What to Write in a Goodbye Card: 30+ Short Messages

Updated

Contributing writer, former long-term care admissions counselor and social worker

Life is full of hellos and goodbyes. Finding the best way to say goodbye is hard, but a card with a short message can get the job done (even though it may provoke some tears). 

Jump ahead to these sections:

What to Write in a Goodbye Card to a Friend

How can you possibly find the right words for what to write in a goodbye card? Should you get a small gift for friends to show your appreciation? Your card message might recall a fond memory or speak of future plans to reunite. Check out these short and simple messages. (By the way, a small gift is a great idea!)

1. Distance doesn’t mean a thing with a bond this strong!

When your friend moves away, a little distance doesn’t change the relationship you have. You both could use a little encouragement that your friendship will stay strong.

2. “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” — Dr. Seuss

If you can’t find the words, chances are someone else has. Use beautiful goodbye quotes for friends that get the point across. 

3. “Our time together has meant so much to me, and I will never forget the things we did.”

You don’t have to write a long paragraph to show your friend that your friendship meant a lot. 

4. “Thank you for giving me such incredible memories.”

Memories are the key to keeping your friendship alive. Mention specific memories and make your friend laugh! 

5. “Good luck! I will be cheering you from states away.”

Is your friend leaving town to pursue a dream, a college education, or a job? It’s hard enough to take the risk. You’ve got your friend’s back and a reminder is always nice! 

6. “You will always have a place to stay when you visit. Don’t be a stranger!”

Saying goodbye doesn’t have to be forever. Remind your friend that there’s a spot on your couch anytime. 

7.  “Never forget you are loved and will be missed dearly.”

This short, sweet message says all it needs to say. Leaving your hometown can feel isolating and scary, so share that your friend is in your heart always. 

What to Write in a Goodbye Card to Coworker, Boss, or Client

Not sure how to walk the line between professional and sentimental? Find a way to say goodbye to coworkers using flowers, throwing a party, and writing a heartfelt message. Consider these messages to say goodbye to your coworker, boss, or client. 

8. “Lunchtime won’t be the same without you! How will I catch up on gossip?”

When you have a notable work friendship, you sometimes see your work team more than your family. Keep it light with this goodbye about your favorite times spent together.  

9. “You’ve implemented a culture that breeds success and positivity, and it will live on after you leave.”

Your boss might come in, change the environment and leave to do it again somewhere else. If she’s done a great job, share your appreciation! 

10. “Good luck in California! You’re gonna kill it!”

Strike a split between professional and friendly. This one will include the obligatory “good luck” with a little boost at the end. 

11. “I can’t thank you enough for trusting us and working with us on such important projects.”

Your clients make your business. You owe them a lot and if they are leaving you, it’s important to thank them and share your appreciation. 

12. “You’ve inspired me and influenced my career choices, and I will owe my success to you.”

This is a profound message that can make someone’s day. It’s such a nice compliment to hear you’ve been someone’s inspiration. 

13. “If you need us, you know where to find us! Good luck!”

A client ending your professional relationship or another team member at your work might benefit from your connection down the road. Remind them you’re here if they should need some backup in the future. 

14. “It’s been a pleasure working with you.”

Though a bit boring, it’s true and says plenty in this short professional goodbye. 

What to Write in a Goodbye Card to a Family Member

Even the best writers have a hard time putting their feelings into words. Saying goodbye to a family member is like saying goodbye to a piece of your heart. We’ve come up with some great messages that reflect both pain and love. 

#15. “We all take different paths in life, but no matter where we go, we take a little of each other everywhere.” — Tim McGraw

When in doubt, turn to country lyrics. Include a heartfelt, true statement about how each person we cross paths with leaves an impression. 

16. “I don’t want to let you go, but I know you will be great without us right there by your side.” 

Saying goodbye to a child going off to college or moving for a big job? It’s heartwrenching watching them go, let them know how much it hurts with a side of encouragement. 

17. “I can’t be selfish and keep all your amazingness to myself. Go and show the world what you got!”

Saying goodbye to a child or close family member can be so hard! This playful message is a compliment, encouragement, and goodbye all in one. 

18. “There are far better things ahead than we ever leave behind.” — C.S. Lewis

Your loved one might be nervous and doubtful about leaving. Turn to a quote like this to instill confidence. 

19. “I can’t wait to see you at the next holiday gathering!” 

Hopefully, your family member isn’t staying away forever and you can have something to look for in the future. Talk about the upcoming holidays and how you’ll get to catch up. 

20. “We’re just a FaceTime call away!”

Technology gives everyone a sense of relief that even when you’re far away, you can connect instantly. 

21. “This isn’t goodbye, this is ‘See you later!’”

A goodbye is much easier to swallow with the thought of never seeing each other again. 

Funny Goodbye Card Messages

If all else fails, turn to humor. A humorous twist on saying goodbye will make your loved one laugh when reading your card. 

22. “No talking to strangers and lock your doors!”

Overprotective parents can err on the side of humor with these reminders (that they’ve already drilled into their children)! 

23. “I support you, but I’m not thrilled about it! Just kidding! Good luck — I’ll miss you!”

This sarcastic message shows you support a loved one’s decision to move but expresses how much you’ll miss that person! 

24. “How much money are they paying you? I’ll pay you to stay.”

Your work bestie may decide to leave for a pay increase. 

25. “Thanks for leaving me alone with this crazy family!”

Chances are you have a hint of craziness in your family. Say goodbye to your family party partner-in-crime with a funny joke like this one.

26. “See you on FaceTime… Every day.”

Oh boy, you’re not going to leave your friend alone, are you? 

27. “Let me know how the dating scene is looking. Maybe I’ll join you!”

Moving means a whole new town and new people. If you’re looking for a date, this is a funny message to include. 

28. “Shoot, I might have time to get work done when you leave!”

Ditch the heartfelt goodbye and opt for this witty message to your coworker. 

29. “Not sure what to write since I’ll still see you on the weekends…”

Are you lucky enough to have a work friend who’s staying in town, despite finding a new job? The goodbye is still a bummer, but you’ll still have your friend around! 

30. “Good luck finding better coworkers!”

Close an end of an era with another funny option for a coworker who may be uncomfortable with a heartfelt message.

31. “Come on, maybe it’s a better job but what about our shared coffee breaks?!”

Pay homage to your time as coworkers with some sarcasm about how they’re leaving but will not have your times together anymore. 

There’s No Right Way to Say Goodbye

The best message for your goodbye card depends on your relationship with the person. A friend or family member might find a heartfelt goodbye meaningful, while a coworker would prefer a witty card.

Saying goodbye is hard but tune into the person’s personality and the tone of your relationship to nail your goodbye message.  

If you're looking for more resources on how to say goodbye, read our guide on how to say goodbye to a pet and how to say goodbye to someone who is dying.

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