Heartfelt Thinking of You Messages for Illness

This guide is for you. I’m Grace Quantock and I run Healing Boxes, a bespoke ethical gift box non-profit, designing gifts of support for people with illness, pain and in life crisis. I am also the founder of Trailblazing Wellness, where I teach and write about how to live well with chronic and serious illness. Oh, and I’ve lived with chronic illness myself for 13 years.


What To Write In A Thinking Of You Card – 96 Different Messages

Sending a card to a friend or loved one to let you know you are thinking about them is one of the most thoughtful things you can do. Just a simple card can brighten up their day with the right words of support. Typically ‘thinking of you’ cards are sent at a time when support and love is needed to overcome a tough time. However, thinking of you cards can be used to celebrate someone’s happy news, or to wish the recipient good luck (e.g. thinking of you for your upcoming exams).

Ever wondered what thinking of you card messages to write? Well knowing what to say isn’t always as easy as you might think. Do you opt for a full on heartfelt message, or do you try to add humour to your message. Well, we’ve created a list of messages to use as reference for any occasion. You can use the list as a starting point, to then add a more personalised touch with some information about the recipient.

The Most Famous Quotes to Include with Your Thinking of You While You Are Ill Message

“Never leave a friend behind. Friends are all we have to get us through this life–and they are the only things from this world that we could hope to see in the next.”
Dean Koontz

Ephesians 2:10
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Matthew 5:16
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Thinking of You Messages for Illness

Author Biography
Keith Miller has over 25 years of experience as a CEO and serial entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, he has founded several multi-million dollar companies. As a writer, Keith’s work has been mentioned in CIO Magazine, Workable, BizTech, and The Charlotte Observer. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send our content editing team a message here.

What To Write When

Wellness warrior Kris Carr takes the power away from the cancer by misspelling it on purpose – cancer becomes “canser”. If the person you are writing to is doing this too, why not join them?

Don’t mention people you know who died from cancer, or who had the same cancer, unless they are now happy, well and in remission with no evidence of disease years later.

Rather than starting with a question on health, such as “How are you?”, it can be a relief to be asked “How are things with you?” or similar. Let them tell you about their hobby, the red cardinal they saw, the TV show you both follow. It’s important to acknowledge the illness, but not bring everything around to it. It’s there, but they are still the person you know. The disabilities can be the footnotes and they are the adventure story.

Try offering emotional and practical support. Think about what you can offer, like collecting prescriptions, driving them to the hospital, sending them a card every week or month (or even every day if they are in treatment like chemo), walking their dog, dropping off their shopping once a week or similar. And then offer that as well as your support. Saying “Let me know if there’s anything I can do” is lovely, but it leaves the ball in their court. Then they have to think of what they might need done – which is hard when you are used to being able to do everything yourself. Then they have to try and work out what you might be able to do and actually bring up the courage to ask you. Exhausting.

Example Messages for an Acquaintance with Terminal Cancer

If someone in your life has terminal cancer, but you don’t know them very well, you might not know what to say. You can still reach out with a sincere card, letting that person know that you’re thinking of them.

  • We don’t know each other all that well, but I’ve always thought you were an awesome person. Thank you for being in my life.
  • I don’t know if you remember this, but one day at work, you told me… (share something that made you smile or encouraged you in some way.)
  • Your smile has helped me get through some of the toughest days. Thank you for being there.
  • You’ve always lent an ear when I really needed to vent. If you need the same, don’t hesitate to call me any time.
  • Whenever I need strength to get through a difficult situation, I’ll think of you for inspiration.
  • Thank you for everything you do for us all. The office has not been the same without you.
  • You might not know it, but you’ve made my day countless times. Just the way you crack a joke can break me out of the worst mood. Thank you for being amazing.
  • We all miss you and wish you were here. But most of all, we hope you’re finding comfort and joy in the company of family and friends.
  • You’re easily one of the bravest people I’ve ever met, and I don’t know how you do what you do. I’m so glad to know you.
  • I heard the funniest thing today, and it made me think of you. (Share a funny anecdote that will make the person laugh.)

For a Friend or Loved One Who is Grieving

It’s not their job to console you, and you can express your regret without overwhelming them. If this feels difficult, can you write a journal entry first? Write out everything you are feeling and then pick the parts you’d like to share with them. Deal with the feelings and fears the situation brings up in you. Grief and illness are parts of life we will all experience.

It can be most comforting to acknowledge how they are feeling without trying to fix it. It’s better to accept what they are feeling than try and chivy them out of it, or convince them to not be sad. So please don’t write things like “At least you have your children/family/another child” or “You are young, you’ll find someone else/marry again”. They wanted and loved this person.

You may be reading this thinking, I wouldn’t write that! But people do, often because they are grieving themselves or the magnitude of the loss scares them so they try and minimise it.

Stay in touch, even if you feel awkward, even if you don’t know what to say. It’s better to be there and risk making a mistake, saying the ‘wrong’ thing and sticking through the friendship to repair it, than just disappearing.

Pretty By Post has made it really easy for you to be prepared with our Sympathy Curated Collection. Be sure to sign up for the PbP newsletter so you can get instant access to the resource library, which includes a pretty PDF version of this blog post that you can download. You’ll find other cool free stuff in the resource library like printables and worksheets, to help you stay organized and make it as easy as possible to send cards and spread love.

Grace is recognised as a trailblazer by thousands of people who have seen her speak and participated in her programs. She regularly guest tutors at universities and training programs and coaches clients internationally. Currently living – and thriving – with often debilitating illness, she knows, firsthand, the emotional and physical roller coaster that accompanies diagnosis and life struggle.



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