It’s never easy to explain why you had to miss a funeral. But sometimes life or other obligations force you to miss the memorial. Here are some ways to explain circumstances and express your condolences to the family.

Sorry for Not Attending a Funeral Messages

  • Sorry to hear about your loss. Your younger brother was quite a kid. I can’t be there during the funeral but I’m sending out my sincerest sympathies to you and your family.
  • I am devastated by the news of your father passing away. My sincerest sympathies. I won’t make it to his funeral, but I’m sending out my prayers for all of you.
  • I am honored to have known your father as he treated me like I was somebody important. I won’t be there at his funeral and I mourn for his loss. I will pray for you and your family and may God rest your dad’s soul.
  • I am honored to have met your mom in my lifetime. I’m sorry I won’t be able to attend her funeral this Saturday. I am sending my sincerest sympathy to you and your family.
  • I am shocked about your mother’s death. I know it is hard for the family and I’m sending my prayers to you. I regret i can’t make it to the funeral but know that I am thinking of you as you mourn.

I am sorry I can’t attend your brother’s funeral this Sunday. I am sending my condolences to your family and I pray for your brother’s soul.

  • I am thinking of you as you grieve for your mother’s loss. Sorry I can’t make it to the funeral. Sending out my prayers to you.
  • I can’t be there physically at your mom’s funeral. I will keep you in my prayers as you mourn for you mother.
  • I can’t make it to your cousin’s funeral mate. I’m so sorry for your loss. My sympathies to you and family.
  • I live far away and regret not being there at your dad’s funeral to comfort you. I’ll keep you in my prayers as you mourn your loss.
  • I may not be at the funeral but I am also mourning with you at this difficult time. I’m glad to have met such a person like your dad. Condolences to everyone.

I may not be there during the funeral but believe me my heart goes out to you and everyone in the family. Your brother was a good man and I will cherish his memory. My condolences.

  • I regret that I am far away from you. I wish I could be there during the funeral and talk about your sister’s death and comfort you.
  • I sorry to hear about the death of your younger brother. I know it’s hard for everyone in the family. I can’t come to the funeral but I’ll keep you in my prayers.
  • I too shall miss your dad, he’s been very kind to me. I’m sorry I can’t come to his funeral. My condolences to everyone in the family.
  • I wanted to be at the funeral but things didn’t go as planned. I’m so sorry for you loss. My deepest sympathies to you and your family. Your dad was a great man.
  • I feel bad that I can’t physically be there with you to help you through this incredibly difficult time. But you will be in my thoughts.

Messages to Write in a Card When You Can’t Attend a Funeral

Express your condolences even if you can’t be there.

  • I am so sorry that I can’t be there to say goodbye to Aunt Jean. I have so many fond memories of her and Uncle Mike. These pink flowers reminded me of her.
  • I wish I could be there with you, but I recently got out of the hospital. Please know that I am thinking about you and the rest of the family. Sending love to all, Roxanne.
  • Please accept my sincerest apologies for not being able to attend the funeral. My heart aches knowing that I can’t be there to support you all during this difficult time.
  • Please accept my sincerest apologies for not being able to attend the funeral. I really wanted to be there but I just couldn’t get away from work. I hope you can forgive me. All my love and sympathy.
  • It’s with such sadness that I write this to let you know I won’t be at the funeral. Unfortunately I’ve caught the flu and just don’t feel well enough to attend. I’m so sorry I can’t offer my support and say my goodbyes. Sending you my love and sympathy.
  • I really wish I was able to attend the funeral but my little boy isn’t feeling well. I will be thinking of you and praying for [the deceased’s name]. My deepest apologies
  • I desperately wanted to be there for support and so I am incredibly sorry I can’t make it. Please accept my apologies and know I’m with you in spirit.
  • I hope these flowers will go some way to making up for my missing the funeral. You know I wouldn’t have missed it if it wasn’t an emergency. I’m so sorry though.
  • Please know that even though I can’t attend Judy’s funeral, I hold her memory deep in my heart. You may not know the story behind my friendship with your mom. I met her when I was at my lowest. I had just left an abusive relationship, and she opened her home to my daughter and me. She was such a special woman!

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  • Please know that I will pay respects from far away. Thank you for providing an online option for those who are not able to attend the services.
  • I served with your brother in Vietnam, and I always regarded him as one of my best friends for life. Even though I can’t be there for his funeral since it is so far away, I wanted to tell you what a special person he was to me.
  • I heard about your dads passing and I am so sorry for your loss. It’s a tragedy and I hope you’re doing ok. I’m really sorry I have to say this but I won’t be able to make the funeral. I promised my sister I would look after her kids and I can’t let her down. Could I send flowers instead? I know it’s not the same but I still would like to make an effort and show how much your dad meant to me. Once again I’m very sorry.

Learning of [deceased’s name] was such a shock. I won’t be able to come to the funeral unfortunately but will stop by sometime soon and be there if you need someone to talk or listen to. It’s so sad and we are all in mourning.

  • I really wish I could be there on Thursday. I’m going to miss [deceased’s name] so much. It’s really upsetting to kiss saying goodbye but I’m sure it will be a beautiful service. I hope you can forgive me for not attending.
  • My deepest condolences for your loss. I was all ready for the funeral but work have asked me to come in and I can’t say no. I hope you can understand why I won’t be able to come. I will be there in heart and spirit.
  • I know this is pathetic of me but [deceased’s name’s] passing has hit me so hard I just don’t think I’m in the right place to be at his/her funeral. I don’t think I’ll be able to cope. I’m so sorry about this and hope you can understand how difficult it would be for me.
  • I imagine saying goodbye to this person at the funeral is going to be sad and painful for you. I am sorry I cannot be there with you.

Email Messages When You Can’t Attend a Funeral

Did you miss the funeral?

  • I was so deeply saddened to learn of [deceased’s name’s] passing. He/she was a truly special person and leaves behind a huge gap in so many lives. Although I won’t be able to attend the funeral, I will be thinking of you and everyone there. Don’t hesitate to reach out if there is anything I can do or you need. All my love,
  • [deceased’s name] was such an amazing person. The memories I have of her/him will never fade and I shall treasure them forever. Although I find myself unable to attend the funeral I shall be there in spirit and heart. I hope you can say goodbye and find some peace amongst the grief. With sympathy,
  • It is with great sadness I write this note. I will miss [deceased’s name] so much and the warmth and love they brought to this world. I am deeply sorry to have to let you know I shan’t be at the funeral. I will send flowers and my love but I simply can’t find a way to be there. The distance is just too great. I hope you can understand and know that I will be paying my respects wherever I am. My condolences,
  • I was devastated to hear the news of your father’s death yesterday. He was a wonderful man and I still remember spending time with him and learning from his experiences and life advice. Unfortunately, I am unable to attend the funeral, but please accept my sincerest apologies. You and he are in my thoughts at this sad time. I’ll always remember your father’s love and zest for life. He will be missed.
  • I will not make it to your mom’s funeral, but know this my friend, I’m so proud to have known her in my life. My condolences to everyone in the family.
  • I’m really sorry I will not be able to attend your father’s funeral since I am on a tour abroad. I will be praying for him and your family. My sincerest condolences to you.
  • I’m sorry for your loss. I wish I could have been there personally at the funeral. I am sending you and your mom my prayers.
  • I’ve known your sister a long time and treated her as my own sister as well. It’s sad she has passed away. I cannot be there to attend her funeral, and I’m sending my deepest sympathies.

My heart goes out to you and family. I am so sorry for your loss. Though I can’t come to your uncle’s funeral, I will be praying for you and your uncle. There’s no words to explain my sympathy.

  • This is a sad time for everyone who has known your father and I’m sorry I can’t make it to the funeral. My deepest sympathies.
  • I know I said I would be there on Friday, but unfortunately, the babysitter canceled at the last minute and there is no one available. Although I will not be present for the ceremony, my thoughts are with the family, and I will continue to lend my support where possible.
  • Hi [insert name of recipient]. I just wanted to let you know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Also, I won’t be able to attend [insert name of deceased] funeral on Thursday because of a prior engagement. I’ll be back in town on Friday. Perhaps we can spend some time reflecting together then.
  • Though I am unable to physically attend, I want to leave these words for the family: In life, we meet the most unique and interesting characters. [Insert name of deceased] was one of them. He will be sorely missed.

As you know, I am currently overseas on a contract, and I cannot travel right now. Since I cannot lay these flowers on [insert name of deceased]’s grave, kindly do so on my behalf. Let me know if there’s anything I can have delivered to the house to help your day.

  • Thank you for inviting me to [insert name of deceased] funeral. I worked alongside him/her for nearly a year and he/she was always kind and helpful. Regrettably, I have been scheduled to meet with a client around the same time and will not be able to make it to the funeral. Send the family my regards and well wishes.
  • There has never been and will never be another friend like [insert name of deceased]. People like that come around once in a lifetime, and I am just lucky to have experienced him/her. Kindly accept these flowers as a token of my love and well wishes to you and your family in my absence.
  • I am sorry that I will not be able to attend Bob’s funeral on Friday, but I will be out of town on business. I will be thinking of you all, and you have my condolences.

Message Examples If You Missed the Funeral

  • I had all the intentions of attending [insert name of deceased] funeral, but I had a family emergency to tend to. I’m happy to have heard the service went well. Please extend my apologies to the rest of the family.
  • I’m sorry I could not make it to the funeral as I am so far away and in a different time zone. I was, however, able to watch the live stream and I must say it was a beautiful service. [Insert name of deceased] would have loved it.
  • When you have a moment, I would like to talk to you or FaceTime so I can check in with you to see how you are doing. I want to know what the funeral service was like and how it was for you to be there and now afterward. I know once a funeral is over, people tend to drift away. We have been close for so long, and I really care about you.
  • Please know that even though I couldn’t attend Judy’s funeral, I hold her memory deep in my heart. My condolences.
  • Please know that I paid my respects from far away. Thank you for providing an online option for those who were not able to attend the services.
  • Your brother was a very cloe friend, and I regard him as one of my family. Even though I couldn’t be there for his funeral, I wanted to tell you what a special guy he was to me.
  • Sorry I could not have been at the funeral. I know he would have liked me to be there, but this was just too much to bear right now.
  • I would have come to the funeral, but work got in the way. Sorry for not being there to support you all.
  • If I could have made it to the funeral, I would have. Unfortunately, timing was not Fred’s specialty, even for this day. But he would understand the importance of this work, so I ask you to forgive me.
  • Sorry that I was not able to come to the funeral. I know he would have liked me to attend, but it was not possible at that time.

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  • I’m sorry I was not be able to attend your father’s funeral. I will be praying for him and your family. My condolences to you all.
  • I’m sorry I was not able to attend the funeral last Saturday. I am sending my sincerest sympathy to you and your family.
  • I’ve known your sister a long time and treated her as my own sister as well. It’s sad she has passed away. I count not be there to attend her funeral, and I’m sending my deepest sympathies.
  • I am sorry I couldn’t attend your brother’s funeral last week. I am sending my condolences to your family and I pray for his soul.
  • I was so sorry to hear about your sister. I could’t come to the funeral, but I’m holding you all close in my thoughts.
  • I just heard about your aunt. I’m sorry I was not able to make it to the service, but I’ll be sending flowers to be placed on her stone. Please know I’m here if you need to talk.

Text Messages for Missing a Funeral

Funerals can also be a celebration of a life well-lived.

  • Thinking of you today! I’m sorry I can’t be there with you.
  • I’m sending a virtual hug to you. I know that today is going to be hard. Please know that you are in my thoughts even though I can’t be by your side.
  • Please know that I would be there with you today if circumstances were different.
  • I’m so sorry I’m not going to be there. You will be in my thoughts
  • I am so disappointed to not be there. If could have you know I would
  • Sending my love from far away. I am with you in spirit if not in person
  • I know how hard today will be and I will be thinking of you and the whole family
  • Wishing I was there. Hoping you can get through it with ok
  • My heart goes out to you and your family during this time of grief. I am currently on a business trip and will not be able to attend the memorial service, but there will be representatives from the company on behalf of all those who will miss it.
  • Just like [insert name of deceased], my schedule is work, work, work, and Wednesday is one of our busiest days, so unfortunately, I can’t make it to the funeral.
  • [Name] was always such a bright star in all of our lives. May they finally rest in peace.
  • [Name] lives on in all of our memories, and they’ll always be a part of our hearts.
  • Gone but never forgotten. [Name] will live on within our hearts.
  • [Name] will truly be missed. Praying for you and your family in these difficult times.
  • I wish nothing but love and healing to your family in the wake of [Name]’s passing.
  • There’s a hole in my heart after this tragedy, and I already miss [Name] more than I can tell you.
  • Not gonna be able to make the funeral Saturday. Text and let me know if you need help after though.

Phone Scripts for Missing a Funeral

Remember the ones you lost.

  • I know it’s hard for you to talk on the phone right now, but I wanted to tell you sorry I am to hear about your grandma. I can’t get off work to attend the funeral, but I would love to hear more about her. Can you meet for lunch next week?
  • I was so sad to hear about Uncle Marvin. I know this has to be so hard, especially after saying goodbye to your mom only two years ago. Do you remember when…?
  • I was just calling to let you know that I won’t be able to attend the funeral. I’ve been having some health problems, but I didn’t want to burden you with the news until I had some test results.
  • I know it’s not a good time to talk but I wanted to try and explain why I won’t be attending your mothers funeral. I’m having to cover for someone at work and they won’t let me leave early. I’m deeply sorry and hope you will forgive me

I wanted to call to let you know I won’t be coming to the funeral. It’s so disappointing but I’m not feeling well and my doctor has told me to rest. I’m terribly sorry and sad to miss it

  • I am just calling to say how sad it was to learn of [deceased’s name] passing. He/she was a one of a kind and will be missed greatly by so many. Unfortunately I just can’t make the funeral, but I will stop by for a chat next week and to see if you need anything
  • I am so saddened about your moms death. I will send flowers to the funeral as I won’t be able to attend in person. Please know that I will be thinking of you and your family during such a difficult moment
  • This is just a quick call as I know how busy you must be at the moment but I wanted to let you know I won’t be at the funeral.
  • Oh, Judy. I’m so sorry to hear about Bill’s passing. I’m not able to come to the funeral, but I’d like to stop by next week to help take care of the lawn for you.
  • I’m so sorry about Ellen. She was an incredible person and such a fine educator. I can’t make it to the funeral, but I’d love to donate some books to the school library in her honor.
  • Erin, I heard about your dad’s passing. I wish I could attend the funeral, but I can’t. Would it be okay if I sent some flowers for the service?

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  • I remember the day I met your dad. It was at your college graduation, and he was telling everyone he met how proud he was that you went to his alma mater. I’m unable to attend the funeral, but I’d like to honor him by making a donation to a scholarship fund at the college.
  • Rosella was an incredible person, full of such spark and vivacity. She had the best stories about her long life, and it was such fun to sit and talk with her. I can’t attend the funeral, but I’m enclosing some photos of Rosella from our family archives. Please know I’m thinking of you and wish I could be there.

I was so sorry to hear about your mom. Please know I’m thinking about you during this difficult time. I’m unable to attend the funeral, but would it be okay if I dropped off a casserole next week?

  • I wanted to call to let you know how sorry I am to hear about Steve’s passing. He was an amazing guy, and we’ll really miss his infectious laugh on bowling night. I’m afraid I won’t be able to attend the funeral, but I’ll be stopping by next week to see if I can help you with the lawn or anything else.
  • I was so sorry to hear about your mom, and I wanted to call to tell you I wish I could attend the funeral. I’ll be sending flowers, but I just want to make sure you know I’m thinking about you during this time.
  • I wish I could be there on Tuesday as you celebrate Jim’s life. He was such an exceptional human being and a dear friend. I’m going to miss him terribly.

When someone you care about has experienced a loss, the best way to show your support and condolences is by sending them words of comfort. The key here is not to focus too much on why it’s hard for you personally attend; just offer what help or encouragement possible without being invasive into their personal space during this difficult time in killed person’s life. This is especially true if the funeral is for a co-worker or close friend.

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