Sympathy Cards – The Perfect Response In A Difficult Situation

by Veronica G. on August 22, 2013

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It was a really nice day out, and it was a Friday. Everyone in the office was anxious and excited. Finally, the end of a long work week! But just as everyone was settling down, we noticed our co-worker wasn’t at her desk. Then we got the horrible news. Her mother had sadly passed away the night before, suddenly and without warning. It seems like right in that instant, all our hearts broke for our beloved co-worker. I couldn’t help but want to run to her and give her a big hug. Then I realized that maybe she didn’t want to be around people at this moment and that maybe she needed some time to collect herself and bring herself together. We would of course respect her space during this difficult time, but we certainly wanted to let her know that we were all thinking of her and her family. That’s where sympathy cards come in. With a sympathy card, you can hand it to the person without getting emotional face to face, which some people are uncomfortable about. Naturally not everyone likes getting teary eyed in front of others. This way the person going through this hard time can keep the sentiment, read it in their own comfort and on their own time, and feel free to get emotional without the worry that someone may be looking. I like writing a paragraph of support and ending it with a good quote fitting for the situation. The one I chose for my co-workers sympathy card was: “For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity.” – William Penn.

sympathy cards

Everyone in our office had something nice to say, and wanted to reach out to our friend, so it’s very convenient and smart that our company has business sympathy cards on hand all year round. We got one of our cards and all signed it, including our boss, who was equally devastated that our friend was going through this loss. It was a while before our co-worker was able to come back to the normal routine of life but when she did she expressed how much the card we sent meant to her. She said that even though she needed her space, our sympathy card made her feel like she wasn’t alone at all. And that’s the most important message we wanted to convey.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Tatiana Hernandez August 22, 2013 at 3:12 pm

This was a very nice gesture, showing a person you care in a time of need is very consoling. Sometimes it is hard to decide how you will show this person you are there. A card is very sweet and shows that everyone took the time to write a special message. The quote in the card is also beautiful a good way of dealing with bad news.

Penny Fallon August 27, 2013 at 10:08 am

Sympathy cards don’t get discussed as much as holiday and birthday cards, but I think they are equally, if not more, important. It’s easy to convey excitement in happy times, but it can be very difficult to express yourself at a time of sorrow; sympathy cards give you the opportunity to reflect and convey to friends and family that you are there for them without putting them on the spot.

Cynthia Perez August 27, 2013 at 4:26 pm

Sympathy cards is simply a great way to be there for someone in need. With sympathy cards, it can never go wrong and its always good.

Mary Beth August 27, 2013 at 4:52 pm

It is so difficult to know what to do when someone is suffering a loss-I do appreciate that a Sympathy card usually has a lovely sentiment to convey our empathy. I like to send a Thinking of You card about a month later to show my continued support

Rosina Febbo August 30, 2013 at 11:25 am

Nothing could be more appropriate than a Sympathy card when someone you know has suffered a loss. It shows that you care and are empathetic to their loss. At the same time you are respecting the persons privacy at a difficult time. You are basically letting them know “I’m here, when you need me..” without making them feel uncomfortable. Sympathy cards should really receive more credit and used more often in such a circumstance.

Carrie K. September 3, 2013 at 1:25 pm

I never know the right thing to say or do when someone loses a loved one. I always want to express my sympathy and I think that a card really is the best option. It shows you care without having to get too personal.

Patrick Langdon September 5, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Losing someone close to you is never an easy situation. The emotional roller coaster than ensues truly is heart-wrenching. It is hard enough to deal with such events without a million people calling you, asking you, “what happened?” “Oh, I heard this or that!” “want to talk about it?”. No one going through the situation deserves that chaotic bombardment when dealing with an already present internal (and external) chaos.

So how can you still show your support and understanding without awkward uncomfortability? The answer? A sympathy card, of course! It uses a light touch in such turbulent events without overstating or understating the severity of the situation. Regardless of when it is sent, the person who has lost can grieve on their own but still know that they have you in their corner through thick and thin. Sympathy cards provide a moment of serenity and calm in a time of stormy swirling chaos.

Kristin Petrovic September 12, 2013 at 12:05 pm

I think no matter how old you are, death is a tough subject. Recognizing someone’s loss can be really hard. Just the figuring out how to approach the person, like whether to hug them or just tell them you’re sorry, what to send them (flowers? food? a card?), basically just how to convey your sympathy without being too overbearing or too detached. Veronica got it right with the heartfelt sympathy card. I think a thoughtfully-chosen card and your own sincere message is the safest and best way to get the message across to someone who’s really hurting.

Alex September 13, 2013 at 11:44 am

I never have the right words when tragic events like this happen to people I know. I always wish I could tell them how sorry I am and that I’m here for them, but it’s not easy to always convey those thoughts in the right way at the right time. I think a sympathy card would be a perfect way to let someone know you care and you’re here without making them feel awkward.

Amy September 13, 2013 at 12:38 pm

I think a sympathy card let’s the person know you are there for them but at the same time gives them some space and time to grieve.

John September 19, 2013 at 9:07 am

Sympathy cards strike that delicate balance between letting someone know you care while also respecting their privacy. I know it meant so much to me to receive a sympathy card from my co-workers when I lost a family member. Often, we are so busy at work that we don’t have much time for personal interaction. So it is nice to be reminded during hard times that our co-workers are thinking of us.

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