Are you wondering if you should send a belated sympathy card? Many people wonder if “late is better than never” when it comes to sympathy cards.
Ideally you want to send a sympathy card within the first two weeks of the death, however don’t think that just because you are late you should avoid sending a card at all.
There are several good reasons why you should still send a sympathy card.
Grieving individuals are still in need of comfort and support for months and years after the loss of a loved one.
As cards, gifts and visitors dwindle over the weeks after a death, the bereaved may feel that everyone else has moved on.
Your card may be even more treasured now that the initial shock of grief has worn off. Perhaps your card will find them at a very lonely time when they need to know that others still care.
So, how late is too late?
It all depends on the message you write in the card. Below are some ideas for belated sympathy card messages. By the way, an ordinary sympathy card is all you need. You’ll probably have a difficult time finding a belated sympathy card and it is not necessary to find a card specifically for this. In fact a blank card will do fine, since you add your own heart-felt message.
Belated Sympathy Card Messages
You could write:
They say that “time heals all wounds”, but I want to let you know that I am still here for you if you need a shoulder to cry on.
Thinking of you today and wishing you comfort and peace.
I know that you will never “get over” the loss of James and I want you to know that you don’t have to. Even if there are less sympathy cards and gifts arriving, we are still thinking of you.
We will be remembering precious James with you today.
The cards may have dwindled, gifts and visitors may not appear on your doorstep as often. But know that you are still in our thoughts and prayers. Wishing you comfort and peace.
Just thinking of you and remembering the precious life of our mother with you today.
It Can Be Nice to Get a Card During Important Times
A year after the death you could send a card around the anniversary of the death. This is an important time to send a comforting card. Other important dates are on wedding anniversaries, birthdays or other special days that may be difficult for the bereaved the simple gesture of sending a card can make a world of difference.
You may not be able to find a belated sympathy card. It is fine to use a blank card or one with a general message of comfort and support.
I tend to think that cards with a hand-written personal message are better than any generic sympathy cards you buy at the store. If you can find a blank card or one with minimal text, that would be perfect. You could also just send a “thinking of you” card.
You do not need to mention that you forgot to send a card or that you got to busy (or whatever happened). Keep your sympathy message focused on them. The important thing is that you are thinking of them now and offering support and encouragement today.
A common fear that many people have is that they will be “reminding” the bereaved of their loved one’s death. You may be concerned that sending a card five months after or on the anniversary of the death will bring back painful emotions.
In reality most grieving individuals feel that they no longer have the right to still be grieving, but they have not forgotten. Loved ones are never forgotten and it is nice to know that others have not forgotten either.