When someone we know falls sick, it can be hard to know what to say, especially if it’s a serious illness. However, a few words of encouragement can go a long way, letting the person know you’re thinking of them and you’re there for support should they need it. Below, you’ll find examples of comforting words for a sick person categorized by relationship types and situations. 

Comforting words for a sick colleague

I’m sorry to hear you’re not feeling well. I want to drop off [a meal, some flowers, a card from the office]. Can I come by one day next week?

Sorry to hear you’re sick. Don’t worry, I’ll take care of everything while you’re gone.

Get well soon — can’t wait to have you back in the office!

So sorry to hear you’re having a hard time right now. I’m here if you ever need to talk.

Words of encouragement for a sick friend or family member

We’ll get through this together. I’m always here for you, day or night, no matter what happens.

Whatever you need, I’m here to help. You’re doing amazing, and I’m so proud of you.

I’m always on the other end of the phone when you need me.

I've always admired your strength and resilience.

Words of encouragement and strength in sickness for your partner

I love you, and I’m here for you. Whatever happens, we’ve got each other, and I think that makes us pretty lucky.

I’ll be by your side every step of the way, on good days and bad days.

You’re amazing, and you inspire me every day. I’m so lucky to have you in my life.

You can get through this, and I’ll be right here with you. We’re a team.

Comforting words for a sick parent

You always looked after me, and now I’m here to look after you. How can I support you right now?

The rest of the family and I will take care of everything. You just focus on taking care of yourself.

You’re strong, and I know you’ll get through this. Just take it one day at a time.

Words to say to a sick child

You’re a superstar, and I’m so proud of you! Can’t wait to go out for ice cream together when you’re feeling better.

You’re being so brave. Get well soon, my little fighter!

I bet everyone at school is missing you a ton, but I’m sure it won’t be long before you’re playing with your friends again.

Sorry things aren’t much fun right now — I hope that changes soon.

Words to wish someone a speedy recovery

Get well soon! I’m sure you’ll be back to your active self in no time.

Hoping you feel better every day.

Warmest wishes for a speedy recovery.

Thinking of you, and sending healing thoughts. You’re such a strong person, and I’ve always admired your courage and strength.

What to say when someone has a terminal illness

So sorry to hear your news. We’re all thinking of you. Let me know if you’d like a visit sometime. I’d also love to take you to your next doctor’s appointment [or bring a meal by, go for a walk with you, mow your grass]. Can I help out next week?

You’re so important to me, and I’m so glad to have known you. You’re an incredible person.

You mean so much to a lot of people. I hope you’re feeling very loved right now.

I can’t imagine how you’re feeling right now, but I’m always here if you want to talk it out.

Words of encouragement for a religious or spiritual person

We pray that you’ll be wrapped up in God's arms during this difficult time.

All of us at [place of worship] are thinking of you and keeping you in our prayers.

Thinking of you and hoping that your faith brings you comfort and fortitude.

Sorry to hear you’re unwell. Remember that God is always with you and keeps you in His light even through times of darkness.

What to say to someone who has cancer

Sorry to hear you’re battling this horrible illness — but you’re not battling it alone. I’m always happy to come with you to hospital appointments or just hang out and chat.

It’s ok to feel upset and angry. I’m always here if you want to get things off your chest.

You’ve always been a fighter, and you have such amazing courage.

Cancer is incredibly tough, but you’re tougher. Keep your head up.

Finding the right words

Illness and death are incredibly sensitive topics, and many people struggle with knowing what to say. Hopefully, these words of encouragement and strength in sickness will help you show up for friends and family if they become ill.

Read more: What to say instead of sorry for your loss? Try these 35 alternatives