Writing Bereavement Cards – Sympathy Phrases to Avoid

When expressing a message of sympathy to someone who has just lost a loved one, there are certain overused phrases that you really should avoid. Many people have a hard time dealing with death as it is, and they struggle to find the right words to say to the bereaved. While your intention is to offer sympathy and compassion, what you say could come across as hurtful or insensitive. If you are not sure what to say, “I am sorry for your loss” is still probably the best way to express your message of sympathy.

There are some great sympathy cards out there that use poems, Bible verses, and other sympathy messages to express condolences in such a way that all is required is your signature. But if you want to add your own personal message of sympathy, and you really should, keep it simple and please remember to avoid phrases such as:

  • I know how you feel
  • They are in a better place
  • Time heals all wounds
  • She lived a long life
  • He's with God now
  • It's for the best

There's nothing you can say that will take away the pain of such a loss, but a thoughtful sympathy message from the heart will leave a lasting impression and will provide the bereaved the support that is so needed at this difficult time.


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