A great way to show respect to the deceased and share sorrow with his or her grieving family and friends is by sending a sympathy card. Although it may seem like a generic gesture, families and friends will definitely appreciate the heartfelt thought.
- A pre-printed sympathy card is the default choice for most people, and it’s an acceptable way to go. Consider, however, writing a personal note in the card.
- Don’t be afraid to use the name of the deceased, to put in or recall a fond memory, or to share a warm anecdote about how the person affected your life. Those remembrances are treasured by the family and often are kept for years.
- If you can’t attend the service, be sure to express your regrets in the card.
- A special kind of acknowledgment for a Catholic family is a Mass condolence card—a greeting card that lets the family know a Mass will be said in memory of their loved one. You can obtain a Mass card at your local parish, where you may offer a donation when asking that the Mass be said. Or you can purchase a Mass card at a greeting card store and then contact the parish with your donation.
- Those who are bereaved may have an especially difficult time during holiday such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or the deceased’s birthday or wedding anniversary. You can help by sending cards to acknowledge those special occasions or the anniversary of the death.