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What to Write in a Sympathy Card


Writing a sympathy card can feel really upsetting and awkward, and finding the right message can be difficult. You want something that shows how truly sorry you are for a loss, and that can't possibly be taken the wrong way.

Here are some sympathy card messages for different situations:

Simple Sympathy Messages

If you're looking for a short sympathy message for someone you don't know very well, these are ideal.

  • I am so sorry for your loss.
  • With heartfelt condolences.
  • My thoughts are with you at this difficult time.
  • It was a pleasure knowing John. He will be deeply missed.
  • John will remain in my heart forever.
Sympathy Card - Scattered Flowers With Deepest Sympathy
Sympathy Card - Scattered Flowers With Deepest Sympathy

Sudden/Unexpected Death Messages

An unexpected death can be so much harder to deal with. Here are some different messages that express your sympathy.

  • This was such a shock. I am so sorry for your loss.
  • All my best wishes to you and your family. John will never be forgotten.
  • I am truly sorry to hear of your unexpected loss. Please accept my heartfelt condolences.
  • My heart goes out to you after your loss. You’re in my thoughts and prayers.
  • I was deeply saddened to hear your shocking news. My heart goes out to you at this sad time.

Loss of a Parent

When a friend loses their parent, it is important to show how much you care for them. These messages are so thoughtful and show you truly care.

  • Your mother was such a good friend. I loved her, too.
  • Your father was a truly wonderful man. I was so lucky to know him.
  • I didn’t have the chance to know your mother, but she must have been someone special to have raised an amazing daughter like you.
  • It is so hard saying goodbye to your father. I am thinking of you.
  • Although I don’t know you very well, your mother was one of my closest friends and she was so fond of you. I know she loved you so much.
Sympathy Card - Botanical Watercolour Flowers Thinking of You
Sympathy Card - Botanical Watercolour Flowers Thinking of You

Loss of a Partner

Losing a partner can be one of the hardest things to have to go through, so finding the right message is important.

  • I'm truly sorry for the loss of your amazing husband.
  • What you both shared was truly special. You loved each other so much.
  • Someone who you shared so much of life with will forever be a part of you. I'm thinking of you as you remember your wife.
  • I know that adjusting to your new life will be difficult, so please do whatever you need to take care of you—and know I’m always here for you.
  • I will always remember Nicola's New Years party. That was one of the best parties I have been to! I will miss her so much, and treasure the time we spent together.

Loss of a Child

It is so difficult to know what to say when somebody close to you loses their child. These messages will mean so much to them.

  • Missing Charlie right along with you.
  • Even though Jessica was only with us for a short time, she filled the world around her with so much joy!
  • I hope there’s some comfort in knowing that I loved Charlie, too. He was an amazing little boy.
  • It feels wrong that you should have to say goodbye to your child. Please know that you are not alone in how you feel.
  • I will do whatever I can to support you in the weeks and months to come.
Sympathy Card - Bear Hug Thinking of You
Sympathy Card - Bear Hug Thinking of You

Thoughtful Closings

Don't forget to finish off your message with a heartfelt closing. There are so many different ways that you can sign off a card, but these are particularly appropriate.

  • With sympathy,
  • Yours truly,
  • Your friend,
  • Thinking of you,
  • My sincere condolences,

What Not to Write

There are also a lot of things that you should not write in a sympathy card. Be sure to avoid these:

  • "Everything happens for a reason." - This comes across as insensitive, and is not something that their loved ones will want to hear.
  • "I know how you feel." - Everybody handles grief differently, so how you feel may not be the same as how somebody else feels.
  • "He was so young." - This reminder can be hurtful, and so can do more harm than good!
  • "You will find somebody else." - Even if this is true, it is very insensitive at this time.
  • "You should..." - This is the wrong time to be giving out advice. Instead offer your help and support.

We hope you have found this blog useful! For more wording help, head over to our other blogs.