Letter of Sympathy for Illness (Examples & Templates)

Comforting a family member or loved one can be such a difficult thing to do. Finding the right words to express the depth of your feelings for them in such a trying time is usually quite challenging. It’s even much worse when you have to convey your feelings to them in written form.

A person writes a letter of sympathy for illness to support and comfort individuals dealing with an ailment. Family members, friends, and colleagues use letters of sympathy for illness to send their love to a sick person. Everyone dealing with sickness – whether it’s a minor ailment or a terminal disease – needs support. The wishes and comforting words from family and friends are always a great source of strength to pull through.

Sometimes you might not be able to visit a loved one that is battling an illness. The only way to send your goodwill to them might be via a sympathy card. It’s vital to know how to write letters of sympathy for loved ones dealing with illnesses. Illnesses can range from mild to terminal, and the letter you write should be appropriate for the condition. When writing a letter of sympathy, you should carefully select your words. You want to use language that will make the recipient feel valued and loved.

What to Write in a Serious Illness Sympathy Card

Choosing the right words when writing a sympathy card cannot be overemphasized. You don’t want to sound in genuine or use language that would offend the recipient. What you can write in the letter depends on the information you have about the serious illness, your current relationship with the recipient, and your knowledge about the person’s state of mind at the moment.

Empathetic words for a sick loved one

When writing a sympathy letter for a family member or friend, you should use endearing words. Your language should not be distant or formal. Depending on the situation, you can throw in a few quotes that could make them smile. The recipient should feel as close to you as possible when they read the letter.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • “I know that things are pretty rough for you right now. I’m always here for you if you need me.”
  • “I think about you a lot. I miss you. I wish I could be there with you right now. I want you to know that I love you. I can’t wait for you to get better soon.”
  • “I just spent the last couple of minutes looking at several photos we took together. I can’t wait for you to get better so we can make more memories together.”
  • “I know how strong you are. I’m sure that you will beat this soon. I love you.”
  • “Every time you feel the warmth of the sun, I want you to think I’m giving you a warm hug. Get well soon.”

Encouraging words for a seriously ill person

Many times, people dealing with a serious illness just need words of encouragement. A simple, heartfelt encouragement can go a long way and provide them with the needed boost to keep fighting. When writing encouraging words, don’t try to use clichés or sound too serious. Also, except you know the severity of the condition, don’t make any assumptions. See some suggestions below:

  • “Hey, how are you feeling? I just wanted to check up on you. I hope you feel better soon.”
  • “I’m here for you if you need anything. My thoughts and prayers are with you.”
  • “I hope you think of all the amazing memories we have together and that it puts a smile on your face. I wish you a speedy recovery.”

Comforting words for the terminally ill

For terminal illnesses, your language must convey support and encouragement. Avoid saying things like “I know what you are going through” because it usually offends most people. What you want is for the recipient to know that your thoughts are with them.

Here are a few ideas:

  • “Your strength and resolve have always been an inspiration to me. You don’t give up. I know that is not going to change. You are always in my thoughts and prayers. I love you.”
  • “I may not be able to understand what you are going through, but I’m here for you whenever you need me. Stay strong. I’m thinking of you.”
  • “Sending you all the love the world has to offer. I hope that seeing this letter brightens your day the way you have brightened my life.”
  • “I want you to know that I’ll never get tired of telling you how much I love and admire you. Your bravery inspires me. Sending you hugs and kisses.”

Share the Burden of Illness

Most people are very vulnerable when they are sick. A well-written letter from someone they care about can have a positive impact on their mental health. Empathy is the number one quality you must possess in comforting people dealing with sickness. Your aim should not be to sound clever. It’s about how they feel and not your feelings. Before writing anything in your letter, put yourself in the recipient’s shoes. Ask yourself,  “what kind of feeling will this statement evoke in the recipient?” Avoid any statement that comes across as insensitive. It’s better to remove any sentences that you feel will make the recipient uncomfortable.

Expressing the depth of your feelings by writing a letter or an email is never easy. When writing to someone who is seriously ill, take time to weigh your words carefully, empathize with the person and then write. Don’t bother so much about the language at first. Just write how you are feeling. After you have written something down, you can then begin to edit it, removing any statements you consider inappropriate. It’s always a good idea to run your letter by someone else. They might be able to notice things that you didn’t.

Gift Ideas for Sick Friends and Family

A gift usually accompanies a letter of sympathy for illness. Nothing says “I love you” more than a thoughtful gift. It’s not always about the price. What makes a gift valuable is the amount of thought put into it. A simple and thoughtful gift could make a big difference.

Here are a few gift ideas:

Make a playlist of the person’s favorite songs: You can also include any songs that are attached to a memory you both share.

Flowers: Giving flowers as a gift never gets old. You could send a flower along with your sympathy card. Anytime the person sees it, they’ll remember you and your words of encouragement.

Make a highlight reel: You could put together a photo or video compilation of your moments with the person.

Get other family members, friends, or colleagues to do a video compilation: You can request that other friends and well-wishers send in their wishes via a pre-recorded video. Compile the videos and put them into a DVD. Send the DVD along with your letter of sympathy.

Accessories: A nice necklace or a wristband with a lovely quote would also make a great gift.

Letter of Sympathy Samples

Sympathy illness for serious illness letter sample

From: Edward Parkman

To: Matthew Fischer

Date: 7th June 2021.

Dear Matthew,

How are you feeling today? I just got to know about your illness from Jake. Since then, I’ve been so worried about you.

I hope you are getting the best care? I’ll do my best to come and visit you as soon as possible. I wish you a quick recovery.



Comforting serious illness sympathy letter sample

From: Susan Davies

To: Bonny Mathison

Date: 7th June 2021.

Dear Bonny,

I’m sorry to hear about your illness. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be dealing with this.

I want you to know that I’m thinking about you and that I love you. I’m sure you are receiving all the love and support that you deserve. Get better soon.



Encouraging serious illness sympathy letter sample

From: Patrick Erving

To: Thomas Smith

Date: 7th June 2021.

Dear Thomas,

I just wanted to let you know that I miss you. We all miss you. I know it hasn’t been easy but, I also know that you are strong. You’ll get through this.

If you need any help or you want to talk, I’m always available for you.

Yours affectionately,


Warm words illness sympathy letter sample

From: Augusta Blake

To: Pierre Woodman

Date: 7th June 2021.

Dear Pierre,

I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you since I heard about your illness. I just finished watching the video we made together at Gabriel’s place. I miss you so much. I hope to see you soon.

Make sure you get enough rest and come back stronger.



Support illness sympathy letter sample

From: Audrey Adams

To: Winter Millbrook

Date: 7th June 2021.

Dear Winter,

I will not claim to know what it feels like to be diagnosed with cancer. But I want you to know that my thoughts and prayers are with you in these trying times. Keep your head up. I know you are going to beat this.

Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you need anything.

Yours faithfully,


Loving illness sympathy letter sample

From: Hawkins Devon

To: Sammy Parker

Date: 7th June 2021.

Dear Sammy,

It’s been two months since I’ve seen you. I was so sad when Elsa told me about your illness. I’m so sorry that you have to deal with this. I wish I am close enough to you right now to hug you and remind you of how much I love you.

Patricia and the kids also send their love. We promise to visit you as soon as possible.

Yours truly,


Encouraging illness sympathy letter sample

From: Tiana Wallace

To: Ella Scott

Date: 7th June 2021.

Dear Ella,

I’ve always known you to be a strong person. You might not know this, but your actions have been a source of encouragement to me. I still haven’t forgotten the time when you drove such a long distance just to be around to celebrate Holly’s graduation.

I know that you will get through this. Anytime you see this letter, I want you to know that I’m thinking about you. Get better soon.



Friendly illness sympathy letter sample

From: Stanley Nicholas

To: Mike Andrews

Date: 7th June 2021.

Dear Mike,

I appreciate that you trusted me enough to let me know what you are going through. I can’t even begin to imagine how tough it must have been for you. I called your mum a few days ago to check up on you. She said you are responding to the treatments.

Please make sure you listen to your doctors and that you get enough rest. Your cousins and I will come to visit you as soon as we can. I love you. We all do.

Yours affectionately,

Uncle Stanley.

Supportive illness sympathy letter sample

From: Allen Munroe

To: Joseph Ashbury

Date: 7th June 2021.

Dear Joseph,

Danny told me about your illness a few days ago. I would have written to you earlier, but I just haven’t found the right words to express my deepest sympathy for what you are going through.

How are you feeling now? I hope that you are back to your best soon. The office isn’t the same without you. We miss your jokes and the freshly baked sandwiches you always give to us. We can’t wait to have you back in good health again. Get well soon.

Warmest regards,


Formal illness sympathy letter sample

From: Edward Parkman

To: Jamie Williams

Date: 7th June 2021.

Dear Edward,

We’ve only worked together for a few months now. However, I’ve come to love and rely on you so much in such a short time. Your ability to handle the most complex tasks with a smile on your face is the reason why I know that you will beat this without breaking a sweat.

Although I might not be able to do so much to help, I hope this letter gives you the strength to keep fighting. You are amazing. I want you to remember that.

Please, don’t feel uncomfortable calling me if you need anything. I wish you all the best as you recover.

Yours faithfully,


More Examples

Use the correct format to send those you care about all your best wishes. You could download any of our free templates here if you need help writing a letter of sympathy for anyone – a friend, family member, or colleague.











What are some comforting words?

There are many words you can use to comfort someone going through a sad moment. Here are a few examples; I love you, my thoughts are with you, I know you’ll get through this, i’m here for you, i’ll always be by your side.

Do you say “my deepest sympathies” or “my deepest sympathy”?

It’s much better to say my deepest sympathy.

Final Words

Your words might just be what your loved one needs to motivate them to keep fighting. Letters of sympathy for illnesses are a great way to remind someone how much you love and care about them. The great thing about sympathy letters is that the recipient can always go back and read them during their low points. Don’t hesitate to send your love and support to any of your family members or loved ones that need it during a trying time.

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