How to sign sympathy cards

Updated March 23, 2017

Because death touches every person, you will find it necessary to write and sign sympathy cards. When a child or young person dies, especially as the result of an accident, the loss can be unexpected. It's hard enough to go to the store and find a sympathy card, let alone think of something appropriate to write. If you puzzle over what to write and how to sign a sympathy card, you are not alone. Writing something that acknowledges the person who died without making the family's pain worse is not always easy.

Tailor your note to how well you knew the deceased. If you knew him very well or you were very close to him, it is perfectly fine to say, "Uncle Bill was one of my favourite relatives and I'll miss him. I'll always remember his smile."

Write, "Bonnie will always be in our hearts," if you didn't know her very well.

Keep your message in the sympathy card short. The family may be getting cards from a lot of friends and relatives. After the funeral, the family may send out thank-you notes to everyone who remembered the deceased.

Sign your card with both your first and last names. You may share the same first name as others in the family or circle of friends.


Examples of sympathy phrases include, "Our thoughts are with you. With deepest sympathy. Please accept our condolences. I am sorry for your loss." Acknowledge the family's loss in your card.


When you sign your card, do not say, "It was her time to go." The family may be grieving and in shock, especially if the death was sudden or if the deceased was a young person.

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About the Author

Genevieve Van Wyden began writing in 2007. She has written for “Tu Revista Latina” and owns three blogs. She has worked as a CPS social worker, gaining experience in the mental-health system. Van Wyden earned her Bachelor of Arts in journalism from New Mexico State University in 2006.