Sympathy Card Etiquette

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No one likes to send a sympathy card, but at some time in all of our lives, we will have to do it.  So when that time comes, you want to make sure that you say the right thing.  Writing something inside the card is never an easy task but you really don’t have to write a lot because the most important thing to remember in sympathy card writing etiquette is to simply let the family know that you are thinking about them.

But if it’s possible, try to add something personal about the deceased –something in particular that reminds you of them…a certain time you spent together, their laugh or smile, a song, etc.  Be sure to let the recipient know how you know the deceased (co-worker, friend, attended the same school, etc).

Remember, just like it is true in our everyday lives, sometimes we never know the impact we make on another person’s life and learning something new about someone who has passed away can mean so much to a family member who is grieving.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Jason February 3, 2016 at 10:27 am

I definitely agree that it is important to let someone who is grieving know that you are thinking about them. You don’t necessarily have to send them a card, sometimes just a simple “I’m sorry for your loss” can go a long way, but sending a card is a nice gesture to show you care.

Penelope February 3, 2016 at 12:08 pm

These are of course my least favorite cards to send. It is always hard to find the words 🙁

Megan February 11, 2016 at 9:55 am

I agree with Jason, short and sweet. I always send a card and or a Mass card to the family of the deceased and as you pointed out, you should tell the family how you knew the person that passed away

Judy M. September 14, 2016 at 2:23 pm

I had an aunt who passed away a couple of years ago. I mentioned how much I enjoyed her cooking in the sympathy card I gave to my cousin . She was very proud of her mom’s amazing culinary feats and shared my card with others. The next time I saw her we had a great time listing the many dishes my aunt made so well.

Georgina February 6, 2017 at 1:01 pm

A little bit goes a long was with condolences.

Dee February 7, 2017 at 10:37 am

Since memories keep the person alive in their loved ones’ hearts, writing about a special memory you have with or about the person who has passed will likely be very well received.

Chris September 16, 2019 at 2:13 pm

I worked for a company back in 2016 and my grandma passed away while I was employed there. After I came back from the grief period, I came back to a sympathy card from my coworkers in my dept, and it really showed how much I meant to them.

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