Sympathy Words – How to Write Words of Sympathy in Cards and Letters

Sympathy words in a letter or sympathy card can be an encouraging ray of light to someone who has recently lost a loved one. After a death, things can seem bleak and depressing, and words of sympathy are often a helpful way for the bereaved to cope with their loss. Receiving mail from friends and loved ones showing that they care in a difficult time is a great source of comfort.

As a friend of the bereaved, however, finding the right sympathy words to show how much you care can be difficult. has free examples of sympathy words and sayings you can use to help you write your own sympathy card or letter.

Finding the right sympathy words, although not an easy task, is well worth the time and effort you’ll spend. The survivor will receive many pre-printed sympathy words in the form of cards and other greetings, but very few handwritten sympathy messages. By taking the time to write your own words of sympathy on a purchased greeting card, you’re showing your friend that they’re special to you and that you sincerely want to help them through a difficult time. Your words of comfort and support will serve as a reminder of your love for the deceased, and may be treasured for years to come.

Tips for Writing Sympathy Words

When you sit down to compose your letter or card, be transparent about your feelings. Don’t feel that you need to “dress up” your words, use flowery language, or be excessively fancy. Instead, write your sympathy message as if you’re speaking to your friend face-to-face. They’ll appreciate a genuine message from your heart more than a contrived sympathy message that you had to work to write. There are many sample sympathy words for cards and letters available online that can give you a clear idea of what to write.

If you’re sending a card, you can either write your message on the non-printed area inside, or jot it on a piece of stationary and tuck it into the card. If writing a letter, take the time to pen it by hand. Don’t send a sympathy letter printed on the computer or a card with your signature pre-printed – you want the sympathy message to be as personal as possible.

Send your sympathy words in a timely manner. A general rule of thumb is to mail out the card or letter no more than two weeks after the death. This generally means that your words of sympathy will arrive shortly after the funeral – a time when your loved one will need them most. If you’ve procrastinated, however, don’t feel as though you cannot send your sympathy message. Your heartfelt words are sure to be appreciated, even if they’re a bit delayed.

Words of Sympathy to Include in Your Message

There are some basic elements that should always be included in a sympathy letter. By including all of these elements, you’ll end up with a nicely written sympathy letter each time you need one, without struggling to find the right words.

First, you should sincerely express your sympathy for your loved one’s loss. Mention the deceased by name, and refer to them casually or by a nickname if appropriate. Avoid using overly formal language if you had a friendly relationship.

Secondly, include a memory of the deceased if possible. Mention their character strengths or endearing qualities, and demonstrate to the survivor that their loved one will be missed.

Last, choose a personal closing for your letter. Use words that show the reader that they’re in your thoughts, such as “Wishing you Peace” or “Thinking of You”. Generic greeting such as “Sincerely”, while appropriate, lack a personal touch.

Sympathy words can be difficult to write, but are always appreciated. By taking the time to write genuine words of sympathy and send them to your loved one, you’re demonstrating how much you care and showing them that their family member will be missed. By using these tips and guidelines, you can craft sympathy words that will encourage and comfort your friends and family in difficult times.

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