What to Write in a Sympathy Card
Losing a loved one can be one of the most difficult experiences a person goes through, and it may be hard to know what to say or do to offer comfort and support. One way to express your condolences and show your support is by sending a sympathy card. However, finding the right words to write in a sympathy card can be challenging, especially if you've never done it before. If you don’t know what to write on sympathy cards, this article is a great place to start and includes tips, examples, and suggestions to help you express your condolences in a heartfelt and respectful way. Whether you're writing to a friend, family member, or colleague, this guide will help you find the right words to offer comfort during a difficult time.
It’s my first time writing a sympathy card. Where do I start?
It's understandable to feel unsure about how to start writing a sympathy card, especially if it's your first time. Here are a few steps to help you get going:
- Choose a blank card or one with a simple design: A blank card will give you more space to write your message, while a simple design will keep the focus on your words of sympathy.
- Address the card: Begin by addressing the card with the recipient's name, such as "Dear [Name]."
- Express your condolences: Start your message with an expression of sympathy, such as "I am so sorry for your loss" or "Please accept my deepest sympathies during this difficult time."
- Share a memory: If you knew the person who passed away, you can share a brief memory or anecdote about them to show that you are thinking of them and to offer comfort to the recipient.
- Offer support: Let the recipient know that you are there for them and offer any help or support that you are able to offer during this difficult time.
- Close with a respectful and appropriate closing: End your message with a respectful closing, such as "With deepest sympathy" or "Yours in sympathy."
Remember that your message doesn't need to be lengthy or perfect. The most important thing is to express your condolences in a sincere and respectful way that offers comfort and support to the recipient during this difficult time.
When are sympathy cards sent?
Sympathy cards are typically sent shortly after someone has experienced a loss, such as the death of a loved one. The purpose of a sympathy card is to express condolences and offer support to the grieving individual or family during a difficult time.
Sympathy cards can be sent immediately after learning of the loss or a few days later to allow the family time to process and grieve. They can also be sent on special occasions, such as the anniversary of the loss or during the holiday season, to let the family know that they are still being thought of and supported.
What to say in a sympathy card
Not sure what to write in a sympathy card for the loss of a husband, coworker, friend, or other loved one? Don’t worry! This is a common experience. Crafting a genuine and comforting sympathy message in the format of a card gives you little room to work with, especially when addressing such a heavy and complex subject. There aren’t any concrete rules around things to say in a sympathy card. You want to come across as genuine, but can run into sounding like a robot generated your sympathy card message. Here are some wording ideas for simple sympathy card messages:
- "I am so sorry for your loss. Please know that you are in my thoughts during this difficult time."
- "Words cannot express how deeply sorry I am for your loss. Please know that I am here for you if you need anything."
- "May the love and memories you shared with [name of deceased] comfort you during this time of grief. Please accept my sincerest condolences."
- "Although no words can truly comfort you right now, please know that you are not alone in your sorrow. I am here for you and your family."
- "As you navigate through this difficult time, please know that you have my deepest sympathies and my unwavering support."
The content you include in your sympathy card will also depend on the amount of space you’re given to write. If it’s a shorter sympathy card (as in a note card that’s being sent alongside some flowers), you can generally stick to shorter sentiments and follow up at a different time with a longer message in a different format (such as through email). Sympathy card messages are typically brief sentiments and let the family know they’re in your thoughts and you’re thinking of them.
Brief sympathy card sayings
If you’re still stuck on things to write in a sympathy card and want to add more, here are some sayings that are commonly used when sending a sympathy message. You can alter these to fit your preferences and situation.
- "Please accept my deepest condolences for your loss."
- "Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time."
- "May the love and memories you shared with [name of deceased] bring you comfort during this time of grief."
- "Although no words can ease your pain right now, please know that we are here for you and your family."
- "Wishing you peace and comfort as you grieve the loss of your [spouse, parent, sibling, etc.]."
- "With sympathy and heartfelt condolences for your loss."
- "Sending healing prayers and comforting hugs during this difficult time."
- "May the beautiful memories you shared with [name of deceased] bring you solace during this time of mourning."
- "Please accept our sincere condolences on the loss of your [loved one]."
- "Thinking of you and your family and sending love and strength during this difficult time."
These sayings are great to pick and choose from so that you can craft the right level of closeness and support with your message. Your level of detail and closeness in your sympathy card will also change depending on your relationship to the bereaved, to the deceased, and the relationship the bereaved had with the deceased. For example, what to write in a pet sympathy card to your best friend may contain a different level of closeness than when considering what to write in a sympathy card to your boss.
How to end a sympathy card
Signing a sympathy card comes with its own set of choices. When signing a sympathy card, it's important to remember that your message of condolence and support will likely be read and appreciated by the recipient during a difficult and emotional time. Here are a few tips on how to sign a sympathy card:
- Use a respectful and appropriate closing: When closing your message, avoid phrases like "Xoxo” or an emoji of some kind and opt for a more respectful and appropriate closing such as "With deepest sympathy," "Sincerely," or "Yours in sympathy."
- Sign with your full name: While you may assume that the recipient knows who the card is from, it's still important to sign your full name to avoid any confusion. You can also include your contact information if you’d like to open the lines of communication.
- Offer your support: In addition to your message of sympathy, consider adding a line or two that lets the recipient know you're there for them if they need anything. For example, you could write, "Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts. I’d like to offer my support, please let me know if there is a good time to come by.”
- Keep it brief: While it's important to express your sympathy and offer support, it's also important to keep your message brief and to the point. The recipient may be overwhelmed with a lot of messages and may not have the emotional energy to read through lengthy messages.
Remember, your message doesn't need to be perfect. The most important thing is to express your condolences in a sincere and respectful way that offers comfort and support to the recipient during this difficult time.