment in a nice sympathy card and send it along with sympathy flowers to let the family or the person know you care about them and are ready to listen when they need someone to talk to.

Take comfort in knowing you have an angel watching over you.

If the family is religious, you can express in a card "Take comfort in knowing you have an angel watching over you." This is a good way of expressing your condolences especially in the event a child has passed away. The parents can be comforted in knowing their child is still close by, if not physically with them.

Words cannot express the sorrow we feel, you are in our prayers

is another good way to tell someone who is religious that you are thinking of them in their time of sorrow. Praying for someone is important for those who are religious and they will appreciate that action on their behalf.

I am sorry to hear the news

is a good way to express condolences to others you don't know well. That could mean co-workers, friends of friends or even distant relatives. It lets them know you wanted to express you condolences to them because it may not have been anyone you knew that passed away.

"I love you" or "I really loved..."

Tell a good friend or someone close in your family that "I love you" or "I really loved..." after they've suffered the loss of a loved one. They will appreciate your gesture and it lets them know they are having someone who cares for them and cared about their loved one very much.

Some examples of sympathy messages

My heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with you.

I was very shocked and saddened to hear of your loss.

With deepest sympathy. We send our loving thoughts to you.

We all grieve in our own way, in our own time after the loss of a loved one. Please let me know when and how I can help

I was shocked and stunned to hear the news of ___. Please know that my love, condolences and prayers are with you.

Our thoughts are with you.

Our deepest sympathy is with you.

Especially for you at this difficult time.

You will be in our thoughts and prayers.

Thinking of you at this time of sorrow.

May these flowers in some way help to express our heartfelt sympathy.

Please accept our deepest sympathy for the loss of your _____.

With heartfelt sympathy and understanding thoughts in this time of sadness.

Our hearts are saddened by your loss and our thoughts and prayers are with you.

We may not understand why sad things happen, may it somehow help to know how much we care.

We wish to express our sympathy in your loss and to let you know that our thoughts are with you.

At a time such as this, words cannot express our feelings. May you have memories for comfort, friends for support, and flowers to ease your sadness.

Though words, however gentle, cannot take your loss away, still may these flowers sent in sympathy help comfort you today.

___ was a very special person, whose loving presence, joy and inspiration will continue to live in my memory. May your own happy memories be a source of comfort to you now. With love and blessings.