What to write in a sympathy card?

Finding what to write in a sympathy card can be a difficult task. Your friend or family member is going through a tough time dealing with their loss and they will need your support during this period. Finding the perfect sympathy card is the first step in showing your condolences towards your recipient. 

When choosing the right sympathy card, you’ve got to go with a card which shows your support but is not patronising or insensitive towards the recipient. After you have found the perfect card, it’s time to think about what to write inside.

When finding the right sympathy card messages it can be really hard. You want to show your condolences but the fear of saying the wrong thing can often lead to saying nothing at all. You being there for your friend or family member is what is most important when they are experiencing a passing away.

You’re not there to sort all their issues but just to show the support that you can. There is no need to overthink the situation but rather speak from the heart. It can be as simple as letting them know you are always available for a chat or just offering any support you can. 

Here are a few of Dos and Don’ts when sending your sympathy card. 

  • Do offer to help
  • Do write by hand – We can help with our handwritten card service.
  • Do make the card personal
  • Do post/deliver the card as soon as possible
  • Do express your support and compassion
  • Don’t use a generic message by a florist or ready print
  • Don’t send condolences by text
  • Don’t mention circumstances around the death
  • Don’t send an insensitive card

These tips should help you provide the best support possible during your recipient’s hard period. 

Now, it’s time to find the perfect message for what to write in a sympathy card. Read on to find a wonderful selection of sympathy card messages and ideas. 

Short, Simple Sympathy Messages

  • Hold onto the love and the beautiful memories you had
  • Though there’s no words to ease your loss, know that you and your family are in my/our thoughts always.
  • I feel truly blessed to have known your (family member), he was such an exceptional man/woman.
  • So lost for words… just know we love you and we are always here for you. 
  • With heartfelt condolences.
  • We are sorry for your loss.
  • I hope you feel surrounded by much love. My thoughts are with you.
  • With deepest sympathy as you remember (Name)
  • Holding you close in our thoughts and hoping you are doing okay. 
  • Sending hugs and best wishes during this difficult time.
  • We are so sorry for your loss.
  • I’m going to miss her, too.
  • I hope you feel surrounded by much love.
  • Our family is keeping your family in our thoughts and prayers.
  • She/he will be remembered forever…
  • Live your life and make them proud.
  • It’s okay, not to be okay.
  • There are no words to describe how much (Name)  meant to us. We are so sorry for your loss.
  • We hope this card finds you surrounded by love and compassion.
  • The loss of a loved one is never easy, but know we are with you through your grief.
  • Our hearts are saddened to learn of your loss, please know we are with you. 
  • Please accept our warmest condolences, we are deeply sorry for your loss. 
  • Where lives end, memories live forever. 
  • We are so sorry to have learned about your loss. We are here for you however needed. 
  • The office/workplace is with you in your thoughts during this time of healing.
  • Please know you are in our thoughts, and in our hearts. 

Recognising how amazing the person who has passed is a lovely way to show your condolences as it reminds the recipient of the type of person their loved one was. 

Appreciation messages

  • Your (family member) was an extremely caring and kind man/woman. Make them proud.
  • I remember the first time I met your (family member). He/She made me feel so welcome and comfortable right away.
  • I wish I could’ve met such an amazing man/woman. I am here for you and all your family. 
  • I could always count on your (family member) to lighten the mood with a good joke. There will never be another man/woman quite like him/her and his/her memory will live on forever.
  • I am saddened to learn of the loss your family has suffered. I hope you can move through this difficult time together as one.
  • We must celebrate the life (name) lived, remembering all the good times we had as a family. 
  • No words will ever be able to explain the impact (name/family member) had on our family. We will always keep him/her in our thoughts.
  • Remembering your wonderful (family member) and wishing you comfort through this time.
  • We are thinking of you all as you celebrate your (family member) remarkable life
  • I am sorry you lost your (family member) I know he/she loved you very much and that you will miss him/her greatly. I am sure he/she is very proud of you. I will always remember him/her as a great character.
  • (Name) touched so many lives for the good. I’m grateful I had the chance to know him/her. He/She will be dearly missed.
  • Celebrating the life of a good man/woman and mourning his/her passing with you.
  • Your (family member)  touched so many lives for the good. I’m grateful I had the chance to know him/her as both a colleague and a great friend.
  • The joy (name) brought to our lives will not be forgotten. 
  • I am celebrating the life (name) lived and am forever thankful for his/her impact on my life. 

Now that you have got personal, it’s good to add some extra condolences or memories, here are some examples below. 

Longer sympathy messages

  • I know I can’t make your pain go away, but I want you to know I’m here with a shoulder or an ear or anything else you need.
  • You’ve got so much on your mind and on your heart right now. We hope it will make one less worry to know that Kevin and I will be taking care of the yard for as long as you need.
  • When death occurs in a family, it leaves behind an emptiness that can only be filled by the love of others and time. Please do reach out if there’s anything we can do to help
  • I am dearly sorry for your loss. I know there’s nothing to say to make the pain go away, but I hope you find comfort in that your (family member) had one of the sweetest people around. He brought so much joy to everyone he encountered and had a huge impact on my life.
  • (family member) was like family to me, I hope I can support you as much as he/she supported me through my tough times. He/she will always be in my thoughts and he/she will always look down on us. 

Sympathy messages for pets

If you are an animal lover, you are bound to understand the heartbreak of losing a pet. Especially when it has been such a big part of your life, it is like losing a member of your family. 

Similarly with losing a friend or a loved one, the passing of a pet can cause similar grievance and hurting. As a friend or a family member who doesn’t have a pet nor has experienced the passing of a pet, it can be difficult to help someone experiencing this pain. 

Like losing a friend or family member, it is important to stick by the dos and don’t when finding what to write in a sympathy card. The only addition we would need to add is to make sure you are sensitive to the loss the recipient is experiencing. Just because this was an animal, it does not mean that this should be handled any differently. 

  •  [Pet’s name] was such a great [dog/cat/etc.]. He/she was lucky to have chosen you as his family.
  • We can never keep them long enough! You are in our thoughts and prayers.
  • At first they need us, and then we need them.
 Wishing you comfort and peace during this difficult time.
  • In this tragic moment, perhaps you could celebrate the life of your beloved animal friend.
  • May fond memories of your beloved pet warm your heart always.
  • Life is short, and the loss of a pet serves to remind us of how precious our time here truly is. I’m sorry to hear about the loss of such a wonderful pet.
  • Your pet had such a wonderful life with you. I’m so sorry you had to say goodbye.
  • This breaks my heart for you. I am so, so sorry.
  • I’m so sorry you lost your best friend. What a special and gentle soul he/she was.
  • She/he was one in a million.

We hope our list has given you some helpful tips on what to write in a sympathy card. The last tip we would like to give you is if you use any of our messages, please make them personal to your recipient. 

To end the message within the card, please have a look at how we think sympathy cards should be signed. 

How to sign a sympathy card

  • My deepest condolences
  • With sympathy
  • Keeping you in our prayers
  • Wishing you peace
  • Thinking of you
  • With caring thoughts,
  • My deepest sympathy,
  • Warmest condolences,
  • Please accept my condolences,
  • With Sympathy,
  • All my love,
  • My heart goes out to you,
  • With sincere sympathy,
  • Caring thoughts are with you

Usually you just give your recipient a sympathy card but you could also look into purchasing a sympathy gift. There are lots of gifts you could choose from, a popular yet simple gift would be flowers which shows sympathy and sensitivity towards your recipient.

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