Should the sympathy card be hand written?
Sympathy cards are always much more meaningful when you can write a personal message on them. Even if you purchase a card from the store write a message on the blank page of the card.
Should I buy a sympathy card from the store?
If you're more comfortable doing this by all means do. If you would like to write a sympathy letter on a blank piece of paper that can also have special meaning to the person you are sending the card to.
What should I write about on the sympathy card?
First and foremost, acknowledge the situation they are going through. Do not write about yourself and things going on in your life. While it is a good idea to help them get their mind off things, this rarely gets accomplished. Basically, you want them to know you are there, sympathizing with them and hoping they find comfort during this time.
Should I speak of the deceased in the sympathy card?
If you're comfortable doing this you should mention something about the character deceased and special memories you have of them. If you did not know the person very well then mention how great they must have been to the person grieving.
Who do I send the sympathy card to?
The closest relative to the deceased is the best person to correspond with. Even if you don't necessarily know that person because you're closer to somebody else in the family. Mention in the sympathy card that you're a friend of so-and-so and you wanted to express your sympathy.
What shouldn't I mention in the sympathy card?
First, you don't need to write a lengthy message. Keep it somewhat simple and cover the points above. Second, don't mention anything to encourage the pain of the person suffering from the loss. For example, don't mention the circumstances that caused the death.