Sympathy cards are often written as soon as you learned that someone you know has lost a loved one. They can then be delivered with accompaniments, such as flowers, drinks, or food. It is a thoughtful way to let them know that you are there for them.

Though, sometimes it can be difficult to search for the right words to say and what can be meaningful for them to hear. Nonetheless, it is still important to reach out in sympathy and send your thoughts to someone who is grieving – use our tips below to write a heartfelt card.

1. Share your condolences

While you may not know what someone is going through, saying something is better than saying nothing at all to let them know that you care. Your words should be carefully chosen as it should be comforting and convey ongoing support, especially during a difficult time.

A good way to go about it is leaning towards your heartfelt impulses for a more genuine message. This is reminiscent of the cliched statement, “be yourself.” The words that you think about the very moment you hear the news depict exactly what you feel. Keep it simple, “I am sorry for your loss and my heart goes out to you and your family. Please know I am with you in thought and here for you whenever needed.”

2. Show appreciation

It can bring great comfort to the bereaved to hear that others have high opinions of their loved one too. This is key, especially when you want to show that you care about them and extend your respects to the deceased. If you knew the deceased, let them know in the card. Use descriptive words like admired, wonderful, generous, one-of-a-kind, caring, funny and hardworking, to show your respect and appreciation. You can also highlight that the funeral service for the deceased was a touching tribute which greatly honoured their life.

3. Offer help

If you are in a position to help the bereaved with funeral arrangements, housework, childcare or anything else, it would be good to include an offer to do so in your message. Whether it’s a shoulder to cry on or to bring over a meal, no task is too small to help out the bereaved – they are sure to appreciate your kind gesture.

Alternatively, you can also provide accompaniments with your sympathy card such as a funeral flower bouquet, fruit baskets or monetary donations to help the bereaved with funeral costs. Your support will make a difference to help them through their situation.

How to Structure Your Sympathy Card

Step 1: Salute the bereaved and mention the deceased by name.

Step 2: Express your sympathy.

Step 3: Mention at least one of the good qualities of the deceased and any memorable moments shared.

Step 4: Offer your help or pledge a donation.

Step 5: Conclude with a respectful closing