How to Write a Sympathy Card
Start with an appropriate card. Stores offer traditional sympathy cards or blank cards with beautiful scenes. Computer programs can print cards at home, or you even can make your own sympathy card with cardstock and art materials such as rubber stamps or collage. The main consideration is for the card to be reverent; this is not a time for humor.
Write a meaningful note. Sending a card is a thoughtful gesture, but adding your caring thoughts is like a big hug during a time of tragedy. Let’s look at some common examples:
Keep the note focused on the feelings of the recipient. This is not the time to talk about your grief or reaction to the situation. It is important to not make light of the person’s feelings or impact of the event. Lets look at some inappropriate examples:
Include a monetary check when appropriate, typically for a death, fatal illness, or disaster. A person in grief is often coping with fiscal crisis as well. Probate can lock up funds for months after a death causing extreme stress for the survivors. Funeral expenses may overwhelm a family especially if the death was early or unexpected. Many times a meaningful memorial is purchased or donated in the name of the deceased as well. During a fatal illness, ask about a family web page with updates and guidance for donating towards the crushing medical bills. After a disaster with sudden loss of home, a family may have lost everything and needs help to purchase basic shelter, clothes, and food. There is no minimum or maximum, send what you feel is appropriate based on your relationship with the recipient. $5.00 to $50.00 is common in the midwest for funeral memorial checks.
Send your note in the mail or drop off during a personal visit. The grief process takes an average of a year for an adult and 6 months for a child. A heartfelt sympathy card is meaningful and welcomed anytime during this period.
Images and content original works of kittycooks. Copyright 2009