To many, it seems that writing a sympathy card is a daunting task, especially to those who have never written it before. If you put the wrong words in this kind of card, it will lead to a contrary result or make everything worse. But don’t worry, we are here for you. In this article, we will share with you all you need to know to write in a sympathy card. Keep reading to find out.
The purpose of writing a sympathy card
First of all, you need to understand the real meaning of a sympathy card. Unlike other types of cards, it is a way for you to express your heartache, support, comfort, and empathy for the loss of a friend, relative, or coworker. A meaningful sympathy card can also help you pay your respects and heal a part of their grief.
What to say in your sympathy messages
The second thing you need to learn is some simple tips to write your personal sympathy messages. It is important to make your card not to sound formal or distant but to show your thoughtfulness, kindness, and understanding. There are three basic elements often including in sympathy messages, which are:
By showing your sincere condolences, you are lending a piece of your heart to the one who is going through a difficult time. Make sure to keep your personal sympathy message short but still show most or all of what you wanted to say. For examples:
- Sorry for your loss, (the person’s name).
- I can’t imagine what this loss feels like. I’m going to miss him (her), too.
- Sharing in your sadness as you remember … (the deceased’s name).
- With most heartfelt sympathy as you remember … (the deceased’s name).
- I was sorry to hear that your … (the deceased) passed away.
- I know how much (the deceased’s name) meant to you over the years. He (She) will be deeply missed.
Share an appreciation for the deceased
With this part, you can write a brief memory of the one who passed away. Though it cannot completely make the pain go away, a high appreciation or admiration for the deceased can be a great comfort to his or her family. You can consider:
- What a kindhearted person who lived a remarkable life. I feel so lucky to know and work with her (him).
- Mourning his (her) passing with you. (the deceased’s name) was an incredible lady (man), and I feel privileged to have known her.
- I’m grateful I had the chance to know … (the deceased’s name). He (she) was a sweet, generous, and energetic person.
- Your … (the deceased) helped so many people with her (his) talent and kindness. My condolences to you and your family.
- I have the best memories of staying with (the deceased’s name). Praying that you’ll find comfort in your thoughts of her.
Offer support or help
Show your assistance to the deceased’s family should be another part of your message. Remember that specific offers of help work the best. The grieving person can feel more comforted when someone willing to help them in this difficult period. Try to say some simple things such as:
- Know that I’m always here for you if you want to talk about it or you need any help.
- You’re always in my thoughts and please let me know when you need anything.
- I want you to know that I’m here for you and your family in these difficult times. Tell me when you need anything.
- I know I can’t ease your pain now, but I want you to know I’m right here if you need me or my help.
- I really want to help out in any way I can. You can lean on me in this difficult time.
- You’ve got so much on your mind and your heart right now. I’ll call to see when would be a good time to bring you some food.
- This must be a very difficult time for you and your family. We will take care of the yard and birdhouse as long as you need.
- You know I’m here for you. If there is anything I can do, please let me know.
What not to say in your sympathy messages
Besides our instruction of what to write in a sympathy card, you also need to know something in the opposite. Depending on your relationship with the deceased and their family, you should find the right words to write on that card. This will help you avoid clumsy sentiments or unnecessary things that may even come across as offensive for the grieving person.
Avoid harsh words like “Death,” “Died,” or similar in a time of grief because it may not be taken well by every audience. Apart from that, don’t use well-intentioned advice like “Stay strong” or “You’ll get through it soon.” in your card because this may not actually help them at all.
Additionally, some sentiments such as “He was gone too soon”, “This happened for a reason,” “He/she was so young to die” should also be get rid of if you don’t want to bring the feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility to the recipients.
Other recommendation for you
If you can’t be with the grieving person in person, a sympathy card should be sent as soon as possible after you hear of their loss. Your words of support and sympathy can comfort and soothe some of their pain.
Moreover, don’t forget to follow up and support them with your practical assistance. Some ongoing messages on other occasions can help you deliver your care for your friends and their family as well as how much you’re thinking about them. Send them meaningful pop cards on the deceased’s birthday, a wedding anniversary, etc…