Five Key Phrases When Writing a Heartfelt Sympathy Card

Written by Chelsea Hanson on September 3, 2012

I recently lost a friend and colleague, who died of metastatic cancer just five weeks after being diagnosed.

It was a tough blow to me and the many people she had touched throughout her active and productive life. And she died way too soon, at the age of 59, leaving behind two grown daughters and a loving husband.

I read her obituary in disbelief. Was the quiet, shy woman I had known for more than 20 years the same woman who had started two companies, been a big part of the Polish community in Seattle, and was nicknamed, the Marquesa of mushrooms thanks to her expertise in mycology?

I bought a lovely sympathy card in preparation for attending her memorial service. But what to write? How to comfort a family that had lost such a precious woman?

In today’s blog post, our frequent guest columnist, Chelsea Hanson, founder of With Sympathy Gifts & Keepsakes, helps us answer this question with five phrases you may want to incorporate and/or emulate next time you face the challenge of writing a heartfelt sympathy card. If you want to read Chelsea’s entire blog post, you’ll find it here.

*“I can’t even imagine what you’re going through right now. Know that if there’s anything you need, whether it’s a babysitter, grocery shopper, or just a shoulder to cry on, you can always call on me.”

*“During this time of pain and sorrow, know that I love you and am here to help you through.”

*“I will miss your father so much. It seems like just yesterday we were graduating college together. I will never forget the wonderful times we had together.”

*“I am so sorry for your loss. Your sister was such a wonderful person, she will be greatly missed by so many.”

*“My heart goes out to you in your time of loss. Know that I am thinking of you often and I will keep you and your family in my prayers every day.”

No matter what you write in your sympathy card, your loved one will know that you mean well and your heart is in the right place. Try not to put so much pressure on yourself to write just the right thing, and the words will come to you naturally.