Sending flowers after a funeral is one way to show your condolences during a time of grave loss. You can opt to send flowers prior to the funeral to be used in the ceremony, or wait and have them sent following a funeral. Knowing what to write on the card that accompanies your flowers is essential, as the loss of a loved one is a delicate situation and handling it properly is important.
Handwriting and addressing your card provides a more personal touch and effort which can be comforting. Avoid sending e-cards, as this shows little effort to send your condolences. Write in black or blue ink and use print or a legible cursive font. Sign your full name and also use correct titles such as Mr., Mrs. and Ms. If the person receiving the card just lost her husband, still address her as Mrs.
Length is also key when writing a condolence card to accompany your flowers. Since cards are relatively small, you can't write much on them. Set a max of four sentence for your card. Keeping it short is also good because, at this time, the person grieving doesn't need to receive a lengthy letter to read. If you do have more to say, write it in a separate letter and wait until the funeral passes before sending your letter.
Start off with a brief introductory phrase acknowledging why you are writing such as "I was upset by the news of Bill's passing." Just a simple phrase that acknowledges the why of your flowers and card, but doesn't delve too deep is appropriate. Follow with a supportive phrase of condolence. Write something like "Your family is in my thoughts and prayers." Close your card with a short two- or three-word closing phrase, like "Sending my love" or "Keeping you in my prayers." If you don't know the griever that well, but knew the deceased, you can close with a more formal phrase such as a simple "Sincerely" or "Respectfully."
Things to Avoid
Avoid saying phrases that take focus away from the person grieving, or the person who passed, such as "I understand what you are going through." Even short comforting phrases like "You will get through this" or "Give it time" can come off as dismissive to the griever's pain, so stick with a short supportive phrase. Also, any information of the person's death should not be mentioned.
Other Things to Consider
While short and sweet are always proper etiquette; if you knew the person very well, you can opt to include a few extra sentences. A positive personal fact about the deceased works well, such as "He always made me laugh and I will miss his humour." Another idea is to offer help such as "If you need anything let me know." You can also be more specific and say something like "If you need a home-cooked meal, I'd be glad to cook one sometime."