First, it is important to choose the right card. Often, it is best to use personal stationary or a basic card without too much glitter or artwork. It is important to write to your loved one or friend. If you did not know the deceased very well, it is still appropriate to send a sympathy card. This is for the loved ones who are grieving and to show that you took the time to show your condolences.
If possible, it is important to note an important memory about the deceased. This is a time to remember all of the great things about the departed. Additionally, make sure to express that you know how hard this must be and that you are there to help. The memories should be expressed using specific language. Try not to go too long or into detail. A brief memory is a great way to honor the deceased's life. This will show the recipient that you truly care. If you didn't know the deceased, then it is appropriate to mention a memory that the loved one told you.
Whether people know it or not, they may need extra support during the grieving process. Try to be concrete about how you could possibly reach out and aid the family. For example, bringing children to school, buying groceries, or simply picking up the mail for a family that is away at a funeral can mean a lot. The smallest of actions are sometimes the most meaningful.
It is important to avoid certain cliches when writing a sympathy card. Statements like “He's in a better place” or “Everything happens for a reason” are hard to hear when a death is fresh and new. Instead, the sympathy card should focus on remembering the departed and offering as much help as one can offer. It is important to avoid focusing on how the deceased died. This can bring up uncomfortable thoughts. Similarly, it is important not to note how you found out. Instead, the card should focus on offering sympathy.
Below you will find a sample template for those who need support writing such a card. Sympathy cards are appropriate from individuals as well as from groups in an office or even school or church setting. A nice touch would be to send flowers with the card.
Dear _____ [Insert Name],
It is times like this when we all need to come together and remember what is important in this life. My thoughts, prayers, and heart go out to you right now. Death is never easy, and I know that this must be taking a toll on you.
____ [Name of Deceased] was an incredible person. I remember how he was the first person to welcome me to the neighborhood and his awesome quick jokes at the park. His loss is felt everywhere.
Remember that I am just a phone call away. I am here if you need someone to come and do laundry or make a meal. Don't hesitate to ask me for help.