Writing a Sympathy Card

Writing a sympathy card can be a very difficult task. I remember a time when I felt tongue-tied and was afraid to say the wrong thing. I worried over it so long that I didn’t send the card.

Later, when I was in an accident and out of work for a number of months, I realized the importance of cards! Each time I received a sympathy card, I felt connected to the sender. It felt so good to know that they thought of me and took time to write a note and/or purchase a card to send. I actually kept all the cards and go back to them periodically. I posted a couple of them on the bulletin board by my desk as a little reminder of the importance of connection and community, especially during times of loss.

Times to write a sympathy card

There are many occasions for writing a sympathy card such as a divorce, a serious health issue, or a death. All are times of sadness when a kind word sharing your concern can help someone move through their grief.

An often overlooked time for writing a sympathy card is when someone has had a miscarriage. As in other deaths, there are lost hopes and dreams. The potential parents will feel sad and may feel angry or guilty, thinking they did something wrong. These are common feelings. In the case of a stillbirth or miscarriage, it’s important to let the couple know that, even though you didn’t meet their child, you know that this is a heart-wrenching experience for them. Acknowledge the special plans that they made to make a place for this baby and the time that is needed to grieve the loss.

Tips for writing a sympathy card

When writing a sympathy card, keep it simple. Here are a few suggestions:

 1. Express your care for the person and their loss: “I was so sad to hear about the death of your Mother.”

2. Share your personal experience: “When I think of her, I remember how generous and genuinely interested she was in everyone in our group of friends. She made me feel special and welcomed every time I came to your house.”

3. Express your sorrow about the loss: “I am so sorry for your loss. Please know that I, too, will truly miss her!”

Grief and loss are natural parts of all of our lives. Receiving a sympathy card can help us open to and express our feelings. A card lets us know that we aren’t alone in this phase of our lives, and can make it easier for us to reach out for support as we need it.

If you are struggling with a lose in your life, I’d love to help you. Pplease call me at 404.518.0828.  Dr. Sharman Colosetti