This guide provides a detailed overview of how to write a sympathy card, including important aspects such as the reasons for sending one, proper addressing etiquette, a range of writing prompts, and what to avoid writing. By reading this comprehensive guide, you can gain insight into how to express your condolences to friends, family, and acquaintances who have lost a loved one. While there are several ways to offer condolences, a handmade sympathy card is often the most cherished during and after a period of intense grief.
Why should you send sympathy cards?
Although sending a sympathy ecard or text message is also appropriate, it’s essential not to overlook the importance of providing a traditional sympathy card. While a brief message sent through your phone may take only a few seconds to send, a card that has been thoughtfully chosen, purchased (or created), personally written, and delivered by hand demonstrates a greater level of care and concern for the bereaved individual or family.
Sympathy cards online are often displayed for several weeks after a loss, serving as a visible reminder of the support and care provided by each sender. Moreover, a sympathy card, note, or letter can be read repeatedly over time, providing lasting comfort to the recipient during their darkest moments.
Who should the sympathy card be addressed to?
It is customary to address a sympathy card to the closest living family member or relative if you had a close relationship with the deceased. This is typically the spouse or oldest child. If you are unsure, you can address the card to “The Family of [Deceased’s Name].” It is also appropriate to send separate cards to each individual family member if you have a personal relationship with them.
If you didn’t have a personal relationship with the deceased but your friend or family member did, it’s appropriate to send a sympathy card addressed to them. If your friend or family member has experienced a loss, it’s also appropriate to send a sympathy card addressed to them. It’s always a good idea to end your greeting with “and family” to acknowledge the entire family unit.
Quotes to add in Sympathy cards
Using quotes can be a helpful way to let someone else’s words express your sentiments in certain situations. You may also choose to include a relevant quote in your condolences as an additional way to emphasize or reinforce your message. Below are some more helpful examples, or you may choose to find your own.
- The author of the quote is unknown, but the message remains powerful: Grief is not a sign of weakness or a lack of faith. Rather, it is the price we pay for loving someone deeply.
- Leonardo da Vinci once said that just as a well-spent day can bring happy sleep, a life well lived can bring a peaceful and contented death.
- Maya Angelou believed that great souls never truly die. Instead, they continue to serve and connect us, bringing us together time and time again.
- Leo Buscaglia offered the comforting idea that the people we love never truly leave us, as their love continues to shape and influence our lives in profound ways.
- According to Thomas Campbell, those we love who have passed on continue to live on in the hearts and memories of those they have left behind.
- Abraham Lincoln believed that the quality of our life is more important than the quantity of our years.
- Robert Louis Stevenson encouraged us to hold onto grateful memories in times of sorrow, like a bird singing in the rain.
- Joni Mitchell recognized that although it may be easy to express sorrow, it can be difficult to truly convey the depth of our emotions.
- Dorothy Ferguson expressed the impact that even the briefest moments with someone we love can have on our hearts and lives.
How to conclude a sympathy card
You might be wondering how to end a sympathy card or what to write in the closing section. Here are some suggested phrases:
- With love and thanks,
- May peace be with you,
- Our thoughts and hearts are with you as we offer our deepest condolences and warmest wishes. I’m here for you,
- We truly love and stand by you.
Sending a condolences card to someone who has recently lost a loved one is a kind gesture, but it is also thoughtful to reach out to them again in some way, whether it be in person, over the phone, through email, or in a letter.