Acknowledgements.net notes that messages in a sympathy card may include phrases such as "You are in my thoughts," "My sincerest sympathy," "Sent with love and remembrance," "Peace, Prayers, and Blessings" and "May your heart and soul find peace and comfort." It may also be prudent to include comforting quotes or sayings in reference to the recipient's loss.
In addition to words of comfort, a sympathy card should be personal and from the heart. It should be handwritten and addressed to the friend or family member who has suffered the loss. If you knew the deceased, you might want to include a positive memory you have of that person. Finish the card with a kind message, one that conveys to the recipient that you are thinking of him, and that they have your care and support in this time of hardship. The handwriting on the card should be neat and clean, and the message should be clear and concise.
Etiquette dictates that a sympathy card should be sent as soon as possible following a loss. While it can be difficult to know the appropriate things to write, it is important to avoid the wrong things. It is important to avoid using clichés such as "I know how you feel" or "It's all for the best." These phrases often add to the pain.
In terms of choosing a card, find one that is appropriate for a somber occasion. Avoid bright colors, cartoon designs, and anything that attempts to be humorous. Sending a card with loud colors and bold designs could come off as untactful and uncaring. Also, if you are unsure of the recipient's religious denomination, choose a card that is free of any religious references.
When writing the card, be sure to use either a blue or black pen. Additionally, take care that your handwriting is neat and legible. If the person cannot read your message, it might appear as though the card is of little importance to you. Slow down, be sincere, and make sure your card looks tidy and thoughtful.
It may also be polite to follow up a sympathy card with a visit or phone call if the sender has a close relationship with the recipient. It is also kind to send remembrance cards on certain milestone occasions such as birthdays and holidays.