Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sending Sympathy Cards

A colleague from my office passed away recently. While I did not know his family, I sent a sympathy card to share my condolences. A sympathy or condolence card is a way to show support for the grieving person and/or family.

Unlike a card for other occasions, a sympathy card can be hard to compose. Don't put it off, attempt to send your sympathy card as soon as you hear about the death. Here are some tips for writing such a card:

Do not try to do too much with the card. Try to express sincere feeling and to say something specific, if possible, about the deceased. The main thing is to offer your support , in words that feel right to you. A quality card with a personal line such as "My thoughts are with you" and your signature will do.

Benefits of Sending Sympathy Cards

As I stated before, one of the main reasons to send a sympathy card is to help the survivors with their grieving and healing. A sympathy card tells the survivors that you cared about the person and about them enough to take the time to send a card.

It is important to the family to know that they have the support of others in the community to make it through the difficult time. It is also important to know that their loved one was cared for by others. The sympathy card is a way of letting them know you have them in your thoughts.

The bereaved person may find themselves re-reading sympathy cards as a physical reminder of the caring and support from friends and family. They may re-read the card over again days, weeks or years after the loss any time they want to feel the support. Re-reading the cards is a way to re-experience the loving thoughts and tender memories written by caring friends during a time of great sorrow. This is one reason why an email or even a e-card is not appropriate for an expression of sympathy or condolence. Sympathy cards can even become keepsakes and family heirlooms that are passed down in boxes from one generation to the next.

If you hear of someones death, take a few minutes to sit down, and send a heartfelt, quality sympathy card. The benefits to the survivors will be beyond measure.

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