How to Write a Thank You Card for Sympathy

Updated April 17, 2017

Sympathy extended during a time of great pain or loss is a treasured gift from the people who willing and freely offer it. If the outpouring of sympathy from others has helped you recover from a tragedy or hardship, you can show your appreciation through a heartfelt thank you note or card. A thank you card for sympathy should emphasise the importance of your friendship with the individual and how grateful you are for his or her support.

Start the note with a greeting phrase such as "Dear" followed by the individual's name. Use the name that you are most comfortable addressing the person by. For example, if the person is an older friend of your parents who you have always referred to by their official title and last name, do so in the thank-you card as well. If the person is a close friend who you always call by first name or a nickname, do so in the thank-you card as well.

Open the body of the letter with a sentence that clearly states your gratitude for their support and sympathy during your hardship. This is the main objective of your letter and it is important to state it upfront. An appropriate statement would be "Thank you so much for your love and support during these difficult months" or "I cannot express to you enough how much your support has helped me during this difficult time." If your relationship with the person is less familiar, write something such as "Thank you so much for your sympathy" or "Thank you very much for your thoughtful card." Specifically address what it is that they have done for you during your time of need, and your thankfulness for their generosity.

Include in the next line why you value the person as a friend, relative, neighbour or whatever your relationship to the person may be. For example, you could write something such as "You have been such a wonderful friend to me throughout the years and I truly think of you as a sister." If you do not know the person very well, simply write something that shows how you appreciate your relationship with the greater community. For example, write "I have been amazed at the outpouring of love and support I have felt."

Discuss any more personal thoughts you might wish to share. If your are close to the individual and wish to update him on how you're coping, use this opportunity to do so. Or, if you find confiding in others helpful, simply express your sorrow. If you are not close to the individual, do not write anything personal but simply reiterate your appreciation for their support.

Write a closing phrase such as "Sincerely," "With Love," "Your Friend," or "Thank You" followed by your signature. Choose the closing phrase based on the nature of your relationship with the individual. For example, for people you are not close to, "Sincerely" or "Best Wishes" is appropriate but "With Love" is not.

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About the Author

Margaret Kay has worked as a freelance writer since 2009. She has worked as a contributor to "The Gonzaga Bulletin." Kay has recently completed her Master of Theology in media ethics at the University of Edinburgh.