How To Word A Sympathy Card - what not to say
Express Your Condolences With A Sympathetic Message
Words of Sympathy and Comfort for the Loss of a Mother or Father
"I am so sorry for your loss, losing a mother / father is one of the worst things to bear, my thoughts and prayers are with you."
Ensure you use their name too. Names can feel uncomfortable to say when the person is deceased but it's very important to use them. Don't be afraid to do so. Show that you sincerely care and are willing to help.
"I am here as your friend (neighbor, family) to support you and help you in any way you need during this difficult time. If you need anything just ask. I am also here to just listen if you want to talk, cry or just to have some company."
Share a fond memory, something you can reminisce together about and cherish. Also try to remember anniversaries of death and living moments of the deceased as the grieving person will do and will require extra support during those times.
Words of Sympathy - TIPS
Send the card as soon as you hear about the death.
It is never too late, so even if the funeral has passed and you came across the news late you can still send a card. Choose a simple card and handwrite the message as it is more personal. Use the person who is deceased's name. Offer condolences, and if appropriate a sincere and specific offer of help. Do not make promises you won't or can't keep.
"I am sorry to hear that your mother / father has passed away. I remember them with fondness and treasure the memories I have."
Sympathy Phrases to Avoid
- "I know how you feel"
- Time heals"
- "They are in a better place now."
- "You'll soon get over it, you're strong."
- "They lived a long time, it was their time to go"
- "It will be alright, you'll meet someone else."
- "You were blessed to know them, be thankful"
- "You have your whole life ahead of you."
- "Life goes on."
- "Oh well at least you weren't that close!"
- "It's not like losing a child or a parent"
- "My mate Sandra just lost her dad it was awful"
Yes, you and I have all used some variation of the above in the past and we did so with the very best of intentions!
We just don't show it, or have a way of shielding others from it. And most importantly we do not want to get over it, forget about it. We want that person remembered and treasured as much in death as in life.
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Comforting Lines and Verses
"Although it's difficult today to see beyond the sorrow, May looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow. Hold tight to memories for comfort, Lean on your friends for strength, And always remember how much you are cared about." Author Unknown
"Our love will be deeper, our life will be fuller because we shared your moment.” Author Unknown
"Friends are the pillars on your porch. Sometimes they hold you up, sometimes they lean on you, and sometimes it’s just enough to know that they are standing by." Author Unknown
"Those who loved can truly tell, the heartache of parting without farewell." Author Unknown
"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal." Author Unknown
"May the peace which comes from the memories of love shared, comfort you now and in the days ahead." Author Unknown
"They say love beyond the world cannot be separated by it. Death cannot kill what never dies." William Penn
"You don’t get over it, you just get through it. Your don’t get by it, because you can’t get around it. It doesn’t ‘get better’; it just gets different. Everyday… Grief puts on a new face…." Wendy Feireisen
"When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure." Author Unknown
"I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love." Leo Buscaglia
"May the stars carry your sadness away, May the flowers fill your heart with beauty, May hope forever wipe away your tears, And, above all, may silence make you strong." Chief Dan George