Ideas for Words to Put Into Sympathy Cards

by Narie Kim

Life often includes unfortunate events such as the passing of a friend, family member or acquaintance, and one way to share your condolences is by sending a sympathy card. Handwritten cards offer you the freedom to design an appropriate card for the occasion while including everything you would want to say. Writing sympathy cards may be difficult for some people, but with a little inspiration and sincerity, you can find the right words.

Personal Condolences offers many examples of appropriate wording for sympathy cards. Consider writing, "You are in my thoughts," "Our thoughts and prayers are with you," "With heartfelt condolences," "Remember that we love and care for you," "We are deeply sorry to hear about the death of..." or "We send you thoughts of peace and courage." To add a personal touch to the card, include a short note or a good memory you have of the person who passed away.


Quotations that are appropriate for the occasion can be a nice addition in your sympathy card. The Quote Garden website offers an assortment of sympathy quotes. For example, Benjamin Franklin once said, "It is the will of God and Nature that these mortal bodies be laid aside, when the soul is to enter into real life; 'tis rather an embrio state, a preparation for living; a man is not completely born until he be dead: Why then should we grieve that a new child is born among the immortals?" Another example is, "Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy."

Words and Phrases to Avoid

The Comfort and Grace website recommends avoiding cliches such as "I know how you feel," "You will get over this in time," "It's all for the best," "Time heals all wounds," or "It was his time to go." These words are very generic and are not sensitive to the griever. Also avoid writing about personal issues, such as an explanation of why you have not been in contact or what is happening in your own life. Express positive condolences and your love and support in a sympathy card, rather than dredging up other issues.

About the Author

Narie Kim has been freelance writing since May 2010. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice with a minor in sociology from the University of Colorado at Denver. Kim has acquired 7 years of work in arts and entertainment, food and dining, diet and exercise, and personal finance.

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