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What To Write In A Sympathy Card [79 Caring Condolences]

WRITTEN by CHRISSY, LAST UPDATED ON July 27, 2023

& FILED IN Gift Giving 

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Struggling to convey all you want to say to a grieving person? It’s hard to find the right words – so here are some thoughtful ideas for inspiration as to what to write in a sympathy card to them. I hope they help send the right condolences to show that you’re thinking about them at this difficult time.

79 Thoughtful Ideas For What To Write In A Sympathy Card

“Sorry for your loss”.

This phrase is all too commonly heard when someone passes away.

And although it’s says everything I’m sure you’re feeling, it’s hard to make it feel totally personal.

So – whoever you’re sending a card to – here are some carefully though out ideas and inspiration to help you if you’re struggling with what to say. 

NOTE: This is especially important to think about for blank cards that don’t have anything written inside already. It can often feel quite overwhelming to choose the right words for all that white space, right?! But I DO recommend getting a greetings card that’s blank inside, because it gives you more chance to send a personal message and that can be much more thoughtful for the recipient than pre-filled in words, so it’s worth it for sure.

What Should You Say, And What Should you Avoid?

What Are Good Things To Write In A Sympathy Card?

It’s so important to get the words right, because this is such a difficult and emotional time. Here are the main ‘themes’ you’ll want to check off when you write your card.

  • Empathy
  • Your condolences
  • Talk from the heart – and write in the first person (“I will miss him” vs. “He will be missed”)
  • Offer support – emotional, but also physical – and be as specific as you can, because it’s so hard to ask for help if you’re not offered it properly…
  • Share a memory

TIP – If you’re sending a card to someone you don’t know, because you DO know the person who has passed – always say how you know them.

What To NOT Write In A Sympathy Card

It’s just as important to steer clear of certain things as well when you write a condolence card.

Here are some things you want to avoid:

  • Make it about you and your own experiences
  • Say that it could have been worse
  • Say they are in a better place
  • Words of advice – what they ‘should’ do, or how they ‘should’ feel
  • Cliches
Blackboard with wooden box and white flowers

16 Short Condolence Messages To Use

Sometimes all you need is a little message as that can say it all, but these are also good as ways to sign off from your card – the choice is yours!

  1. With heartfelt sympathy
  2. Sending comforting hugs
  3. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers
  4. With love at this sad time
  5. With love and fond memories
  6. Forever in our thoughts
  7. With you in sorrow
  8. You are in our thoughts during this difficult time
  9. Caring thoughts are with you
  10. Gone but never forgotten
  11. Wishing you peace
  12. I’m here for you
  13. My heart goes out to you and your family
  14. With heartfelt condolences
  15. With all our love and sympathy at this sad time
  16. Treasured in memories

6 Ideas For What To Write In A Sympathy Card To A Friend

Writing a sympathy card to a friend can be difficult, as you want to express your sorrow and compassion while also providing comfort.

It’s important to not only let them know that you are there for them, but also acknowledge their pain and loss.

Start by expressing your condolences and letting them know you’re thinking of them during this difficult time. Offer a few kind words to remind the person that they’re not alone, and let them know how much you care about them.

Above all though, let your friend know that you’re there for him/her if they need anything or just someone to talk to.

  1. “Holding you close in my thoughts and hoping you’re doing OK.”
  2. “I know I can’t make your pain go away, but I want you to know I’m here for anything you need.”
  3. “I’m not sure what to say. Just want you to know that I care about you, and I share in your sadness.”
  4. “The feelings of sorrow can be easier to navigate with a friend. Please know that I’m here for you during this difficult time.”
  5. “Wishing you peace to bring you comfort, courage to face the days ahead and loving memories to forever hold in your heart.”
  6. “You have my deepest sympathy and unwavering support. Always.”

8 Ideas For What To Write In A Sympathy Card Loss Of Husband / Wife

Writing a sympathy card for someone who’s lost their husband or wife can be difficult.

There are no perfect words that can express the sorrow and grief of losing a life partner.

However, it’s important to let the grieving person know they’re not alone in their grief and to offer your comfort.

  1.  “I know the days and months ahead will be a big adjustment, so please give yourself a lot of grace. Do whatever you need to take care of you—and know I’m here for you, too.”
  2. “Losing the one you love is so hard. And so I’m praying hard for you – for peace, for comfort, for whatever you need right now.”
  3. “My heart goes out to you and your family on the loss of [name]. He/she was one of the most generous and kind-hearted souls I ever met, and I’ll never forget him/her.”
  4. “Thinking of you as you celebrate [name]’s beautiful life. He/she will live on in your heart.”
  5. “My deepest condolences to you and your family on the passing of your wife. She was such a beautiful soul – may she rest in peace. Wishing you strength and healing.”
  6. “You are in my thoughts at this terrible time. [name] was a wonderful man/woman, and will never be forgotten.”
  7. “When someone as special as your wife lives the way she did, her legacy is sure to live on through the many lives she touched.”
  8. “Words cannot describe how sorry I am for your loss. [Name] was an amazing person full of life, and he’ll be missed dearly.”

11 Ideas For What To Write In A Sympathy Card Loss Of Father / Mother

When someone you care about loses a parent, it can be difficult to find the right words of comfort.

Writing a sympathy card can be an effective way to show your support and offer condolences in a meaningful way.

There are no perfect words that will take away the pain of their loss, but expressing your sincere sympathy and offering kind thoughts may help:

  1. “I was saddened to hear your father passed away. All my thoughts are with you and your family.”
  2. “It was truly a pleasure to know your father for x years. He will be deeply missed.”
  3. “Remembering your wonderful mother and wishing you all my love and thoughts”
  4. “Your Mum’s amazing qualities are being carried on beautifully by you. She will be greatly missed and always remembered.”
  5. “Thinking of you as you celebrate your mum’s amazing life.”
  6. “Your Mum was an amazing lady, and I feel privileged to have known her”
  7. “I didn’t have the chance to know your Dad, but he must have been someone special to have raised a great daughter like you.”
  8. “We are so sorry to hear of your dad’s passing. He was an inspiration to many. You’re in our thoughts during this difficult time.”
  9. “The lessons your dad taught you, the love he gave, the way he cared for people…all those good things live on in you.”
  10. “Your Father was so proud of you and loved you so much. I hope this comforts you as you deal with his loss”
  11. “Your Mum was an amazing lady, and I feel privileged to have known her. I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.”

9 Ideas For What To Write In A Sympathy Card For A Coworker

Writing a sympathy card for a coworker can be difficult, as there is a line between showing empathy and crossing boundaries. However, it’s important to show your support during a time of grief.

A thoughtful sympathy card with well-chosen words can offer comfort to someone who may be grieving the loss of a loved one.

  1. “[name] was such a terrific colleague and friend. I miss her deeply.”
  2. “Even though we haven’t had the chance to meet in person, I feel like I know you from how [name] talked about you. It was easy to see how much he loved you.”
  3. “Please accept my warmest condolences. I’m truly sorry for your loss.”
  4. “It was truly a pleasure to work with your husband. He will be missed by many.”
  5. “I’m so sorry for your loss. [name] was much more than just a colleague; she was a true friend, and I will miss her dearly.”
  6. “We are deeply sorry about the loss of (name). Know that we are remembering him/her fondly.”
  7. “Our hearts go out to you and your family. Although I don’t know exactly what to say, I want you to know that I am with you in thought and wish you comfort and peace as you remember (name).”
  8. “Our love and deepest sympathies to you and your family.”
  9. “The happiness [name] brought into the lives of people he/she knew can never be forgotten. Wishing you peace during this difficult time.”  

4 Ideas For What To Write In A Sympathy Card For A Neighbour

When a neighbor has suffered a loss, sending them a sympathy card is a thoughtful way to show your support and let them know that you are thinking of them in their time of sorrow.

  1. “Just a note to let you know we share in your sadness as you mourn the passing of (name).”
  2. “I wanted to express my deepest condolences to you and your family during this sad time.”
  3. “Although no words can take away the sorrow that you bear. May it be comforting to you to know that others care.”
  4. “May you take comfort in loving memory and the friends and family that surround you.”

9 Ideas For What To Write In A Sympathy Card With Flowers

When sending flowers to someone in mourning, it can be difficult to know what to write in the accompanying sympathy card.

Writing a sympathy card does not have to be complicated or lengthy, just a few heartfelt sentences conveying your condolences are often enough.

Flowers are usually sent when you’re too far away to see the person – so a lot of these ideas are based on that as well:

  1. “Sending healing prayers and comforting hugs. I am so sorry for your loss.”
  2. “Holding you close in my thoughts and hoping you are doing OK.”
  3. “Please know that I am with you, I’m only a phone call away.”
  4. “Although we are far away we will hold you close in our thoughts and in our hearts today and always”
  5. “Sending you love and caring wishes to let you know you are never far from my thoughts.”
  6. “It was with great sadness that we learned of [name] passing. Please accept our heartfelt condolences and we hope that in a small way they help through these trying times”
  7. “[name] always loved (type of flower). I have so many wonderful memories of him/her. So sorry for your loss.”
  8. “Thinking of you and hoping you’re doing okay.”
  9. “My deepest sympathies for your sad loss. Know that you’re in my thoughts every day.”

Other Gifts To Send With A Sympathy Card

You may want to drop a little gift off on the doorstep of your friend or family member, and here are some brilliant ideas that show you’ve taken some thought in what would be appropriate.

  • Cooked meal – they’re likely to not want to cook at all right now, so a healthy hot meal is a perfect present.
  • Potted plant – easy to look after, and no need to cut and find a vase like you would with flowers.
  • Photo (album or in a frame) – if you’ve got a special photo of the person who has passed away, this can be a lovely token to send.
  • Flower seeds to plant in memory – new life will bring a freshness to the heavy emotions.
  • Sponsor a star in the sky in their memory – a really touching gift.
  • Candle – it’s always therapeutic and calming to light a candle…
  • Charity donation – especially good if there is a specific charity close to the deceaseds heart.

9 General Condolence Card Messages

And here’s a selection of ideas to use if you’re wanting something else that’s not been covered in any of the groups above:

  1. “Wishing you strength and comfort through this difficult time.”
  2. “Thinking of you and wishing you moments of peace and comfort.”
  3. “He can only be physically gone but never the life lived, and the memories shared. Have faith, be strong and know that you’re not alone.”
  4. “Celebrating the life of a great person and mourning his/her passing with you.”
  5. “May (name) rest in peace. We can’t express how much she will be missed in our lives. Our deepest condolences to you and your family.”
  6. “My heart goes out to you and your family as you deal with this terrible loss. “
  7. “Sending hugs, love and lots of prayers for you and your family.”
  8. “Many come into our lives but only a few leave with their footprints on our hearts”
  9. “Life isn’t fair, and the loss of [name] is proof of that. He was one of the good ones, and will be fondly remembered.”

TIP: If you’re sending a card to mark the passing of someone you know – and you don’t know their family – then write how you knew them and maybe a story you remember of them. This will feel really special and show how loved they were.

4 Quotes That Would Be Perfect For A Sympathy Card

I do love a good quote. They can be a brilliant way to add some sentiment that you want to convey, without having to use words chosen fully by you.

  1. “When a person becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure”
  2. “Time may pass and fade away but memories – they will always stay”
  3. “Those we love and lose are always connected by heartstrings into infinity.” – Terri Guillemets
  4. “Although it’s difficult today to see beyond the sorrow, may looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow.”

Sympathy Cards To Send

Now you know what you want to write, let’s look at a few suitable (and lovely) cards to send. I LOVE choosing cards, and so I’ve done the hard work and collated my favourites for you to pick from. Hope it helps!

Note – Clicking on any item below will take you to the store so you can see details and purchase – for your convenience. The links are affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission for any purchase you make – at absolutely no cost to you, of course.

What To Write In A Sympathy Card [79 Caring Condolences] - 350

And How About Later On…

It’s not just the time of their passing that may need a card sent – it’s also at the special times in the future (Birthday, Anniversary etc…) and just out of the blue when someone may need to be reminded that you’re thinking of them.

Here are some ideal words to say for these occasions:

  1. “Just wanted to let you know we’re remembering [name] on his birthday and sending lots of caring thoughts your way.”
  2. “Couldn’t let this anniversary go by without letting you know that I’m thinking of you.”
  3. “Just wanted to let you know that you’re still in my thoughts. I really hope you’re doing OK, and please let me know if you need anything.”
79 Thoughtful Ideas For What To Write In A Sympathy Card

So there you have it – loads of great inspiration for what to write in a sympathy card.

Hope you’ve found the perfect thing to say in the card you’re sending – and I hope that whoever you send the card to gets some comfort from your words…

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This article was written by Chrissy

Hi - I'm Chrissy... Having run my own business for 12 years as a Professional Organiser and Interior Designer, I know what works (and what doesn't!) when it comes to setting up a home that works both functionally and aesthetically. Now you can mostly find me in a coffee shop or at home, working full time on OrganiseMyHouse.com (which I setup back in 2011) sharing all my tips and ideas. My mission is to help you create a home that you love to live in every day...