Sympathy Messages: What to Write in a Sympathy Card


Writing a sympathy message is never an easy task. It’s hard to find the right words to express your condolences to a friend or family member who is going through a time of need. In fact, it may seem like there aren’t any words to say.

Unfortunately, getting caught up in trying to say the right thing can often lead to saying nothing at all. You can’t take their pain away, but you can be a shoulder to lean on. One thing we know for sure is that saying something is better than keeping quiet. If you seem to be at a loss for words, one of the best ways to express how you’re feeling is by putting the pen to paper.

To help you bring light to a grieving heart and get started on your sympathy message, we’ve created a guide for what to write in a sympathy card.


  1. Tell the recipient that you are sorry for their loss. Open your message by acknowledging the situation and saying those two little words that can go a long way.

  2. Extend your words of sympathy. The recipient is likely receiving a lot of sympathy cards so keep your message concise. A note that’s short and sweet can leave the same impact.

  3. Take thoughtful action. No task is too small to comfort a loved one. Be a shoulder to lean on, offer to make a casserole for the grieving family or help out with the yard work.

  4. Offer ongoing support. Be sure to follow through on any offers you make and assure that the recipient knows that you will.

  5. Reminisce about a positive memory. If you were close to the deceased, you can share a memory to comfort the recipient.

  6. Use a sympathy quote or saying. Close your message with a sentiment that might help them reflect. Use a quote or poem. The words spoken by others can make situations more relatable and give the recipient comfort that they’re not alone in feeling this way.

  7. Let the recipient know that they are in your thoughts. Acknowledge the pain they are experiencing and make sure they know that you’re thinking about them.

  8. Don’t forget to sign your sympathy card. Briefly reiterate everything you’ve mentioned above and sign your name.

To inspire more ideas, we’ve created a sympathy card wording generator. Use our collection of sympathy sayings, messages, quotes and notes to express your love, support and understanding. Start by clicking the type of sympathy saying you’re looking for and then select a specific circumstance.

What to write in a Sympathy Card

for loss of:

Once you’ve written a sympathy card message from the heart, don’t forget to sign it. There aren’t any strict rules you’ll need to follow, but a few guidelines can help you feel more confident in the way you sign, seal and deliver.

How to Sign a Sympathy Card

We’ve included some closings you can use before adding your name to the end of your note. We recommend avoiding anything too formal like, “Sincerely,” as it may come off as too distant for the circumstances. Consider your relationship with the recipient and choose one that feels appropriate.

  • Thinking of you,

  • With caring thoughts,

  • My deepest sympathy,

  • Deepest condolences,

  • With love at this sad time,

  • My heart goes out to you at this time,


After you’ve signed your name, you’ll need to decide how you’re going to present your sympathy card. Will you seal it in an envelope and drop in the mailbox or give it in person along with a sympathy bouquet? No matter how you deliver your words of support, just know they will make a difference.