Memorial cards are often given out during a funeral or memorial service for a loved one or friend. When you’re responsible for putting the card together, you’ll want to write a loving tribute that honors the person who passed.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What to Write on a Memorial Card for a Parent or Grandparent
- What to Write on a Memorial Card for a Spouse or Partner
- What to Write on a Memorial Card for a Child
- What to Write on a Memorial Card for a Sibling
- What to Write on a Memorial Card for a Dear Friend
- What to Write on a Memorial Tree Card
- Where Else Can You Share Your Memorial Card Message?
Not sure what to write on a memorial card? It can be difficult to strike a balance between sentimental yet guest friendly, so consider choosing one of the funeral messages written below.
COVID-19 tip: If you're planning a Zoom memorial service using a service like GatheringUs, the order of service, etiquette, and timing will vary. Consult with the funeral director, event planner, or religious leader to see what changes will be made to the ceremony, wake, and reception. And, make sure to add the proper links, passcodes, online funeral etiquette, and troubleshooting instructions to your online guests at least a day or two before the funeral.
Tip: If you are the executor for a deceased loved one, figuring out social media accounts and other aspects of handling their unfinished business can be overwhelming without a way to organize your process. We have a post-loss checklist that will help you ensure that your loved one's family, estate, and other affairs are taken care of.
What to Write on a Memorial Card for a Parent or Grandparent
Memorial cards require a thoughtful tribute that speaks briefly about a person’s life and legacy. You have a parent’s or grandparent’s entire life to pull from and you can also personalize the tribute to speak of your loved one’s accomplishments, passions, or personality.
1. In loving memory of our mother. She loved everyone and was loved by all. Her children, friends, and family will miss her dearly and will carry on her love of gardening, storytelling, and a good cup of tea.
Use this “in loving memory” message to share unique qualities about your mom.
2. In heartfelt memory of our father, our friend. He was a man known by many and respected by all.
Use this message for the type of man everyone looked up to and respected.
3. In loving memory of our father. He was husband to one, father to three, grandfather to two, and friend to all. He will be missed greatly.
This short message says a lot about a person’s impact on family and friends.
4. Our mother. Forever in our hearts. Beloved wife, mother, sister, aunt, and friend.
This message can be used for dads, too. Simply switch out the title and roles and customize as needed.
5. In loving memory of our dear mom. We will miss her love, her laughter, and her generosity toward all.
A message like this highlights what your mom is known and remembered for the most.
What to Write on a Memorial Card for a Spouse or Partner
Writing a tribute to your spouse or partner can be especially difficult. You knew your partner better than anyone else in the world. How can you possibly condense a lifetime of love into a few short lines? Though it may not be the book you’d want to write, it’s possible to tell everyone what an amazing person your spouse or partner was in just a few sentences.
6. Celebrating a life well lived. [Name] was a great man, a wonderful husband, an amazing father, and one of the best friends a person could ever have. He will be tremendously missed.
As a spouse or partner, you know your better half the best. Words like this will mean the world coming from you.
7. In loving memory of a precious wife, a loving sister, and a dear friend. She made friends with everyone and was a stranger to no one. Her absence is felt keenly but her memory lives on.
Share something you love the most about your significant other, like how friendly or outgoing she was.
8. Thank you for joining us to celebrate the life of a loving wife, caring mother, and best friend. She is remembered by her husband and two children. We will miss her joy, humor, laughter, and love. Thank you for helping us carry on her memory today and always.
This message works well for a memorial service announcement or a memorial card message.
9. Celebrating the life of a wonderful husband, father, and son. He was taken too soon and leaves a hole in the world that cannot be filled. He brightened the lives of all who knew him and will be missed by many.
If you unexpectedly lost a spouse, use a message like this.
10. In loving memory of a loving partner, mother to three, stepmother to one, and friend to many. Her love, generosity, and kindness were felt by all.
List the many roles a person had in connection with the message.
What to Write on a Memorial Card for a Child
Conveying the impact of a child on the world in a few short words is difficult at best. It is, however, possible to share a simple, heartfelt message that helps all in attendance to share in the memory of a child.
11. Celebrating a life lived well to the fullest extent. Always on our minds, forever in our hearts.
Sometimes it takes a child to remind us how to live life well. Carry on the child’s legacy with these words.
12. Gone too soon. [Name] lived each day by loving those around her through her kind and generous heart.
Children can be the kindest, gentlest, most loving people to grace planet earth. Talk about your child’s amazing attributes.
13. Absent from her family on earth, but forever with them in their hearts. We can’t wait to see you again.
For those who believe in the afterlife, there is the hope of being reunited with lost loved ones.
14. In loving memory of a precious child, loving brother, and a courageous soul. He fought hard, lived well, and had no regrets. May we all live so well.
If your child waged a battle with cancer or another disease, write a tribute that speaks about a courageous spirit who fought so hard.
15. Remembering a wonderful son and friend to all. [Name] will never be forgotten and will live on in our hearts, thoughts, and memories.
No matter how old your child was (an adult or still in elementary school) losing your child sooner than expected is never easy. Remind yourself and others that your child will never be forgotten.
What to Write on a Memorial Card for a Sibling
Keep in mind the other roles a sibling may have had as well and how your sibling has impacted others’ lives. Combine those parts of their lives and you’ll have a fitting memorial.
16. In memory of a wonderful friend, sister, cousin, daughter, and mother. Her memory will live on inside each one of us.
Sometimes a simple message is also elegant. Write about the different roles your sibling had and her scope of influence. Encourage those reading your message to hold your sibling’s memory dear and carry her on in their thoughts and heart.
17. Celebrating the life of our sister and friend. She taught us all how to live life to the fullest. She was the strongest, most loving person we’ve ever known.
Speaking about what makes your sibling remarkable is one way to share what you want everyone to remember. Help others keep your sibling’s legacy alive by writing about what made her special.
18. In loving tribute to an amazing person, brother, and friend to all. May his memory go with us forever. Gone but not forgotten.
Those who pass away may be gone, but they certainly won’t be forgotten. Encourage everyone to keep your sibling’s memory alive with a message like this.
19. Forever in our hearts, always in our thoughts, ever in our memories. In loving tribute to our beloved brother, faithful friend, and constant companion. His love and humor will be missed.
Write about the many hats your sibling wore such as brother, friend, and companion. Then, share a word or two about what you’ll miss the most about him.
20. In memory of our dear sister. Her warm smile, gentle hugs, and words of wisdom will always be remembered. In her absence, may we carry her legacy on.
Share what made your sister so special to you. Was it the bear hugs she gave? Her sound advice when you came with a problem? What will you remember about her and carry on to keep her memory alive?
What to Write on a Memorial Card for a Dear Friend
Though it’s not often that you’ll be called upon to create the memorial card for a friend, there might come a time when you create one for a dear friend who passed away unexpectedly or a friend whose family lives far away. If you find yourself in this situation, here are some ideas for you.
21. In loving memory of a dear friend, beloved sibling, cherished daughter, and friend to all who knew her. Her love and joy will be missed by all.
This is a short message that leaves room for a special funeral poem or message to be included afterward.
22. Celebrating a friend who was like a brother. His legacy will live on through all who knew him — he made us all better people.
It’s said that certain friends are more like family. If you have a friend like that, use this message for his memorial card.
23. In loving tribute to the best of friends. May we each carry on her love, her joy, her humor, and her memories. Gone too soon but never forgotten.
Share what made your friend so special and celebrate her life. Talk about things such as her personality, her humor, or her beautiful voice. Mentioning these things will help others see her as you did.
24. A life well-lived. Celebrating a world-class adventurer, travel seeker, compassionate caregiver, and the best of friends. She was an example to us all.
Share unique aspects of your friend’s life. Choose things that made her special such as hobbies, interests, or passions. Finally, affirm her place in your life and how much of an impact she had on those who knew her.
25. Forever in our hearts. A loving friend, caring neighbor, encouraging soul. Her presence will be missed.
Friends may leave us on earth, but they will never be forgotten. Remember who they are and that they will always be with you in your heart.
What to Write on a Memorial Tree Card
A memorial tree is a living tree that is given to a grieving family member to plant in honor of their loved one. The trees start out small but grow over time and should only be given to those who have a place to plant one.
If you’re planning to give a memorial tree, then use these messages to accompany your gift and explain what it is.
26. In honor of a young woman who inspired everyone around her. Though her presence is gone, her legacy will continue to grow. May her memory be honored every time you look at this tree.
Memorial trees provide a grieving family member with a place to visit and an item to care for in memory of their loved one. If the person was highly influential, you can include a message like this to remind them that their legacy, just like the tree, will continue to grow into the future.
27. For a precious friend who meant the world to me. May her memory live on inside each one of us and may this tree be a physical reminder of her love for us all.
When gifting a memorial tree, it’s perfectly acceptable to attach meaning and significance to it. Call a loved one to remember the person’s legacy, love, kindness, or compassion every time they look at the memorial tree.
28. In honor of one of the most courageous men and proud conservationists I know. May we always see him on every hiking trail, each blue lake, and every green tree.
Was the person an avid outdoorsman or woman? If so, providing their loved ones with a memorial tree can be an especially meaningful way to remember their life. If the person was a conservationist, planting a tree in their honor becomes even more meaningful since the act itself is a way to carry on their legacy.
29. In honor of a father who stood tall against adversity and led his family well. May we remember to stand tall and hold our ground no matter what life throws our way.
Are you gifting someone a memorial tree because the symbol of a tree reminds you of their personality? Perhaps a tall, upright tree reminds you of the way they stood up for others. Maybe a leafy tree that provides shade makes you think of how they cared for people. No matter the reason, if there is symbolism behind the memorial tree you give, share it in the memorial card.
30. May this memorial tree be planted as a reminder of [name’s] presence in our lives and ongoing influence that will forever be felt.
This simply stated message shares what a memorial tree is for and can be used for someone you know well or someone you barely know at all.
Where Else Can You Share Your Memorial Card Message?
If you’d like to share a memorial message somewhere other than a card, several places come to mind. Here are our favorites.
Social media platforms are perfect for sharing a message of sympathy or condolence. Consider where they’ll be more likely to see the message before selecting the platform to post your message.
Facebook: You can post on your personal page and tag the person so they see it or post on their page directly. This platform provides you with plenty of space to post a heartfelt message and attach a picture or video clip if you want.
Twitter: This platform limits how many characters you can write, so it’s beneficial if you want to share a particularly short message.
Instagram: Instagram functions similarly to Facebook where you can post something on your own page and tag someone so they see it or post to someone else’s page. This platform also provides you with plenty of space for a message and the ability to attach a picture or video.
Online memorial page
Online memorial pages are growing in popularity thanks to their ability to connect friends and family. The family might share that they created an online memorial page. If so, check to see if there is a digital guest book.
Many online memorial site guest books provide an unlimited amount of space for a condolence message along with the ability to upload pictures and video clips. Comments are usually made public and everyone can read guest book messages.
Funeral home memorial website
Many funeral homes provide memorial website services to the families they work with. Check the funeral home for a website by searching for the person’s name or checking recent memorial sites.
If there is a memorial website, look for a digital guest book where you can share a message of sympathy and possibly upload a picture or video clip. Some funeral home sites provide photo and video upload capabilities while others do not, so if you want a picture to accompany your message, you may need to choose another way to send it.
In a text, email, voicemail, or private message
Don’t overlook direct methods of sharing a message such as text, email, voicemail, or private messaging through social media. Keep in mind that they’re undoubtedly receiving many messages and they’re grieving, so you may not hear back from them right away. Not hearing back doesn’t mean they aren’t appreciative; it just means they can’t handle much in the way of communication.
A Fitting Tribute
It can be hard to fit everything you want to say about a person into a few sentences on a memorial card. Try to pick out the most memorable or defining aspects of the person you’re writing about and go from there. No matter what you write, you’ll be honoring someone you loved.