Sending flowers and a sympathy card to a bereaved family is one of the most common ways we express our sympathy when someone dies. Taking the time to find just the right way of expressing your condolences may seem like an inconsequential task at such a time of loss, but your words can provide great comfort. Choosing them should not be taken lightly.
Remember the Deceased
Before you begin writing your card, reflect on the person who has died. If you knew him well, on a piece of scrap paper, jot down the qualities you will remember most about him, such as his sense of humour, his pride in his work or his caring for other people. Write down what you will miss: her infectious smile, her jolly laugh, her way of telling a joke. Finally, recall and write down a happy or meaningful moment that you shared with that person.
If you did not know the deceased well, or at all, this process may be difficult, but it is not impossible. You are likely writing your note to a friend or relative you do know well. If that person shared information with you about the deceased, use that information to gain insight into the deceased's character or how that person played a role in the life of your friend. Focus on the bereaved person's loss as you write down thoughts to be included in the note you will send with flowers.
Once you have written down memories of the deceased, begin your card. Though this is a solemn occasion, the words you write should not be too formal. Your condolences should be from your heart and should sound as if you are speaking them. Imagine that you are sitting across from the person to whom you are writing, and think about what you would say to comfort him.
"I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your husband. Bob was such a wonderful grandfather, whose love for his grandchildren could be seen in the many photos he displayed in his office. I will miss his smile."
"I did not know your mother, but I remember all the lovely stories you told me about her over the years, and I know you will miss her terribly. Please let me know if I can do anything for you."