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In this article, we are going to share how to write good sympathy notes:
- Finding a sympathy card
- What to write to someone who has lost a loved one
- Giving flowers to the bereaved
Finding a Sympathy Card
When you are looking for a way to express your condolences, there are lots of available options. Depending on the situation, a call, visit, or text message may be the best or only option. Another great way to say your kind words during this difficult time is through a sympathy card or note. You can make use of the condolence message already inscribed inside or add your own to make it even more personal.
To find a sympathy card or note, there are several places you can look. Your local shopping center should have many options in the grocery store or a bookshop. If you have time, you can also order online.
What to Write to Someone Who Has Lost a Loved One
What do you say to someone going through what could be the hardest challenge of their life? It’s not easy to find the right words of sympathy during a time of grieving. You have to be careful that what you say is sensitive to the pain someone is facing. In the same way, asking too many questions or trying to explain what has happened may not be the right approach. The bereaving is likely trying to make sense of their loss. They may be feeling confused, lonely, or devasted, so you must be careful and considerate of what you say to them. In many cases, they may not even want to talk much and could even lose their appetite. The best that you can do for them is to show that you care and are there for them in whatever way they may require.
We have prepared some ideas about how to write a sympathy note. Keeping it simple and kind is the best approach.
- A sympathy note doesn’t have to be very long, but it is typically longer than a simple card and shorter than a condolence letter.
- Some recommended sections to have in a sympathy note include condolences, appreciation, an offer to help, a follow-up, and a closing. We break these sections down below.
- Condolences- There are many simple sentences you can say to express your condolences. Examples include “I am very sorry for your loss,” “Thinking of you during this difficult time,” “With deepest sympathy as you remember Mary.” You can also make it more personal by referring to how you worked with the departed, knew them for many years, or any other meaningful connection you may have had. Doing this is also very useful if you knew the deceased personally but not their family member to whom you are sending the note.
- Appreciation- In the next section of the note, you can mention details about something you admired or appreciated about the deceased. If they were always smiling or loved to help others, make mention of this. This can give their remaining family something to smile about as they both grieve the loss and remember the memory of their beloved. The more personal and specific you can be, the better. An example is “Your father was an inspiration to many, and I am going to miss how he always had an exciting story to tell about his travels,” or “I fondly remember how Aunt Sue used to make the best home-made ice-cream for us during school holidays,” or simply, “Celebrating the life of a kind man and mourning his passing on with you.”
- An offer to help- Organizing a funeral while grieving a loss can take its toll on someone. Many people may not directly ask for help during this time, but you can be assured they can use it. If the relationship you have with the bereaved is a close one, including an offer to help in the sympathy note could be very much appreciated. You can offer specific assistance with meal prep, childcare, pet care, or with making arrangements. Alternatively, a general offer to assist where needed is also appropriate.
- A follow-up- If you have previously expressed your condolences and some time has passed since the loss, a follow-up is a good idea. Consider this a way to check up on the grieving person and make them know that you are still thinking of them as they go through the pain of moving on. There are a few things you can say here, such as “It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since the passing on of Bob. Thinking of you during this time.”
- A closing- Finally, you can end off your note with a warm and short closing. Some phrases you can use are “With sympathy,” “With warm thoughts and prayers,” “My sincere condolences,” or “In caring sympathy.”
The suggested layout isn’t the only way to write a sympathy note, but it can give you some ideas about how to structure your note and what you can say.
Giving Flowers to the Bereaved
You can also add an arrangement of flowers along with your sympathy note. Sympathy bouquets or wreaths make a great gift during a time of loss. You can get them delivered with FloraQueen or hand-deliver them. Your flowers can also be displayed at the funeral.
Knowing how to write a sympathy note requires some thought. When you keep it warm and personal and use the suggestions we have shared above, you can bring much comfort during a difficult time.