Sympathy Cards

How to Address Sympathy Card to a Widow

Losing someone beloved is never easy. Such is true whether the deceased is a close friend, relative or family member. It is only natural to comfort a bereaved person in times of loss. Besides sympathy tokens, writing sympathy card is an effective and personal expression of one’s loving care.

Writing sympathy cards may differ relative to the recipient. There are messages appropriately written to a widower, a widow, a mother bereaved of a child or a child bereaved of a parent or parents. This article will address the concern of writing sympathy card to a widow, who deals with great sorrow and grief. Despite losing her husband, she is still the legal wife and deserves to be called as such.


Direct the sympathy letter to the widow herself. To address her, her husband’s last name remains must be used. For example, if the name of the widow is Jane Smith with Smith as the last name of her deceased husband, Doe, the name Smith remains in force. Of course, the proper salutation is used. So if Jane Smith is a lawyer, address the sympathy card to Atty. Jane Smith. If the widow holds a position in a church, the salutation should be according to her position like Reverend Jane or Pastor Jane Smith. For doctors, Dr. Jane Smith is proper. But of course, if Jane Smith is a businesswoman, addressing the sympathy letter to Mrs. Jane Smith accords her due respect.

Even the envelope for the card should bear the name of Jane Smith with salutations due to her.


In writing the message on your sympathy card, try to make it hopeful and positive. But you have to be sensitive in choosing the words. Express the personal impact you have in the passing of the person. Depending on the personality of the widow, you have to be careful in giving justice to the death. For example, it can be confusing and anger-provoking if you say that the death is God’s will because it makes God appear very insensitive to humans. Thus, the bereaved individuals may harbor baseless anger towards God.

If before the death the widow is a lively woman who enjoys jokes, it will not be the case during the time of grief. It is best to avoid cracking any joke no matter the good intention and how mild or insightful the joke is. Grieving is devoid of anything fun or funny.

Mention too, on the sympathy card the pain  that the widow is experiencing. If you are affected with pain by the passing of the person, how magnified that pain is in a widow.