How to Write and Send a Sympathy Card

Deciding what to write in a sympathy card or bereavement card can be challenging. There are no magic words to heal heartbreak, and you won’t be expected to write them. The act of sending a thoughtful card is what will matter most. So, if you’re having a hard time choosing just the right words of sympathy for someone’s loss, here are some suggestions to get you started:

It makes sense to write and send a sympathy card as soon as you’ve heard the news of somebody’s passing. However, if you need time to process the loss or put your feelings into words, you should feel comfortable waiting a short while to get your thoughts figured out. Your kind words will be meaningful even a few weeks or months after a loss.

Choosing a sympathy card
Many greeting card retailers sell beautiful cards containing sentiments or quotations that may resonate with you. When you cannot find the right things to say sometimes the words contained within may express your feelings better than you know how to at the time. But even a blank card containing your own words can be a perfect gesture. If you’re on the search for a sympathy card, try these resources:

How to address a sympathy card
If you’re writing a card to a friend who’s experienced a loss, simply address your card to that person. However, if the deceased was a friend, and you do not know the deceased’s family well, your best bet is to address the card to his or her closest relative – their spouse, for example.

What to write in a sympathy card
It’s nice to start your card with a general expression of sympathy. Try something like, “I was deeply sorry to hear about the death of your friend.”

A good next step is to recall a fond memory or story of the deceased, if you have one. Remembering or learning about the wonderful life of a lost friend can be very healing for a grieving person.
If you feel so inclined, consider adding an additional personal touch, such as a photo or meaningful quotation. A simple search online can be a great place to start, and sites such as BrainyQuote do a good job of collecting beautiful words.

There are many approaches for expressing your feelings during a difficult time, one thing to remember is that if your message is from the heart and sincere, it will likely resonate with and be meaningful to your recipient.

Handwriting your message is generally considered most personal, so avoid typing if you can.

We hope this helps relieve some of the stress of finding the perfect words for your card. Remember, the thoughtfulness of your gesture will say a lot.


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