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How to Write a Sympathy Gift Note

How to Write a Sympathy Gift Note

You’ve found the perfect memorial gift, but now you’re at a loss of what to write in the gift message. Sound familiar? You’re not alone. Many people struggle to find the right words to say when writing a sympathy card. It can be difficult to craft a message that is not impersonal or cliché, but also doesn’t upset or offend the recipient.

While we can’t write it for you, we can offer a few tips to help you write a sympathy gift note that will make the recipient feel loved and supported during this difficult time.


Address the Recipient by Name

Always include the name(s) of the recipient at the beginning. A greeting such as “Dear Anna,” or “To My Loving Aunt Carol” will instantly give the message a more personal feel.


Offer Your Condolences

Start the sympathy gift note with your condolences. This can be a single sentence statement such as “We are so sorry for your loss” or “We are deeply saddened by the loss of {Name}.”


Share Your Connection

Comfort the grieving recipient by telling them what you loved about the lost loved one. For instance, “I’ll always cherish the memories of Uncle John taking me fishing when I was a kid” or “I loved hearing your grandmother sing at Sunday service. She had a beautiful voice.”

If you do not have a personal connection to the deceased, connect in another way such as “While I did not personally know Tom, I could tell by the way you spoke about him that he was an incredible person.”


Knowledge the Gift (If It’s Relevant)

If there is a specific reason why you chose this gift, mention it in the gift note. For example, “I know Raymond loved to golf, so I when I saw this golf wind chime, I knew it would be a wonderful way to honor him.”


Provide Support

Show the grieving recipient that you’re there for them by offering to help them in some way. This can be as simple as: “I know nothing can take away the pain of this loss, but I’m always here if you need to talk.” Alternatively, if you can help with something specific, like mowing the grass or watching their pet, you can mention it here.


Conclude with Condolences

End the gift message with a final expression of your condolences, such as “We will continue to keep you in our thoughts and prayers” or “Aunt Millie was a wonderful person and she will be missed by many.”  Lastly, don’t forget to sign your name(s).


Examples of Sympathy Gift Notes:



Dear Uncle Don,

Words cannot describe how much we will miss Aunt Edith. We have so many fond memories of spending time with you both on our vacations to the shore. This lantern reminded me of the white lighthouse she loved to visit. I thought you could put it by the fireplace in remembrance of her. I know the next few weeks will be difficult. We’d love to stop by and bring you a meal. I’ll call you soon to schedule a day that works best for you.

 Aunt Edith was very loved and she will never be forgotten.


Sarah, Matt, Jakob and Elsie




To Rebecca,

I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of your grandma. I will never forget that time she helped us bake cookies for our girl scout trip. She was such an amazing baker! I thought it may be therapeutic to write down some memories of her in this grief journal. If you ever need to talk, I’m always here for you.

You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

I love you,




 Dear Michael,

We send our deepest condolences on the loss of your brother. While we did not know him personally, we could tell by the way you spoke of him that he was an incredible person. Please take this time to spend with your family. We have everything covered for you here at the office.

Keeping you and your family in our thoughts during this difficult time.


Your friends and colleagues at Nexta Financial,


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