When writing a sympathy card or letter -
– it doesn’t need to be difficult.
Write as if you were talking to them face to face.
For a grieving person it is not so much what you include in your condolence cards or letter but that you take the time to write one in the first place that matters. It means so very much to the bereaved to know that someone cares for them in their time of hurt.
A good resource if you are unsure of what to write is, My Deepest Sympathies…Meaningful Sentiments for Condolence Notes and Conversation, Plus a Guide to Eulogies by Florence Issacs This book offers many good suggestions. Find some great ideas, and then personalize them to fit your loved one specifically.
When writing expressions of sympathy, here are some ideas of things to include:
* Include the deceased loved one's name
* Express your condolences
* Reflect on the bereaved’s loved one, what was special about them, maybe adding a favorite memory or story.
* Offer to help the grieving person – what specific thing can you uniquely offer? -- See my Practical Help page for some ideas to assist you in planning
* Close the bereavement card with affection and love
It can be as simple as that. What you write doesn’t have to be long and wordy. In fact, short and sweet is probably best. When you are grieving, concentration is more difficult.
DaySpring Cards Inc. is a card company that has a very nice selection of cards for bereavement. Perhaps you can find a Christian sympathy card that says just the perfect thing. Then you will only need to add a sentence or two and a thoughtful closing.
The Art of Condolence: What to Write, What to Say, What to Do at a Time of Loss
In addition to the book listed at the top of the page, another book that you might find helpful is:
Either one of these books can offer practical suggestions to help you express what is already in your heart.
Remember: It is not important for your words to be eloquent. They just need to be heartfelt and sincere. Those who are mourning need to hear from the people around them. They need to know that people care, and will be there to support them in their time of loss.