When someone you know experiences a loss, it can be challenging to know what to say or do. The traditional way is to send a flower with a sympathy card is a thoughtful way to express your condolences. Deciding what to write in a sympathy card can be daunting. These tips will help you compose the perfect message for a grieving friend.
Be specific about how you are feeling. “I am so sorry for your loss.” This is a nice sentiment but doesn’t convey much information. Instead, try something like “I can’t imagine how difficult this must be for you.” or “My heart aches knowing the pain you are experiencing right now.”
Avoid empty platitudes. Sympathy cards often contain empty platitudes. Don’t say, “If you need anything, call me,” or “Let me know if there’s anything I can do.” Sympathy cards for a loss come when people are in pain, and their hands are full—they don’t have the bandwidth to return phone calls or put together a grocery list. Saying something like “I’m thinking of you” is a more helpful and discreet way to offer help.
Don’t deny their feelings. It can be challenging for people outside to understand how sad someone is about losing a loved one. But if you say these things, you invalidate their feelings of loss and make them feel guilty for grieving. Try something more empathic like “Even though she’s no longer with us, her memory will live on.” Or “I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to repeat goodbye.”
People say phrases like “I know you’re strong” or “She is finally at peace” when trying to be comforting. Sympathy cards are supposed to offer people condolences, so try not to say something that minimizes their real feelings or suggests that they need to move on. Instead, try phrases like “I’m here for you” or “I understand.”
Be age-specific. Sympathy cards often contain phrases like “You’re only as young as you feel” or “Everything happens for a reason.” Sympathy cards are supposed to be messages of comfort during trying times. Saying things like this might make the person feel immature, silly, or guilty. Try phrases that are more calming and supportive, like “I’m sorry for your loss” or “I wish I had the right words.” Sympathy cards are supposed to be comforting, not confusing.
Sympathy cards often contain phrases like “She’s in a better place now” or “He’ll always be watching over you.” Sympathy is designed to offer comfort, but if you end by making the person feel better, you minimize their feelings and be dismissive. Sympathy cards usually contain well wishes for a quick recovery or a statement of empathy. Still, again they should focus on the person’s loss, not what’s going to happen next. Try something more empathic like “I’m here if you need anything” or “I’m thinking of you.” Sympathy cards offer condolence and hope for a person’s recovery. I hope these tips help you decide what to write in a sympathy card.