Sending Sympathy Messages
Sympathy messages are a really nice expression of your grief and a recognition of the family members grief. Usually there is a register to sign when you attend a funeral, or even a memory book where you can write a message or story you remember well of the person you are honoring at the funeral. Selecting an appropriate sentiment can be a challenge. You will want to choose something that is representative of the person if you are making a personal message, but if you get stuck a simple expression of your sorrow will usually suffice.
When signing a memory book, or a register, or even a condolence greeting card you might find yourself in a position where you need to put your feelings in to words. Usually a simple statement like ‘he/she will be sadly missed’ is enough to get through a simple card like the ones attached to a bouquet of flowers, or in a memory book or register, but if you are sending flowers to the family members of the deceased you will want to consider a more sympathetic tone.
When sending flowers or anything else to the surviving family members you might want to include a personal acknowledgment of their pain and grief. Usually conveying a message like ‘I/We are terribly sorry for your loss’ will do the job, but occasionally there will be times when you are close enough to the family or were close enough to the person who has passed away that you are required to offer a little bit more support.
If you find yourself in a position where simply sending a card with your sentiments is just not enough you might consider sending a larger token of your acknowledgment. Some people send items like live plants, usually something representative of the deceased, sometimes with a plaque commemorating the person. This can be sent to the family, or to a local park or green space, you might even consider sponsoring a park bench in your area to commemorate your fallen loved one. A donation in their memory to a charity that was close to their heart will also make for a nice memorial; you will likely receive a tax receipt for this donation as well.
No matter what your relationship to the deceased, this is a time for short polite statements of sympathy and grief, this is not the time to bring up old sour memories. For example now is not the time to complain about the thirty dollars you never got back, or the shirt he or she spilled wine on at the party last year.
What it boils down to is that a sympathy message can be a simple written statement, or something bigger that more clearly indicates the level of your sorrow and that of the family. There are no set rules about how much you must spend, or how big or small your sympathy message might be. In more than ninety percent of the cases a sympathy message is a written statement, but if you are in a position to do more there are endless possibilities.