Helpful Tips for Sending Sympathy Cards

by Henry L. on April 4, 2013

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For obvious reasons, no one likes to send sympathy cards. But they are needed, as they help bring comfort to the bereaved and also enable you to express and share your grief. Knowing the right things to say and do can be difficult. Here are some tips for sending sympathy cards.

Writing the Sympathy Cards
• Opt for a black or blue pen. Do not use colorful pens.
• If you’re not sure what to say, keep it simple. Messages such as “I am sorry for your loss.” and “My thoughts and prayers are with you.” are always appropriate.
• Avoid saying things like “He is in a better place.” or “Time heals all wounds.” Hearing trite clichés like this might be painful for the family.
• Be heartfelt and respectful.
• If you knew the deceased well, you can include a memory or acknowledge how much the person meant to you.
• Be sure to include your last name when signing the card.

When and How to Give the Sympathy Cards
• If you are attending the wake or funeral, you can give the card to the family at that time. The funeral home usually has a dedicated holder for everyone to place their cards.
• If sending the card via mail, write the mailing and return addresses by hand to make the envelope more personal.
• Some people are able to visit the bereaved in person and like to bring flowers or food to help the family during this difficult time. Sympathy cards can accompany these gifts.
• The sooner the better, so your card reaches the person grieving when needed most. However, it is never too late to share your condolences.

Types of Sympathy Cards and Thinking of You Cards
• A nice touch would be to select a design that honors the deceased. For example, if she loved going to the beach, an elegant card with seashells or peaceful ocean scene would be appropriate.
• If the deceased or the family is religious, a card with that theme would be well-received.
• “Thinking of You” cards can be considered instead of traditional sympathy cards. These designs and sentiments are just as appropriate.

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