What to Write in a Sympathy Card

5 min read

When it comes to writing in a sympathy card, it can be challenging to find the right words to put in the card. We never want to say the wrong thing, but at the same time, we want to offer words of comfort and support – but even our best intentions are never clear or concise. When it comes to what to write in a sympathy card, we share some tips and phrases that make something sometimes awkward and uncomfortable, easy to do. We have compiled some useful tips that can help create those personal and heartfelt messages.

Some of the things we cover include:

  • Different types of sympathy cards
  • Ideas for different types of sympathy cards

Why Write a Sympathy Card?

After experiencing a loss, it can sometimes feel impossible to face a new reality and accept a new usual way of life. There is no rule nor specific timeline as to how long one can grieve for before they should be “okay.” When it comes to grief and mourning, it is essential to take each day one by one. If the person who is experiencing the loss is a friend or family member, taking some time in your day to show your support during this difficult time can mean a lot to them.

Enter the sympathy card.

There are no one-size-fits-all sympathy cards for loss, nor is there the ideal combination of words to show support. Sometimes the best messages are the ones that come straight from the heart. Don’t stress when it comes to sympathy cards, as many cards already have some prewritten words of sympathy already written up. You can enhance the prepopulated message with a simple message.

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Different Types of Sympathy Cards

Just as one can find different types of birthday or anniversary cards, there are different types of sympathy cards to pick from. Below, we share different kinds of sympathy cards and the messages you can include in each one.

Sympathy Cards for an Acquaintance

General sympathy cards are good for someone who you may not be close with or someone whom you have known for only a short amount of time. Someone you would give a general sympathy card to includes a colleague, neighbor, or acquaintance.

An example of the different messages you can write in a general sympathy card include:

  • I am sorry for your loss.
  • We are praying for your comfort and strength during this difficult time.
  • We are wishing you feelings of comfort, peace, and everlasting happy and fond memories of (insert name) during this difficult time.
  • I hope you know that we care and are thinking of you during this time.
  • We hope that you find comfort knowing that you are not alone during this difficult time and that you are cared for by so many.

Sympathy Cards for a Parent

These messages are ideal for someone who has suffered the loss of a mother or father.

  • The beautiful qualities of (insert parents’ name) have beautifully been passed down to you. They shall always be remembered no matter how much time shall pass.
  • Your father/mother raised an incredible son/daughter. May you always feel his pride, love, and joy.
  • You took such care of your mom/dad near the end. He/she was lucky to have you during this rough time.
  • Your mom/dad left a lasting impact on the world. It was a pleasure and privilege to get to know them.
  • Your mother/father shall forever remain in our memories and hearts.
  • Your mother/father is going to be missed by many. They shall never be forgotten; their legacy lives on.
  • I don’t know your mom/dad personally, but I know that he/she raised someone who has grown up to be a fantastic person!
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Sympathy Cards for a Spouse

These messages are ideal for someone who has lost their spouse.

  • Should you ever want to talk about (insert spouse name), I am always here.
  • We all share in the sadness and loss of (insert spouse name) and sending you love and support during this difficult time.
  • I hope you know that there are not enough words to describe your loss, but know there is so much love surrounding you. The memories shall live on in all the people’s lives they have touched.
  • The joy and happiness that (insert spouse name) brought into the world shall never be forgotten.
  • My family and I are holding you in our hearts during this difficult time.

How Should I Sign the Sympathy Card?

Signing a sympathy card is not like signing a birthday or anniversary card. Some examples of how you can sign a sympathy card include:

  • With caring thoughts
  • My sincerest sympathy
  • Our deepest condolences
  • You’re in our thoughts and prayers

Adding to a Sympathy Card

Want to add something extra to the sympathy card? Some additional points to add to a sympathy card include a personal story or memory of the person. This can help show you are keeping the person’s memory alive. A photograph can add a personal touch and show the closeness and impact the person had on your life. Other things that could be included in a sympathy card that just adds to it are inspirational quotes or scriptures.

These personal touches can provide support to the person and show just how much the deceased person meant. Even if the person who has passed may have been an acquaintance, these small acts can mean a lot to the person experiencing the loss.

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Remember that when it comes to writing a sympathy card, consider who the recipient is and the relationship you have with them and the deceased. What you write in a sympathy card of a family member is going to be very different than what you write in the sympathy card of a colleague or friend. If you are not close with the person, avoid being too emotional or sentimental as it may come across as trying too hard. Do not use jokes and try to be humorous, as it may not be adequately perceived.

Writing a sympathy card is never easy, regardless of how close you are or were with the person. What matters the most is the thought and effort that went to writing and sending the card – this act is what is going to be appreciated.

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