All About Grief Cards

What to Write in a Grief Card to Show Sympathy

When someone you know loses a loved one, sending a grief card is a thoughtful way to show you care. However, with pen in hand, many people find themselves staring at the blank card, unable to figure out how best to proceed. Finding just the right thing to say can be daunting. Feeling supported is extremely important for those encountering grief. When you extend yourself to the bereaved through a sympathy card, you remind them that they aren’t alone. Before you begin adding your condolences, there are a few thoughts you can consider. Here are six tips to help you write a meaningful sympathy message.

Offer a Personalized Message

Many cards have condolences already printed on them. There’s nothing wrong with a pre-written card, especially if the sentiments ring true for you. While it may be tempting to simply sign your name, consider adding a more personal touch. Including an authentic handwritten message will enhance your card by showing the bereaved that you took the time to consider their feelings. Whether you choose a pre-written or blank card, allow your sentiments to come from a genuine place.

Offer Support

The shock of a loss can be overwhelming. If you’re able to offer support of any kind, be sure to add that to your card. When people are grieving, support is always appreciated. The bereaved may feel uncomfortable asking for help or simply aren’t sure what kind of help they need. When offering help, try to be specific. No task is too small. For instance, you can offer to pick up groceries, walk the family dog, or keep them company during errands. If they don’t take you up on your offer, that’s okay. Sometimes, just hearing that help is available is enough.

Acknowledge the Loss

It’s okay to mention the name of the bereaved’s loved one. Don’t worry about upsetting them by reminding them of their loss; it’s always on their mind. Vague statements such as “sorry to hear about your loss” can sound like you’re avoiding the subject. If you’re comfortable acknowledging the loss directly, it can put the bereaved at ease with you regarding their grief. They may be more likely to open up to you moving forward.

Honor the Life of the Departed

If you have a fond memory of the departed, it may be a good idea to share it in your card. Again, don’t worry about upsetting the bereaved by recounting your memory of their lost loved one.
If anything, hearing that the departed had an impact on your life can be a soothing balm for a grief-stricken person. Simply sharing how their loved one made you feel can be very moving for those who are grieving. Speaking the name of the departed and sharing their life stories helps to honor them while keeping the memory of their spirit alive.

Resist the Urge to Offer Advice

When thinking about what to write in a sympathy card, you’ll want to refrain from offering advice on how to cope with loss. The grief process is a very personal journey. No two losses are alike. Even for those who have encountered grief numerous times, each experience is unique. Honor their process by leaving your advice out of your condolence message. Even though one coping strategy worked for you, it may not apply to the bereaved person. You can’t solve their grief for them. Besides, this isn’t about your grief; it’s about theirs. Offering your condolences and support is more than enough.

Allow Sentiments to Reflect Your Relationship

In order to offer a genuine sentiment, your sympathy card should reflect the relationship you share with the person who has passed. Whether you were close to the departed, didn’t know them well, or simply need a starting point, you can access one of the several helpful condolence messages below to offer sympathy to the bereaved.

  • I am so sorry for your loss.
  • My sincerest condolences on the passing of your mother. It was an honor to have known her.
  • My thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time.
  • Sending my love and deepest sympathy to you and your family
  • I’m here for you If you need any help. If you’d like, I can (insert specific task).
  • I have no words to express how sorry I am for the loss of (add the departed’s name or relationship to the bereaved)
  • I wanted to reach out to share my sincere condolences.
  • Please know I’m here for you if you want to talk about how you’re feeling.
  • I can’t imagine how you must feel, but I’m here to listen.
  • You and your family are in my prayers.

The loss of a loved one can be an extremely difficult time. Whether you choose to add a brief or long condolence message, they can both offer genuine warmth and sympathy for the bereaved. While finding the right message to express your sympathy may be challenging, it’s better than not saying anything at all. The bereaved may not necessarily remember your words, but they will remember that you reached out, which will speak volumes to them.

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