Sympathy Card Wording Ideas

Sympathy Card Wording Ideas

We all want to express our sympathy and support for the bereaved when a loved one passes, but it can be difficult to choose the perfect sympathy card wording to express your sentiments. The goal is to be so original as to demonstrate that you really care without breaking convention or sounding dull, uninterested or repetitive. Form letter sympathy card wording does not carry as much meaning as a personally written note, so you have to write memorable sympathy card wording in order to make your true sentiments known.


Always begin sympathy card wording with an appropriate salutation. Your salutation should properly address the recipients of your sympathy card. A few examples of sympathy card salutation wording that name the proper recipients are as follows:

  • Dear Lois,
  • Dear Rembrandt Family,
  • To the Family of Thomas Revolt,

As you can see, it is far better to personalize your sympathy card salutation than to rely on “catch-all” salutations such as “To the Bereaved.”


The body of your sympathy card wording is the most important and should be written with sincerity. How you word this portion of your sympathy card largely depends on your relationship with the recipient and the deceased. If you know the former well but were not close with the latter, you can stick with a more generic approach such as a famous quote or a quick note that touches on the spirituality of the survivor. If you were close to the deceased it is best to express your sympathy in very specific terms; those that will be recognized by your sympathy card's recipient as a reflection of their loved one's personality. For example, you might write: “My greatest sympathy and support are with you today. I will always remember Tad as a diamond in the rough; no matter the circumstances he could always bring a smile to my face. His legacy is forever.” Of course, you can always recount more personal stories rather than relying on generalizations.


Your closing should echo the tone of the body of your sympathy card wording as well as reflect your relationship with the recipient and the deceased. If you know the former well but were not close with the latter, your closing should reiterate your sympathy and offer support: “My greatest sympathies are with you and my door is always open for you.” Conversely, if you were close with the latter but not the former (or with both), you can choose a more personal closing: “Tad will always live in my heart.” No matter your relationship with the recipient, your sympathy card wording should be respectful, polite and, of course, sympathetic. Never use your sympathy card for any purpose other than to express your sympathy and support. And to make your sympathy card wording even more memorable, write it on premium sympathy card paper stock – you will appear to have gone out of your way, and you definitely won't look like you went to the local discount store and snagged a card off the shelf at the last second.