Sincerest Condolences: What To Write In A Sympathy Card

By Ali + Julie on 4 Apr 2023

Not surprisingly, the passing of a family member or close friend ranks among the most stressful life events.

If you find yourself in a position where you need to express your condolences to someone who has endured this heartbreaking tragedy, it's entirely normal to feel a sense of unease about composing a condolence card.

What do you say when someone has died? How can you find the right words to express your sympathy? And what if you’re given the task of arranging flowers or sympathy messages from a whole group? Keep reading for some thoughtful options on what to write on your card.

How to Express Your Condolences

Sympathy messages will vary depending on the circumstances and how well you knew the person. “Sorry for your loss” is always appropriate, but what if you knew the person, sharing an incite or memory of that person can be of comfort.

Here are some sample ideas to guide you.

Short and Sweet

  • Wishing you as much peace as possible through this difficult time.
  • You and your family are in our daily thoughts and prayers.
  • I hope you feel surrounded by love and compassion. My thoughts are with you.
  • “It is not the length of life, but the depth of life.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
  • I am deeply sorry for your loss.
  • My heart aches for you and your family. Please know that you are in my thoughts as you navigate this journey.
  • Sending you my heartfelt condolences.
  • Words cannot express the sadness I feel for your loss. Please accept my sincere condolences, and may you find peace in the midst of this grief.

Express Personal Appreciation

Another way to express condolences is to assure the bereaved that their loved one was special - not only to them but also to you.

Here are some ideas to get you started.

  • Remembering your wonderful mother and wishing you comfort.
  • It was a pleasure knowing Jane. She was a beautiful person, inside and out. I remember when ….
  • What an amazing man who lived a truly remarkable life. I’m lucky to have known him. He taught me ….
  • I hope it brings you comfort to know that I’m celebrating the life Bill lived and I’m grateful for the positive impact he made on mine.
  • Your father touched so many lives for the good. His legacy will never be forgotten. He helped people by …
  • I am so sorry for your loss. John's generosity and compassion made a profound impact on my life. I will forever be grateful for the positive influence he had on me.
  • I am deeply saddened by the news of your loss. Jane's sense of humor and ability to bring joy to any situation brightened my life in countless ways. Her memory will continue to bring smiles to our hearts.
  • Anna's strength and resilience inspired me greatly. Her memory will serve as a reminder of the incredible impact one person can have on others.

Offer Help and Follow-up

Your friend will likely need help in the weeks and months following the funeral. To help a friend in need, include a kind offer in your card (and be sure to follow up). It’s better to offer and do something than just offer a hollow “anything I can do”.

  • I can’t take your pain away, but I can offer a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on.
  • You have so much on your mind right now. If you find it overwhelming to manage daily responsibilities, please don't hesitate to reach out. I can help with grocery shopping, cooking, or anything else you need to make things a bit easier.
  • It’s been a while, but I know the hurt doesn’t fully go away. I’m still here whenever you need me.
  • Christmas won’t be the same without Joe, but I hope it helps to know you’re in our thoughts through the holiday season.
  • If you find yourself needing a break or some time for yourself, I'd be more than willing to babysit your kids or help with any childcare needs. Your well-being is important to me.
  • Please don't hesitate to reach out if you need someone to talk to.
  • Lean on your friends and family during this time, and remember that you are not alone.
  • Please accept my deepest condolences. In times like these, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. If you'd like, I can help organise a meal train for you and your family, ensuring that you have nourishing meals without the stress of cooking.

Are You Organising A Group Condolence Card?

It’s never easy finding the right words when you’re consoling somebody.

If you’re stumped about what to write on your condolence card, refer back to the list of ideas above. One of them might be just the thing your friend needs to hear!

Are you organising flowers, a gift, or a collection of sympathy messages? With GroupTogether, you can all chip in for a gift with a card that includes everyone’s messages.

A gift & card from your group

Send your sympathies with a thoughtful card and gift from everyone. Chip in with friends or colleagues and give one gift they'll really appreciate.

Ali Julie Square

Ali + Julie

Co-Founders, GroupTogether

Life’s busy. That’s why we’re here to make it easy for you to collect money from a group. Less wasted time, less packaging waste, and spending a little less but giving a lot better!

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