When someone dies, it’s important to let the family know you care. One of the easiest ways to do that is to send a sympathy card, which is a simple, tangible way to reach out and share your condolences.

You may not realize how much it means to the recipient, but you can be sure your expression of regard for the person who has died and sympathy for the family will be appreciated.

The best condolence card is one written by hand rather than sent via a text or email. It’s appropriate to send a gift if you choose, but it’s not a requirement. A heartfelt note is best, perhaps sharing a happy memory of the person who has died.

Express your regard for the person and offer sympathy for the family, but keep it simple. It’s not necessary to write a long letter or try to make sense of the death, and clichés such as “he’s in a better place” should be avoided.

If you’re having trouble finding the right words to express yourself, stick to a short statement:

  • We’re sorry for your loss.
  • I will really miss him.
  • We hope you feel surrounded by love and support.
  • It was wonderful to know your mother; she will truly be missed.
  • I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.
  • Please let me know how I can help.
  • I am holding you close in my thoughts.

What if a significant amount of time has passed since the death? Maybe you meant to send a card right after the funeral but were trying to compose the perfect message and let time get away from you. Should you still send a card? Or will the sentiment somehow be lessened by a missive that arrives later than most other cards?

It’s never too late to offer comfort, so go ahead and send a card. Although it’s ideal to send it within the first week or two, it will still mean something to the family even if it’s sent months later. In fact, sometimes a note received after the initial crush of condolences will be even more appreciated because it will stand out from the crowd.

At Chapel of the Chimes Oakland, we’ve been helping families work through their grief and begin to heal since 1909. An architectural gem in a beautiful natural setting, Chapel of the Chimes was designed to be a haven of peace and tranquility in which families can celebrate the life of a loved one and begin the healing process. Call 510.379.5200 today to learn more about what we have to offer.