December 4, 2009, Newsletter Issue #178: How to Write Sympathy Cards

Tip of the Week

Sending sympathy cards to the family of someone who has died can serve two purposes. The first and obvious one is that it lets you extend your condolences to the family that is left behind. The second, often unrealized, purpose is a chance to express your feelings about the death.


It is acceptable to send sympathy cards with a simple short message such as "With deep sadness".The family will know that you have them in your thoughts. However, taking the time to write a paragraph or two to include with your sympathy card can be even more healing.


Writing your thoughts down is not as difficult as it seems. You can tell a fond story about the individual, say what it was about them that you liked or explain why you are going to miss them. It is often much easier to express your feelings in writing than in person to the bereaved family.


Begin by writing a rough draft. Once you have your thoughts organized write it in the card that you have selected.


Mail the sympathy card in a timely manner. You should send it as soon as you hear about the death.

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