What to write in a sympathy card or funeral flowers
Sending cards and flowers to someone who has experienced a recent loss is a lovely and thoughtful thing to do. However, it can be a challenge to think of the right words to say. Here’s what to write in sympathy cards.
Short sympathy card messages
Don’t feel like you need to write a really long message (unless you want to of course). Even a short, brief message can still convey a lot of comfort and support. Here are some examples of short sympathy card messages:
- We are sorry for your loss
- You are in our thoughts during this difficult time
- With heartfelt condolences
- With deepest sympathy
- Thinking of you during this difficult time
- With love to you and your family
Longer sympathy card messages
If you want to write a bit more but are not sure where to start, here are some examples:
- It was with great sadness that we learned that (name) has passed away. Please accept our heartfelt condolences and we hope we can help in any way during these difficult times
- I can’t imagine what you must be feeling right now, but I want you to know that we are just a phone call away if you need anything
- May memories of (name) and the love of family surround you and give you strength in the days ahead
Biblical messages for sympathy cards
If the deceased or the loved one you are writing to were religious, you may want to add a biblical verse to provide comfort. Here are some suitable verses for times of grief:
- “come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”- Matthew 11:28
- “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand”- Isaiah 41:10
- “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted”- Matthew 5:4
Show you are there for them
Messages that show that you are there to support the bereaved will go a long way. They may not want your help with anything at this stage but they will remember your kind words and know that you were there for them during a challenging time.
Often all people want is for someone to listen rather than do particular stuff for them, so you may also want to include in your message that you are there for them if all they want to do is talk.
Choose the tone of your message carefully
Decide straight away what tone you want your message to have. This will depend heavily on the relationship with both the deceased and the bereaved.
Make drafts if necessary
There’s nothing wrong with making some drafts before committing to the final version. Make sure you are happy with the words you have chosen before you send the card as you don’t want to regret what you have written when it’s too late to change it.
Things to avoid saying
Whilst notes in sympathy cards are subjective and you can write as much or as little as you want, there are some things you may want to avoid saying. These are things that may upset the bereaved, even if you mean them in the nicest way, and upsetting them was definitely not your intention. Avoid saying the following:
- “I know how you are feeling”- whilst we all experience grief in our lives, the circumstances and feelings are never the same
- “They were so young”- this may be true but it can be a reminder they do not need pointing out
- “you will / you should” – never suggest how someone else should be feeling or how someone should be coping
- “This happened for a reason”- even if this is a philosophy you believe in, it may not be received well
If you are concerned about writing something that will come across the wrong way, try and keep your message short and to the point. The main thing is that you have taken the time and effort to send a sympathy card and show that you are supporting the recipient.
Words cannot take away the pain of losing someone, however, they can provide comfort and show the bereaved that you are thinking of them, so you must take care in what you write. Hopefully, this article has provided you with some inspiration.