Q:

When is it not appropriate to send someone a sympathy card?

A:

Quick Answer

It is generally inappropriate to send a sympathy card when the intent or result of sending the card is other than a sincere expression of comfort and support. It is also inappropriate if the sender’s intent is to gloat, offend or cause pain or if the card contains inappropriate material.

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Full Answer

In some cases, it may be inappropriate to send a pre-printed card when the nature of the relationship of the parties calls for a handwritten note. People also often question the appropriateness of sending cards late, weeks or months after a loss, fearing the card may serve as a painful reminder. The exact opposite is true, according to etiquette experts. The expression of support is welcome, especially when the bereaved continues to suffer pain from a loss and feels that others have moved on or feels forgotten.

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