How to Find the Right Words for Funeral Cards

Updated July 20, 2017

Writing words of comfort to a friend or relative who grieves over the loss of a loved one can be intimidating. Choose a card with a meaningful cover and prewritten words, if you wish you can then add your own personal words of sympathy. Sending a card to someone recently bereaved shows love and concern, but finding the right words can be difficult. Take the time to personalise your card with remembrances and simple words of love and honour for the lost loved one.

Include a short anecdote remembering a wonderful quality about the deceased, if you were a friend or relative of the one who has passed. Relate a funny memory that reveals her sense of humour, or a serious one that speaks of his generous or loving acts.

Telling loving stories about someone keeps their memory alive and especially allows the family to see that their loved one's life was meaningful to others. It also lets them see that others share their grief but in a different way.

Avoid preachy language, words like, "It's for the best" or reasoning that their loved one is better off. Even though your faith and the faith of the card recipient may hold that to be true, allow time for the family to feel the pain and grief of loss.

Choose words that show your support for the ones left behind. Avoid saying, "I know exactly how you feel," because you don't. advises not talking about your own experience in losing a loved one; instead, concentrate your card on the recipient.

Keep the card simple. suggests sentence starters to help with the difficult task of writing words of sympathy. Try one of the following: "Whenever I needed help, (name) was ready and willing." "Our family will miss (name) so much." "I remember when..." and "I could always rely on (name) to (action)."

Most choose to eliminate the words "die" or "death" and opt for the gentler "passed away" or "gone on." Be sensitive to the fresh grief experienced by those who have recently lost a loved one.

Things You'll Need

  • Sympathy card or blank card
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About the Author

Lois Segoinyer has more than 15 years of experience in newspaper, magazine and book publishing and has been editing and writing for various websites since June 2009. Segoinyer earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Mississippi State University.