What to Say in a Sympathy Card

Updated on October 4, 2017
What to say in a sympathy card
What to say in a sympathy card | Source

Sometimes finding the right words to say to someone is seemingly impossible, especially at a time of loss, whether it be a long-time family pet or the loss of a loved one.

Dealing with a loss is one of the hardest things anyone ever has to face in their life; one of life’s very ugly, cruel realities, yet it is something we all must face multiples times over in our lives.

Sharing The Loss

Although sending someone a sympathy card won’t necessarily make everything all better, it is a wonderful way to express your condolences and to provide comforting messages to the person or people in need. It is the best opportunity to:

  • Give your condolences.

  • Offer prayer, if you actually intend to do so.

  • Let them know that you are there for them.

  • Let them know in what specific ways you can help, if they need it.

  • Write any happy memories you had.

Other nice things that you can do for the grieving family is bring them food, send flowers for the service, and just keep your phone line open in case they need to call.

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Sympathy Sentiments

If you really cannot think of what to say in a sympathy card, maybe reading through the following examples of what to say in a sympathy card will help trigger the right words for your specific case:

Religious: Bible verses and caring sympathy messages

  • He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away. Revelation 21:4

  • Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4

  • Don’t be afraid, for I am with you; Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

  • Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them. Psalm 10:17

  • Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4

  • You are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time, and know that we are here for you if you need anything at all.

  • May God be with you to provide you comfort, and let his love and peace fill you.

  • I am praying for your inner peace and strength. My condolences go out to you and your loved ones.

Non-religious: A few comforting messages for the grieving

  • Our deepest sympathy goes out to you and your family.

  • Wishing your family the best during this difficult time and know that you are in our thoughts.

  • We will sincerely miss (name of person). Sending you thoughts of healing and strength during this time.

  • May you find comfort in each other while you grieve with one-another. My deepest condolences.

  • We are extending our deepest heartfelt sympathy to you and your family. May this time of grieving free your mind, and peace fill your heart once more.

  • I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of (name of person), my thoughts are with you.

  • May the many happy memories of (name of person) help you find peace.

  • Someone as amazing as (name of person) can never be forgotten. Forever in our hearts and memories, they shall remain.

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Things to Avoid

With any list of do’s comes a list of don’ts, especially in a topic such as grieving and loss. So, for your best interest and for those grieving, avoid the following:

  • Don’t make it about you: In other words, don’t talk about one of your recent losses, how yours was worse, or anything about you or anything negative going on in your life right now. This will just further upset the grieving and seem like you are just dismissing their feelings as inferior “because you had it worse.”

  • Don’t just talk about it online, through e-cards or facebook, and act in person as if nothing happened.

  • Do not try to make light of the situation! Grieving is a normal, natural, and needed process, so let it happen.

Sample Sympathy Message

Knowing the Right Words

Something we never really think about is what exactly to say during these times.

Maybe it’s because we don’t want to think about the event of dealing with a loss, or maybe it is because each situation is unique, and each person grieves differently from the next, and from one loss to the next.

The truth is, there really is no “one-size fits all” message for what to say in a sympathy card, or any words that will make them feel better. All you can really do is be there for them while they grieve.

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