When someone you know experiences the loss of a loved one, it can leave you without words. At the same time, you want to extend condolences, so you carefully select a beautiful sympathy card to send. When you sit down to sign it, you might worry about saying the wrong thing or start to think nothing you say will matter. It can certainly be a frustrating situation for you at a time when you would rather put your energy toward those who are grieving.
However, the most important thing is that you say something. We know that grief requires support, and writing a heartfelt message in a sympathy card is a simple way to show you care. If you are stuck and in search of a little guidance, this list offers a few basic options. You can use these suggestions as they are or edit them for a more personal touch.
To put it bluntly, the journey through grief is awful. It feels good to have others validate this fact and acknowledge your pain—in a real and gritty way.
Honestly acknowledging that you do not know what to say is completely acceptable, and a genuine approach is often greatly appreciated.
Knowing the positive impact a loved one has had on others can be therapeutic for those left behind.
It sounds so simple, but it is comforting for the family just to know others care about their loss. Often times, a handful of direct, sincere words can be more effective than going overboard with commiseration.
While what you choose to write in a sympathy card might largely depend on the relationship you have with the person you are sending it to, there are a few things you should always avoid saying. Messages that compare sorrow or force the recipient on a specific timeline for healing are unhelpful because everyone will grieve in their own way. Even if you have the best of intentions, it is also not the right time to give advice. Humbly offering genuine words of support, no matter which ones you end up choosing, will show you care, and that is, after all, why you bought the sympathy card in the first place.