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What to Write for a Sympathy Arrangement

April 20, 2023

Close up of white sympathy flowers

Coping with the loss of a loved one is something that everyone will experience at some point in life. When someone important to you is grieving, there may be nothing more you want than to show them how much you care. During such a difficult time, it’s also customary to send a sympathy floral arrangement expressing your condolences.

The challenge often comes in determining what is most appropriate to say to the person who experienced the loss. It may feel like common expressions of sorrow simply aren’t enough or don’t sufficiently capture what you want to express. It’s common to worry that you’ve said something “wrong” or haven’t adequately said everything you want to say.

The first point to remember is that there are truly no rights or wrongs where this delicate matter is concerned. The most important factor of all — that you’re there to let the person know that you care and that you’re there for them — is inarguable. Sending flowers is also an extremely thoughtful gesture, so even if you aren’t exactly sure what to write in the note accompanying them, you can be confident that your sentiment will be well received. Here’s what you should know.

What to Write With Your Sympathy Arrangement

  1. The Basics of Offering Sympathy
  2. What to Write in a Sympathy Message
  3. How to Offer to Help
  4. How to Incorporate Quotes

The Basics of Offering Sympathy

Keep in mind that in a card accompanying sympathy flowers, it’s best to keep the message relatively short and sweet. You don’t need to write a lengthy note, especially if you plan to see the person at the funeral or you know you’ll be visiting them soon. A floral arrangement is simply a poignant expression, and a kind note expressing your sorrow for their loss and your care for the family is more than enough. At a bare minimum, keep these points in mind:

  • Expressly say how sorry you are.
  • Share a memory about the person if you knew them.
  • Offer to help them if you’re able to.
  • Let them know that you’re there for them.

What to Write in a Sympathy Message

Delivering a message of sympathy can be as simple as offering the following expressions of your care and kindness:

  • “We’re keeping your family in my thoughts.”
  • “You and your family are in our prayers.”
  • “We’re thinking of you during this difficult time.”
  • “May their memory be a blessing.”
  • “Sending our heartfelt condolences.”
  • “We are so sorry for your loss.”
  • “Our hearts go out to you during this sad time.”
  • “The memory of [name] will live on in our hearts forever.”
  • “Please accept my heartfelt condolences for your loss.”
  • “Holding you close and sending love and light.”
  • “We are here to support you during this difficult time.”
  • “Sending thoughts of peace to you all.”

Note that these aren’t overly complicated or verbose statements. They offer a simple and poignant way to share just how you feel. There’s also no pressure on the person to respond during a time when they may simply be too overwhelmed. These messages are always appropriate to send to someone who has experienced a loss.

If you are particularly close to a person in the family, or if you were close with the deceased, you might feel compelled to send a longer message. There are several ways to go about this and convey what you want to say — again, without being too wordy. Here are some examples:

  • “I am so sorry for the loss of your dear sibling. I remember all the fun we all had together as children, and how much we used to laugh. Hold on to those precious memories and know that I am with you today and in the days, weeks, and months ahead.”
  • “We are sending condolences for the loss of your grandparent. The relationship the two of you shared was so special, and it’s something you can hold close to your heart always. Thinking of you and sending love and strength.”
  • “May the happiest memories of your dear family member bring you peace now and in the future.”

How to Offer to Help

Many people offer to help when someone experiences a loss, but what’s most important in this case isn’t the offer itself but the specifics of the offer. It’s not easy for a person who is grieving to think of a task or request someone to help them. Often, it’s easier when the person offering their assistance provides a concrete example of what they can do.

For example, if you know how to cook, you might prepare some meals for the family so that they don’t have to worry about dealing with food for the next few days. It’s difficult to go about “normal” activities when grief looms large. If you think you can help with household tasks, like taking out the trash or mowing the lawn, offer those services.

Maybe you can take care of some basic errands that might otherwise fall by the wayside, such as picking up groceries, walking the dog, or even getting the mail. Sometimes, amid such deep grief, it can be difficult to find the motivation to do anything. When those moments befall someone you care about, you can do them the ultimate favor by being there for them in this tangible way. It’s a wonderful way to show that you are truly there for them.

In your message accompanying the flowers, provide both what you plan to do and a message sharing that you’ll be in touch with them. Don’t expect or ask them to contact you — again, it’s hard to find the energy to do things like this, but it can be a deep comfort when you say that you’ll do something, then follow through on that promise.

How to Incorporate Quotes

There are many thoughtful and meaningful quotes that have been expressed throughout history. If you’d like to include this type of sentiment, choose one that offers support and love for the recipient. You could also choose a quote that reminds you of the deceased. If you were especially close to the person, you could even incorporate a line or a lyric from their favorite works, be it a poem or a song.

Sending your sympathy with flowers and a kind message is simply a thoughtful gesture — and something that you can be sure the person will appreciate.

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