We have a team member who has been with some of us for over 20 years, and the others have been in the industry with him for over 10 years. He had an accident at home that involved a significant head injury, and is no longer able to work.

Given his situation, is there any etiquette I should follow when writing a message for him in a farewell card?

  • 3
    The same way you'd say goodbye to anybody else you appreciate, I'd imagine.
    – Jason C
    Commented May 10, 2017 at 0:04
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    I had this idea that I would write a long remenicising letter or thank him for contributions. ... I think the answer below (short and sweet) is best
    – Baronz
    Commented May 10, 2017 at 0:08
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    I mean... if you think he'd appreciate a long letter and it's the kind of thing you normally do, go for it. Or short and sweet. Whatever makes sense. Only you know his personality, your office dynamics, your relationship with him, etc.
    – Jason C
    Commented May 10, 2017 at 0:09
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    @Baronz Oh, sure, if you want to, you can do that. My point was don't let his disability be a factor in what you write.
    – Masked Man
    Commented May 10, 2017 at 0:36
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    On retirement income: we don't get a pension, but I think he has investments in 401k that he has built up. He was under 5 years from planned retirement.
    – Baronz
    Commented May 10, 2017 at 14:20

2 Answers 2


"It was a pleasure working with you. Wish you all the best."

No need to make a song and dance about the disability. Write the farewell message exactly as you would in normal circumstances.


It's similar to retirement. It's not similar to a new job, leaving to have a baby, etc., so let that guide you. You may be familiar with people retiring and the sort of things people write then.

In most places I've been, saying you've enjoyed working with them, that you'll miss them, and wishing them well for the future (no specifics) would be a typical note -- 2 sentences max. Of course the relationship may be closer than that and you might want to say more, but it doesn't sound like it in this case.

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