Tips & Phrases to Guide Your Next Sympathy Card

Category: Thank Yous

No one wants to write a sympathy card, but when you feel a condolence message is necessary, you want it to be meaningful. We all want to be there for our loved ones in a time of need. A sympathy note is a thoughtful way to let them know they’re on your mind. However, finding the right words can be hard and it’s not always easy to pick a card

Handwrytten makes it easy to write the heartfelt sympathy card. We offer simple sympathy message tips and phrases to choose from. Read on to get started with your sympathy card message.

Why Send a Sympathy Card?

Losing a loved one is never easy. Knowing what to say to someone who is grieving, or what they may need from you, can be a tricky social situation to navigate.  Awkwardness might make you think twice about reaching out, but it shouldn’t stop you from expressing your sorrow. Even if you’re not sure how to write a condolence letter, the recipient will likely appreciate the gesture. 

Losing someone dear can often leave the bereaved feeling lonely, depressed, or maybe even shut off from the world. That’s why the gesture of reaching out, even with something as small as a card, can mean so much. You never know who needs the peace or extra support.

Giving someone a handwritten farewell messages says that you’re thinking of them. It says that you care, empathize with them, and want them to feel better. It’s a chance to offer your deepest condolences and caring thoughts.

Communication Channels to Avoid

A card with your written words on it sends a special kind of message that other communications can’t. An email can come across as a little cold or impersonal, especially when it comes to grieving.

A text message might come across as off-the-cuff, thoughtless, or even rude. Text messages are sent all day by most people, so it doesn’t express a heartfelt condolence

A phone call doesn’t have the lasting impression that a card does. Sure, it’s a good idea to call and send a sympathy card. Although, your loved one won’t be able to pick up that phone call later and remember that you were there for them. 

You could go the Hallmark route and buy a prewritten card. However, the one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t always work when it comes to sympathy and grieving. The recipent is likely to skim the text and only read your handwritten signoff. After all, how can someone else say the unique words you would want to say?

Tips to Help You Get Started

It can be tough to express your sincere sympathy. It can be also be challenging to determine sympathy sayings. Before you start, decide if you want to keep it simple, go into great detail, or how emotional your message will be. 

To answer your questions, we’ve created some etiquette tips to help guide your efforts while you think of caring thoughts to say. It’s also perfectly fine to try out a few different sympathy card messages as practice before you decide on your final message. 

Here are a few things to consider before you write your sympathy card.

Who is Your Recipient?

A card written for your boss is probably going to look drastically different than one written for your closest friend. Taking into consideration who the card is for should help guide you when you’re choosing the words for your message.

Is the Person Grieving Religious?

This can also help you figure out what is and isn’t appropriate to say.

If they are religious, that doesn’t mean you have to mention religion if it makes you uncomfortable. However, some people are comforted by the mention of the deity they believe in. This is entirely a judgment call on your part, but it is something to consider. 

Has the Death Occurred Recently?

Sometimes it’s a good idea to send death anniversary cards. When a death anniversary comes around, it can bring up all the old feelings for the bereaved.

A death anniversary card will be composed of differing sympathy sayings and will carry a different tone than a card sent for someone recently deceased. 

If the death recently occurred, you may find our following tips and phrases of most use. And once you’ve written your farewell card, it would be appropriate to deliver in person. Depending on your relation with the recipient, you may deliver the letter to the grieving family at the funeral service or to the bereaved in private.

Above all else, no matter what you choose to write in your card, it’s most important to keep your message sincere. You may never find the exact right words to express your thoughts, but it’s good to remember that no one expects perfection.

personal sympathy card from Joe

Sympathy Phrases to Steal

Starting a sympathy letter from scratch can feel uncomfortable and awkward. However, there are some phrases and examples that can help point you in the right direction. 

  • “I’m sorry for your loss,” will never lose its meaning. If you say this, make sure to follow it up with more personal sentences. 
  • “If you need anything, don’t hesitate to contact me. I’m here for you.” This is simple, but it sends the right message. Your recipent will value your loving thoughts.
  • “They left a wonderful impression on everyone they met.” You can, and should, reword this to make it more personal. It’s good to remind your recipients about how unique and irreplaceable their lost loved one was.

When in Doubt, Recall a Fond Memory

“I remember” is always a good way to start a sentence. A happy memory of the person lost might be hard to read, but are comforting to remember.

It’s the best way to personalize your message. Make sure it’s a positive, beautiful memory or one that sheds a good light on the deceased. Reading these will bring a smile to your loved one’s face and maybe even remind them of more good memories. 

What to Avoid in Your Sympathy Card

It’s usually a good idea to stay away from cliches or harsh statements, and it should go without being said to read the room (i.e. don’t phrase things as if you’re writing a birthday card for an employee)

  • “It was their time to go,” or anything close should never be said. No one wants to think that their loved ones‘ destiny was to die on this particular day. It’s thoughtless, rude, and will leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. 
  • “I know how you feel,” should also never be written. No matter how much loss you’ve been through, everyone’s experience is different. There is no way you can feel how they feel. 

Handwritten Fonts to Support Your Message

The presentation of your sympathy card is just as important as the contents of the card itself. Handwrytten offers a wide variety of real handwriting styles for your next letter.

  • There’s Carefree Kate, which looks so close to real writing that you’d never know it was written by a robot. Kate’s writing is legible but whimsical like it was written on the go, to give your card a realistic touch. 
  • Charming Chase’s style is just as it sounds, charming to look at. It’s neat, but with flair. It’s the kind of style that will make you want to work on your penmanship. 
  • Compact Lulu is cursive handwriting at its finest. It’s elegant and clean-cut, but still has the personal touch of loopy Y’s and flourishing H’s. Lulu would be a perfect pick for a sympathy card
  • Executive Adam would be perfect for a sympathy card for a boss or colleague. This style is bold and uses all capital letters. It makes a statement without being harsh or an eyesore. 
  • If you’re looking to impress while sending your sympathies, Fancy Jenna is for you. This style is written in cursive and exudes class and looks polished and organized without looking too stuffy. Jenna is perfect for cards sent to your most special loved ones
  • Lucky Lindsey is an ideal style for sympathy cards for relatives or neighbors. It’s casual but charismatic and even mixes cursive writing with regular writing. If that’s a habit of yours with your writing, this style is fitting for you. 
  • For those who have less-than-perfect handwriting, Messy Michael is for you. This style is messy cursive while still being perfectly legible. This style is great for cards to close loved ones. Especially those who already know your disheveled handwriting! 

Get Wryting With Handwrytten

A sympathy card is so much more than just a note. It’s a memory, a warm gesture, and a loving greeting

Reading sympathy letter tips and sample phrases is just the first step. Now that you know what to write in a sympathy card, it’s time to put that knowledge to use and create something special. 

Handwrytten makes sending a sympathy card easy. It’s as simple as typing out your message on our website or app and picking the handwriting style you want. After you find the right words, Handwrytten’s custom-designed handwriting robots write your sympathy cards out with real pens. 

Handwrytten makes sure your sympathy cards will look as beautiful as your sentiments. Check out all of Handwrytten’s features today so you can begin creating the perfect sympathy card today. 

Choose from our cards design or your own.

Over 100 designs to choose from or design your own. Our online card customizer makes it simple.

Check Out Our Cards!

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