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How to Write A Condolence Letter

Published: November 13, 2019

When someone has experienced a loss, you might want to give them some space to let them grieve and spend time with their family and close friends. Or perhaps you don’t live nearby, so you can’t stop by to express your condolences. In either of these situations, sending a personalized condolence letter is a good option.

It goes a step further than sending a generic sympathies card, allowing you to really express your condolences in a personal way and let that person know you’re thinking of them. You can send a condolence letter directly to the person or bring it with you if you’re attending the funeral or memorial service.

If you’d like to send a sympathy note to someone, then here are some tips for writing one.

Handwrite for that extra special touch

The personal nature of a sympathy note is what really shows that you care. You’re not just sending something because you feel obliged. Handwriting your note on nice stationery adds even more of a personal touch that could make the grieving family feel loved in this difficult time.

Directly express your sympathies

The best way to start a condolence letter is to acknowledge the loss and express your sympathies for it. Do this in a simple and straightforward way. Don’t skirt around the issue or try to justify the event with phrases like “everything happens for a reason.” Often, a simple “I’m sorry for your loss” is all that’s needed.

Remember the deceased

If you knew the deceased personally, then express what you’ll miss about them, why they were such a great person, or share some special memories you have of them. Reading this might bring a smile to that person’s face in a difficult time. If the death was very recent, then they might pass over these details due to the immediate pain of the event, but it might be something they come back to at a later date to remember their loved one fondly.

Offer your support

Grief can be an extremely lonely period. This person needs to know that they have friends and family members there for them if they need support. Finish the letter by saying you are there if they ever need to talk or have a shoulder to cry on. You might even offer help in more specific ways, like offering to bring them home-cooked meals or do the grocery shopping for them. People are often too upset or too busy with funeral planning during this time to focus on these kinds of tasks.

If you or someone you know needs support through a time of grieving, then we have lots of resources to help you through this difficult time. Contact us any time for support with funeral planning, pre-planning, and other services.

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