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How to address a sympathy card envelope

Updated November 21, 2016

Sympathy cards are appropriate after the death of a friend or family member. Addressing a sympathy card is much like sending a traditional greeting card. You want to get a message of support and empathy across when you your card.

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  1. Write "Jones' Family" on the top address line if the sympathy card is for a relative of the family. This way not one person is singled out. You want to send your condolences to the entire family. Write "To the friends and relatives of Bob Jones," however, if you don't know the family personally, but want to send your condolences. This is appropriate for business colleagues, teachers, hair stylists, and fellow church members.

  2. Place "Cindy Jones" on the top line if there is only one person in the house that was close to the deceased person. If many people live in the house, only address the envelope to one person if you are sure the deceased did not know the others. If you are unsure, always write "To the friends and relatives of Bob Jones."

  3. Add a little note inside the sympathy card. Recall a memory about the deceased individual and let the receiver know how much he will be missed. Also, let them know you are here for them if they need a shoulder to cry on.

  4. Let the receiver know you have made a donation to a particular charity in the loved one's name. If you would rather, add a check to your sympathy card instead. Either method is acceptable.

  5. Sign your name personally under your message. Never let someone sign your name for you and never sign anyone else's name on a sympathy card. A personal signature is a small touch everyone recognises.

  6. Tip

    A heart sticker on the sticky side of the sympathy card envelope is a nice touch. It lets the receiver know you care.


    Don't forget your return address. It is nice to give the receiver an idea of the sender before they open the mail.

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Things You'll Need

  • Pen
  • Envelope
  • Sympathy card
  • Heart sticker

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