Why Sympathy Cards Are Important

It can be difficult to know what to say or do when a friend or relative loses a loved one. And that difficulty can be compounded when the one suffering a loss is a co-worker; someone you spend hours a day with but aren’t necessarily close to.

Sympathy cards are important because they allow us to acknowledge a deeply personal experience as unobtrusively as possible.

Sympathy cards allow us to express what we might feel too awkward to say in person. Sometimes it’s hard to know the right words, or the right time. Sympathy cards perfectly sum up the sentiment we hope to convey, offering messages of comfort and compassion that can be read whenever the bereaved is ready.

Death shouldn’t be treated like a secret or something ‘we don’t talk about’ and it can mean so much to those who are mourning to know they’re being thought of with kindness, that their loss matters and they’re not alone.

While it might be hard to read early on, the thoughtful words of a sympathy card can provide comfort as time passes and there are many who save and re-read notes of sympathy whenever they’re in need of that comfort and connection.

As a business it’s important to respect your employees as individuals. Acknowledging such a profound personal event with a thoughtful sympathy card speaks volumes about your business and how it values its employees. Gallery Collection offers a wide variety of beautiful, high-quality sympathy cards and messages of compassion that perfectly convey your offer of support and comfort during a difficult time.

Mark Twain said, ‘It’s never wrong to do the right thing’ and sending a sympathy card is a gesture that will be appreciated at a time when kindness and consideration are needed most.

Do’s and Don’ts For Sympathy Cards

The loss of a loved one is a very emotional time for most people.  What to say and do can be a very difficult morass to traverse.  You never want to offend anyone so here are a few sympathy card do’s and don’ts.


  1. Send a sympathy card as soon as possible after hearing of a friend or colleague’s loss.  Delaying will just make their grievance longer. 
  2. Add a personal note such as “we are keeping you in our prayers” or “we are here if you need us”.
  3. Address the card to the person and their family.  You can say John Smith and family or Mary, John, and the Smith family.  Remember the whole family will be grieving and they will all appreciate your thoughtfulness.


  1. Don’t write I know how you feel.  This can really sound condescending.  You don’t know how they feel.  Everyone deals with loss differently and you don’t want to convey the impression that their pain is felt the same by everyone, making it insignificant.
  2. Don’t send a typed note. Sympathy cards should always be personal.  Expressing sympathy with a typed note appears cold and unfeeling.
  3. Remember if you feel uncomfortable writing something, it will come across wrong to the recipient.

Most importantly, you should keep in mind that a sympathy card should be a warm expression to help ease a person’s loss. 

5 Helpful Tips for Writing Meaningful Sympathy Cards

Sending sympathy cards is never one of those things we like to do. We want to acknowledge a person’s passing, but we don’t always know what to write. Often times we don’t know if we are making the recipient feel better or worse. It can be challenging to say the right thing, so I provided below 5 helpful tips for writing meaningful sympathy cards...

  1. Less is sometimes more. Try to keep the message brief especially if the greeting already expresses most of what you want to say. You might end with:
    • I am so sorry for your loss
    • We are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers
    • Sending prayers and hugs
    • Our sincere condolences
  2. Show appreciation. If you were familiar with the loved one, make it personal.
    • What a wonderful lady your Mom was. I am so fortunate to have had her in my life.
    • Celebrating the life of a great man and sharing in your mourning.
    • Remembering your Dad and all the funny stories he would tell.
  3. If you are in a position to do so, you may add a note offering help. Try to be specific and follow up on your offer.
    • Thinking of you at this difficult time. I’m here if you need a shoulder to lean on.
    • I know this is a difficult time. I am thinking of you and am here to help with walking the dog, babysitting and running errands. Please let me know.
    • I know things are hectic for you. I will call you to see what would be good night to drop off a meal.
  4. Close with a warm, graceful and respectful closing.
    • With sympathy
    • With warm thoughts and prayers
    • With prayer and sympathy
    • My heart goes out to you and your family
  5. What to avoid. Be sensitive and mindful.
    • I know how you feel
    • She is in a better place
    • He was so young
    • It was meant to be

If you are not sure what to say, it is best to keep it simple. Just sending a sympathy card will let the recipient know you care.