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What to write in a sympathy card or funeral flowers

A thoughtful way of letting somebody who is recently bereaved know that you’re there for them is to send a sympathy card or funeral flowers. Whilst our words can’t take away the pain of losing a loved one, they can make a grieving person feel loved and supported.

Unfortunately, finding the words to write in a sympathy card, or on a note to accompany funeral flowers, isn’t easy. Sometimes, the fear of not saying the right thing can lead to us not saying anything at all. This guide provides examples of appropriate messages for a sympathy card or funeral flowers.


What to write in a sympathy card

Before deciding what to write in a sympathy card, you should decide who you will address the card to; the way you write your sympathy card and the tone you take will be determined by who it is intended for. If you knew the deceased well, address your sympathy card to the closest living relative – usually the partner or spouse, or eldest child. If you didn’t know the deceased but your friend or relative was close to the deceased, address it to them. If a friend’s parent has passed away, write the card to your friend. You can add ‘and family’ onto your greeting if you wish.

A sympathy message does not need to be long; your message can be brief but still warm and comforting. You may find it easier to write a few drafts of your message on a piece of paper first, to make sure you are happy with the words you have chosen.

Here are some examples of sympathy card messages; use them as they are, combine them or customise them to express your feelings:


Short sympathy card messages

- With heartfelt condolences
- We are sorry for your loss
- You are in our thoughts during this difficult time
- Thinking of you in these difficult times
- With my deepest sympathy
- With all our love and sympathy at this sad time
- With love to you and your family
- I was saddened to hear of your loss


Longer sympathy card messages

- It was with great sadness that we learned of [name] passing. Please accept our heartfelt condolences and we hope that in a small way they help through these trying times
- May memories of [name] and the love of family surround you and give you strength in the days ahead
- I am at a loss for words during this sorrowful time. Please know that I am thinking of you and praying for your peace and comfort
- I can’t imagine what you must be feeling right now, but I want you to know that we are just a phone call away. My heartfelt condolences


Biblical verses for sympathy cards

If you or the sympathy card’s recipient are Christian, then a biblical verse could provide some comfort. The same applies for other religions. Here are some suitable verses from the bible:

- “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28
- “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” – Matthew 5:4
- “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10


Offering support and an ear to listen when someone has suffered a bereavement is a kind gesture. Providing you know the recipient well; you may want to include an offer to help in some way in the sympathy card.


What to write on funeral flowers

Funeral flowers are a traditional way of expressing your condolences in times of mourning. When ordering funeral flowers, you will normally be able to send a small card to go with them.

It’s up to you what you write on the card, however it’s important to consider you will have less space to write a message than you would on a sympathy card, so only a few words are needed. You can address the message on funeral flowers to the deceased, write something about them or address the message to those that have lost their loved one.


Short funeral flower messages

- Gone but never forgotten
- In loving memory
- Always in my heart
- Treasured in memories
- Forever in our thoughts
- May you rest in peace
- With love and fond memories
- Loved and remembered
- You will be dearly missed


Longer funeral flower messages

- When a person becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure
- Time may pass and fade away but memories of you will always stay
- Many friends come into our lives but only a few leave with their footprints on our hearts
- You bought joy, happiness and laughter to all who met you; you will be sorely missed by everyone
- Although we are far away we will hold you close in our thoughts and in our hearts today and always
- In loving memory of [name], a true friend. We will always miss you


Religious messages for funeral flowers

- Goodnight and god bless
- God is with you
- Ours is just a simple prayer, God bless and keep you in His care
- A silent thought, a quiet prayer, for a special person, in God’s care
- May you rest in peace in God’s heaven
- In God’s arms may you gently rest
- In God’s care you rest above, in our hearts you rest with love


Things to avoid writing on sympathy cards and funeral flowers

The reason many of us struggle to find the words to write in a sympathy card or funeral flowers is because we are worried about writing something that could potentially further upset, offend, or anger the recipient. It’s best not to allocate blame towards someone’s death, discuss the circumstances of the death, compare your own loss with anyone else’s or tell someone how they will or should feel in time.

With this in mind, there are some phrases that are best avoided:

- It’s for the best
- I understand how you’re feeling
- Everything happens for a reason
- They are in a better place now
- It will get easier in time
- It could be worse


We hope you’ve found these sympathy card and funeral flower message examples helpful. Just remember you don’t have to write a lot for it to be meaningful. The important thing is that you’ve shown your support at such an upsetting time.


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