Sympathy Message

What to Write In a Sympathy Card

Whether you’re close to the person who’s grieving or not, it’s quite challenging to formulate the right words to offer your condolences and empathy through a sympathy card

We can’t promise you the perfect sympathy message that can reduce the card receiver’s pain. However, we can help you find the right words to show them love and support.


Sympathy Messages

Let’s begin by discussing the structure of your sympathy card message. Depending on the nature of your relationship three factors you could consider are:

  • Showing condolences and letting the card receiver know that they can rely on you for support. 
  • Offering specific help; this can range from tidying up their house, cooking food or helping them with the funeral arrangements. 
  • Showing appreciation to the bereaved by sharing memories you have of the deceased; this will show that they were also loved and appreciated by others. 

Let’s look at some sympathy message examples from thoughtful and positive to deep and religious. 


What to Write In a Sympathy Card for Loss of Husband

  • Words cannot describe how sorry I am for your loss. [Name] was an amazing person full of life, and he’ll be missed dearly. 
  • I can’t imagine the grief you must be going through right now. Your husband will be missed for his kind self – just remember that I’m always here for you. 
  • My deepest condolences for the passing of your husband. You and your family are always in my thoughts, and I’m just a call away should you need anything. 
  • My heart goes out to you during this difficult time. But remember that even death can’t separate true love, and he’ll be waiting for you in the afterlife. 
  • It’s unimaginable losing someone you loved so dearly – his memories will live in all our heads for years to come. I wish you strength and peace. 


What to Write In a Sympathy Card for Loss of Wife

  • My deepest condolences to you and your family on the passing of your wife. She was such a beautiful soul - may she rest in peace. Wishing you strength and healing.
  • I’m so sorry for the loss of your wife. I pray to God that you meet in the heavens again. Sending you love and strength to get through this terrible time.   
  • The love you and [name] had for each other can never be taken away. So, hold onto it and know that she’ll always be watching you from afar. 
  • My heart crushed into tiny pieces when I found out about the passing of your wife. I’ll be coming over to help around the house. 
  • [Name] wasn’t just a wife, she was a friend, daughter, mother, and colleague. Her absence will be felt by everyone but no one’s pain will compare to yours. Praying for your and your family’s peace and wellbeing.


What to Write In a Sympathy Card for Loss of Mother

  • I know nothing I say will ease the pain you’re going through right now. But I just wanted to say that your mother will always be with you, wherever you go, she’ll be watching you from afar. 
  • This is a loss that you’ll always feel deep in your heart. But your mum would want you to be happy and move on – so please gather your strength and remember that we’re always here for you. 
  • The loss of a mother is one of the deepest, most painful losses one can ever go through. May God make it easy for you.   
  • I am in deep sorrow after hearing about the loss of your mother. She was an unbelievable human being, and although she’ll be missed forever, your unbreakable bond with her will live on forever. 
  • I’m extremely saddened about the passing of your mother. I hope the beautiful and happy memories you hold of her will provide comfort through your grieving process. 


What to Write In a Sympathy Card for Loss of Father

  • Fathers are superheroes for their kids, and the passing of your favourite superheroes is always painful. I’m wishing you all the strength to go through this grieving period and know that I’m always happy to help should you need anything. 
  • Your father was such a joyful human being. Always cherish all the good times you had with him and remember that he’s always with you.
  • I’m really sorry for the loss of your father. He may be gone, but his spirit will always live on within you – so celebrate his life as he’d have wanted you to. 
  • My heartfelt condolences for the passing of your father. He was always the life of a party; his presence will be missed greatly by everyone who had the honour of knowing him. 
  • The loss of a father is one of the greatest losses experienced by a child. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time.


What to Write In a Sympathy Card for Loss of Child

  • It’s hard to imagine the pain one feels after losing a part of them. My deepest condolences for the loss of your beautiful/handsome daughter/son. 
  • Please accept my sincere condolences for the loss of your baby/child. I‘m here if you need any help during this grieving period. 
  • I don’t think anyone was ready to say goodbye to such a beautiful and young soul as [name]. My heart goes out to you and your family during this difficult time. 
  • The loss of a child can leave you with an empty hole – I hope you get filled with love and peace as the time passes.  
  • Although you only got to hold him/her for a little while, the memories you’ve made can never be stolen from you – so cherish them and find comfort in knowing that he’s/she’s in a better place.


What to Write In a Sympathy Card for Loss of Sibling

  • [Name]’s loss has left us all in a state of shock. Siblings are like best friends you don’t get to choose but end up loving so much. You and your family are in our thoughts in this devastating time. 
  • I’m so sorry for the loss of your sister/brother. She/he was a great woman/man, and I feel privileged to have known such a beautiful soul. 
  • I’m deeply saddened for your loss. I know how close you and your sister/brother were – her/his memories will live on in our hearts and minds forever. I wish you all the best during this tough time. 
  • The loss of [Name] will be felt by all who knew him/her. My sincere sympathies are with you and your family during this difficult time of loss.
  • Only those who are lucky to have a brother/sister can understand the bond you have and the pain you feel losing them. Please know I’m here for you during this terrible time.


What to Write In a Sympathy Card for Loss of Grandparent

  • The bond between grandparents and grandchildren is often stronger than a bond with parents. My thoughts are with you while you grieve the loss of your grandma/grandpa.  
  • I know you were extremely close with your grandma/grandpa – so just wanted to say how sorry I am for your loss. 
  • Your grandma/grandpa will always be cherished for her/his kindness. I hope you find comfort in the memories you made with her/him and remember that she/he’ll be missed by many. 
  • My deepest condolences for the loss of your grandma/grandpa. Know that I’m here for you if you need anything to help you get through this difficult time. 
  • Your grandma/grandpa touched many lives through her/his love and wisdom. Let’s not only mourn her/his passing, but also celebrate the eventful life she/he lived.


What to Write In a Sympathy Card for a Friend

  • I’m praying for you during this difficult time. Just remember that [name] is in a better place, at peace in the heavens.  
  • Although I can’t heal your pain, I want you to know that I’m just a phone call away should you need anything. I’ll be bringing over your favourite Shepherd’s Pie tomorrow evening. 
  • I can’t explain how much I loved and cherished [name]. His/her loss has left me in shock, so can’t imagine what you must be going through right now. 
  • We’ll all hold onto [Name]’s memories very dearly. You know I’m always a call away if you need to talk your feelings and emotions through. 
  • I know this card won’t bring you any peace, but I hope it does give you some comfort in knowing that we’ll all mourning [name]’s loss.


What to Write In a Sympathy Card for a Co-Worker

  • I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. May your mother/father/sister/etc. rest in peace. If you ever need anything, please give me a shout – I’d be more than happy to share the workload. 
  • Thinking of you in this grieving period. Please let me know should you need anything. 
  • Although I didn’t personally know [name], I’m sure his/her love will stay with you forever. Wishing you all the strength and comfort to get through your loss. 
  • My heart goes out to you and your family as you deal with this terrible loss. 
  • I hope you’re doing OK. Thinking of you as you mourn the loss of your mother/father/etc.


What to Write In a Sympathy Card for Someone You Don’t Know Well

  • I’m very sorry for the loss of your son/sister/etc. It was a joy to work with [name]. He/she will be missed dearly. 
  • The loss of [name] will be felt by many. He/she lit up our life in many beautiful ways, so can’t imagine what it must feel like to lose him/her as a mother/friend/brother/etc.  
  • The cheerfulness your loved one brought into the lives of people he/she knew can never be forgotten. Wishing you peace and love during these difficult times.  
  • Please accept our condolences for the passing on [name]. He/she was an excellent colleague/friend who will be missed by everyone who had the pleasure of meeting/working with him/her.  
  • Although we’re not familiar with each other, I wanted to send my deepest sympathies for the loss of [name]. He/she was an amazing person whose absence will be felt greatly.


Additional Tips

Now that you know how to start off a sympathy message, let’s find out other elements you should consider to let the bereaved know how sorry you are. 


Sign Off With a Caring One Liner

Unlike other greeting card messages, which are normally wrapped up with a happy one liner – messages for sympathy cards need to be closed off with a thoughtful and respectful sentence, considering the sensitivity of the occasion. 

It’s best to avoid using casual language such as ‘Best’ or ‘Kind Regards’. Instead, wrapping your message with something like ‘With Sympathy’ or ‘Warmest Condolences’ will be more suited.


What to Avoid

Although your sympathy message will depend on how close the card receiver and the deceased are/were with you. There are certain messages that may end up offending the person even if you don’t intend to. 

Here’s a list of things you should avoid when writing sympathy card messages:

  • Don’t compare your own loss with the grieving. Saying things like ‘I also lost someone close to me, so I know how you feel’ may come across as insensitive and indicate that you’re taking attention away from their loss. 
  • Stay away from predicting the future. Saying this like ‘this time next year you would have moved on’ may irritate some recipients as you don’t know how long it’ll take them to heal. 
  • Don’t give advice. Messages such as ‘you should celebrate their life instead of mourning’ can come across as rude and as an attempt to minimise the pain the bereaved is experiencing. 
  • Avoid painful reminders. Saying things like ‘it wasn’t his/her time yet’ may increase the sorrow. 
  • You shouldn’t discuss circumstances of their passing as this can bring up bad memories and make the recipient feel worse.


Following Up

A loved one’s passing is a life-long grieving process. So, it’s nice to follow-up with the bereaved after a couple of months or on the deceased’s death anniversary. 

You could offer help and support to the grieving and let them know that it’s totally okay to still feel sad. Whether you want to send another card, a text message or contact them by telephone – the gesture would surely be appreciated.  

Here are a few examples to get you started: 

  • Just wanted to let you know that you’re still in my thoughts. I really hope you’re doing OK, and please let me know if you need anything. 
  • Thinking of you and [name of the deceased] today. I’m also planning on coming over next week, so please let me know what day and time would be best suited to you. 
  • I hope your pain has eased with the time passing, but I also know that grief is a life-long process, so just know that I’m always here for you. 


In the midst of wanting to formulate the perfect sympathy card message, pressure can make us write things that may unintentionally offend the bereaved.

Just remember to speak from your heart, put yourself in their shoes and think what words would show them that you care, and bring them comfort during this difficult time. 

Feel free to also use our handwritten message service for an extra touch of personalisation on your sympathy card.

The Greetings Card Company

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