Funeral Etiquette

What to Include in a Sympathy Card

When sending a sympathy card, an easy way to remember what you should include in your condolence letter is to remember this simple CARD mnemonic.

C = compassion

It’s important to express compassion in your sympathy card.  A handwritten note is more appropriate in this situation instead of sending, for example, an email.  When a loved one dies, survivors need a lot of personal, human interaction to help them work through their grief and sometimes help them get through the days following the death.

A = acknowledge

In your sympathy card, be sure to acknowledge not only the grief and loss of the persons loved one but to acknowledge the feeling of the bereaved as well.

R = remember

Writing out a special memory you have about the deceased or remembering a special gift or quality the person had will be much appreciated by the bereaved family.  Stories of funny events can lighten the mood and give the bereaved a much needed respite from their grief.

D = deliver

Deliver a thoughtful ending to your sympathy note.  Whether you end your note with a few thoughtful sympathy quotes, a funeral poem, wish or sympathy words, it is important to let the bereaved know care

Additional Funeral Etiquette Information and Support:

Funeral Etiquette for Immediate Family Members

Funeral Etiquette for Distant Relatives and Friends

Famous Funeral Poems

Funeral Poems of Sympathy

Sympathy Cards

Sympathy Quotes

Thank You Notes

Wording for Condolence Cards