Writing a Thoughtful Sympathy Card

Writing a sympathy card is a task that nobody wants to have to do. It’s not an enjoyable occasion and often something that we can’t plan for. But, it is an important gesture to show our support during a difficult time. It can also be a practical way to offer some much needed help.

Nobody wants to risk writing the wrong thing, so here are some tips help you relax and write a thoughtful message that shows you care.

After picking out the perfect card, these phrases can be a good place to start:

  • “We are so sorry for your loss”
  • “With deepest sympathy, as you remember ______”
  • “My thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time”
  • “Thinking of you and wishing you moments of peace and comfort as you remember a loved one”
  • “I’m deeply sorry your family is experiencing the pain of a loss like this. My heart goes out to each of you.”
  • “It’s going to take time to get through the shock of this loss. Just want you to know we’ll be here for you all the way.”
  • “We were surprised and saddened to hear of _______ passing. We will miss them very much”

If you are writing to friends or family members of the deceased who may not know you, it might be thoughtful to mention how you knew their loved one. Sharing a little anecdote can help grieving family members or friends feel closer to those no longer with them. It can also be comforting to hear that others thought highly of their loved one, so be sure to let your recipients know.

  • “I feel so lucky to have known them. They lived an extraordinary life and I will never forget the time we ______”
  • “_____ touched so many lives for the good. I am grateful to have had such a wonderful colleague and friend. We will all miss her very much.”
  • “The funeral service was a great tribute to him and all that he has done for our community. ______ was a kind and generous man who will be missed greatly.”

If you’re in a position to help out your recipient in any way, be sure to let them know. People often don’t reach out when they are grieving because they don’t want to feel like a burden to their friends or family members. Offering something specific, such as taking over food or mowing their lawn, can be a great help during somebody’s grieving process and a good segue to check in on them.

  • “Thinking of you and your family. I’d like to help in any way I can. I’ll call later this week to see when would be a good time to bring over a meal for you.”
  • “I know that _______ used to take care of mowing the lawn. I’d love to come and help out with that.”
  • “You have so much on your mind right now, so let me give you one less thing to worry about and take care of ________”

The important thing about offering help is to follow through with it. After you’ve sent your card, give them a phone call after a couple of days to make plans.

So whether the card says it all for you, or you’ve written an extra message inside, sending a Sympathy card is an important, thoughtful touch that can help a person feel less alone during their grief.

Browse Sympathy Cards

If you don’t have time to write out your card by hand and post it, consider trying out our “Direct to recipient” feature.

Our unique fonts adapt to look like real handwriting and give your messages the perfect personal touch.