We’ve all been there. Staring down at a blank sympathy card trying, unsuccessfully, to come up with the right words to write. It’s frustrating because you know that nothing you write could ever do justice to the deep feelings of sympathy you feel. You feel anxiety about saying the wrong thing and offending the bereaved or hurting their feelings.

But the truth is, even if you’re not good with words, you can still write a message that is from the heart and adequately expresses your condolences. Here are a few tips to help you write a sincere, meaningful sympathy card message.

What Would You Want Someone to Say to You?

If you’re really struggling to find the words to write in your sympathy card, try to put yourself in their position and brainstorm about what you’d like people to say to you. It’s not an easy thing to think about, but it will help you to empathize with the bereaved and it will give your message more meaning.

Let Them Know You’re Here for Them

After the death of a loved one, you can’t help but feel alone. Even if you still have family and friends, the absence of your departed loved one is so monumental, that you forget about the people around you. Let your loved one know that you are here for them in their time of loneliness and sorrow.

Cite a Poem or Verse

If your own words are failing you, why not borrow the words of someone else? There are so many beautiful poems written about grief that can help you put your thoughts and feelings into words. If the bereaved is religious or spiritual, you could find a meaningful Bible verse to quote in your sympathy card.

Write a Rough Draft

Words never come out right the first time around. Be sure to write out your thoughts on a scrap piece of paper before you attempt to write your message in the sympathy card.

5 Examples of Messages to Write in a Sympathy Card

  1. “I can’t even imagine what you’re going through right now. Know that if there’s anything you need, whether it’s a babysitter, grocery shopper or just a shoulder to cry on, you can always call on me.”
  2. “During this time of pain and sorrow, know that I love you and am here to help you through.”
  3. “I will miss your father so much. It seems like just yesterday we were graduating college together. I will never forget the wonderful times we had together.”
  4. “I am so sorry for your loss. Your sister was such a wonderful person, she will be greatly missed by so many.”
  5. “My heart goes out to you in your time of loss. Know that I am thinking of you often and I will keep you and your family in my prayers every day.”

No matter what you write in your sympathy card, your loved one will know that you mean well and your heart is in the right place. Try not to put so much pressure on yourself to write just the right thing, and the words will come to you naturally.

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