Sympathy and condolence cards and messages

Perhaps the hardest type of greeting card to write.

I recently had to write a condolence card for a family member and it was one of the hardest things to do, creating the card was an easy task in itself but finding the right words to express my feelings and acknowledge those of the grievers while being comforting was really difficult. I did some research on the web to help me get started, so I could find a message which relayed how we felt, but could also be modified to be more personal.

My range of greetings cards do not include messages inside, so that my customers can write their own personalised messages and I do not like to spoil a lovely handmade card with a standard, over used message. However… I know am not alone when it comes to being stuck for words when having to write messages such as these and it inspired me to create some blogs giving hints and tips for writing greeting card messages.

So lets get started…..

Some dos and don’ts of writing sympathy cards/messages


  • Offer support if you can and mean to stick to it
  • Be honest and sincere
  • Empathise with their loss but keep the focus on the recipient
  • Acknowledge their grief and emotions


  • Try to be humorous
  • Focus on the details of the loss
  • Give advice, offer support instead (see above)
  • Include religious statements or sentiments, unless you are absolutely sure of the recipients beliefs

Who is the message for?

If the message is not for a close friend but more of an acquaintance, colleague or business contact then a short message is acceptable, but if the card is for a family member or friend then you will want to express more emotion and a standard message like “Sorry for your Loss” is just not going to fit the bill here, so I have some options below for both instances.

Simple messages for colleagues and acquaintances

Some standard short messages include:

  • My/Our Condolence/s to you/and your family
  • Sorry for your Loss
  • My/Our deepest sympathy/sympathies
  • I/We are thinking of you during this difficult time
  • My family extends to you/and your family our deepest condolences
  • I/we send you thoughts of peace and courage

Here is a link to more messages you can use when writing a sympathy card to a colleague from indeed.

Personal messages for relatives and friends

Some easy to use messages to get you started:

  • When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure
  • May your memories give you peace and comfort
  • Gone from our sight, but never from our hearts
  • With caring thoughts and love
  • May you always keep (name) in your heart and hold on to the memories of the amazing times you had together
  • Sometimes there are no words, but know that I/we are here for you
  • You have my/our most sincere condolences for your loss and don’t hesitate to ask if you need anything
  • Find strength in the love of those who surround you
  • Remember you are not alone

Still stuck for words?

Here a few resources to help you find the right words or ways to offer support, or you can buy a greeting card from my range.

and finally…….

I hope you found today’s blog useful. I plan on continuing the tips series of blogs with other subjects people find it hard to write messages in greetings cards for, so if you can think of a tough subject to find meaningful messages for, like moving home or a new job or retirement card, then comment below and I can include these subjects in future blogs.

Thanks for reading, à bientôt, Natalie