Sympathy Card Etiquette

Sympathy card etiquette is about when to send a sympathy card, what to write and when to send acknowledgements and thank you notes.

SYMPATHY CARD etiquette- April 1957 - Fred & Roseline Wall to Doris Adelaide Secker-Walls

Sympathy Card Etiquette teaches you what to do in times of loss and grieving.

What to do when you hear an unfortunate incident from your close family and friends?

Should you call?

When would it be appropriate to call?

What do you say?

Sometimes the best way to offer your condolences properly is to send a sympathy card.

A card should be very simple, perhaps with the only words, "With Deepest Sympathy" at the very top. If in doubt, choose a vanilla card.

Proper Sympathy Through A Card

If you are attending the funeral, sometimes you feel that signing on the register is not enough to express your deepest sympathy.

You might want to offer a more personal message in the form of a card or a letter. For instance, this sympathy card etiquette applies:

After signing the register at a funeral home, offer the family your sympathy in person. However, if they are busy attending to other things and you did not get a chance to speak personally, write a letter of sympathy or leave a sympathy card.

If you are attending the funeral with someone who could not make it, offer to take a handwritten note from the absentee to include it with the register.

You may also write one on that absent person's behalf.

Sympathy Gift Etiquette Suggestions

Sympathy Cards

If you are sending a message on behalf of your whole family, get them to personally sign it before sending.

While you should keep it brief, you could include a short anecdote or a quote of the person they are grieving to show how much he/she will be missed.

SYMPATHY CARD etiquette - April 1957 - Mary Bernadette Clemas-Wall to Doris Adelaide Secker-Walls 1

Sympathy Gifts and Flowers

Whether it is a death, or simply someone in hospital due to a very bad accident etc, one can always offer flowers and an sympathy card with a personal message.

We often send flowers along with our cards.

Just remember to stay away from the 'romantic' flowers. Any good florist will know what to do so when you get flowers, just mention that they are for 'sympathy' purposes.

If the flowers are for people from a different culture, you might want to double check what colors are auspicious.

In Lieu of Flowers?

Don't send flowers. Send a donation to their choice of charity.

See more in Sympathy Gift Etiquette.

Sending Thank You Notes in Sympathy Card Etiquette

Flowers, cards from friends, contributions from friends, funeral or memorial assistance, personal condolences must be acknowledge with a thank you note or message. This basically means anything personally written, said or helped.

A simple vanilla colored card may be printed:

The family of O'Darlings wishes to thank you for your kind expression of sympathy

with a handwritten note at the bottom.

These days with the convenience of email, you may wish to send an e-card and a short personal message to thank everyone.

You don't have to send thank you notes from condolences messages from strangers and public.

What you could do is issue a 'public' or 'mass' thank you note on your blog, website, a notice board or in the newspaper.

sympathy card etiquette Thank You Greetng Card Inside

Thank you for reading 'Sympathy Card Etiquette'!

Go back to Etiquette.

Return from Sympathy Card Etiquette to Elegant Woman Home


Don't Miss Important Updates
Subscribe via email
Subscribe to
Elegant Letters




I keep this private.

Subscribe to my blog.
Latest Entries
Jan 12, 2017

An Elegant Mind - Elegance Comes from the Mind

Elegance comes from the mind. How do we have an elegant mind? I draw inspirations from a great man from my country, Lee Kuan Yew who has inspired brilliance and greatness to the world.

Continue reading "An Elegant Mind - Elegance Comes from the Mind"

Jan 12, 2017

How To Be Elegant - Tips For Simple Everyday Elegance and Living Well

How to be Elegant? An elegant and gentle guide for women to timeless chic, grace and poise. A personal insight into the art of refinement and living graciously

Continue reading "How To Be Elegant - Tips For Simple Everyday Elegance and Living Well"

Nov 08, 2016

A Woman of Grace

The mesage of grace: Be known as a woman of grace. Hold yourself to a standard of grace, not perfection and remember to extend that same measure of grace to others.

Continue reading "A Woman of Grace"

Jun 19, 2016

Class Distinctions and Bridging the Gap - The Up Series Documentary. "Give me the child until he is seven, and I will show you the man."

This is about Class Distinctions and Bridging the Gap as documented by The Up Series Documentary. In this documentary, the findings show how unfortunately equal opportunities do not exist for every person, however, it gives us more reason to realizeand believe that by making a focused and educated change, there can be greater social mobility and we can all overcome obstacles, defying limitations of financial background and upbringing.

Continue reading "Class Distinctions and Bridging the Gap - The Up Series Documentary. "Give me the child until he is seven, and I will show you the man.""

Mar 07, 2016

An Accomplished Lady - As defined by Jane Austen

Who is the accomplished lady? Jane Austen tells us who deserves the respect and praise of being educated, refined and accomplished.

Continue reading "An Accomplished Lady - As defined by Jane Austen"

Nov 23, 2015

How To Be Gentle

Lessons on how to be gentle derived from elegant women whose poise and grace inspire us.

Continue reading "How To Be Gentle"