How to Word a Sympathy Card

Updated February 21, 2017

There are many occasions when a sympathy card is an appropriate way to let someone know that you are thinking of them. Death, job loss, injury, divorce and illness are all situations that arise in our lives. Conveying your thoughts and prayers to someone going through a difficult time is a kind and caring thing to do. Sometimes it can be hard to know the exact words to use to extend sympathy and express the deep emotions that arise at these times. But with a bit of thought and some helpful hints, you'll be able to write a touching sympathy card with ease.

Think about how you would feel in the same situation. Consider what emotions you might experience during such a time. What would you like someone to say to you in comfort?

Express your regret that he has found himself in this situation. For example, "I was really sorry to hear that..." Sympathise and offer empathy for the event which occurred.

Let him know that he is in your thoughts. Let him know that you are praying for him and his family in this troubling time. Don't be afraid to show that you care. That is exactly what he needs to know, that he is not alone.

Offer concrete assistance. If he needs someone to go with him to make funeral arrangements and you don't mind going, express that. If you just want to offer to make a meal or drop off a covered dish, let him know it. An offer of help in troubled times is a lifesaver. You might say, "Please call me at once if there is anything I can do to assist you," or "I'd be glad to drive you to the funeral home and assist you during this time, if you'd like."

Speak from the heart. Record your true thoughts and feelings. Your friend or loved one will appreciate your honesty and that you took the time to let him know he is on your mind.

Express memories of better times. If a death has occurred, say something like, "I will always remember the good times we had together that Christmas we spent with your mom."


Practice writing your sentiments on a piece of paper first, before transferring your thoughts to the card. Get what you want to say down, word for word, and then rewrite it in the card. A sympathy card doesn't have to be long. Just express your sympathy, offer assistance and let him know you're thinking of him during this time.


Don't tell him that you know how he feels. Some people find this patronising and offensive. In grief, people often feel that no one knows how they feel.

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About the Author

Amie Taylor has been a writer since 2000. Book reviews, gardening and outdoor lawn equipment repair articles and short fiction account for a handful of her published works. Taylor gained her gardening and outdoor equipment repair experience from working in the landscaping and lawn-care business she and her husband own and operate.