The Essential Elements of a Proper Condolence

When a friend or family member loses a loved one, you want to be there for them. There are many ways you can be present for someone, and one of the primary ways is through a written or spoken condolence. Whether you make a phone call to the bereaved, send them a card after the funeral service, or even leave an online condolence on a digital obituary, the words you choose can be soothing to their broken heart. But it can be difficult to know what to say sometimes. Not wanting to make a misstep can lead to some people saying nothing at all – or worse yet – saying something hurtful.

We know that’s not your desire, so we want to help in every way possible by providing helpful information on a number of topics, including answers to your funeral etiquette questions. We can assist you in expressing loving, proper condolences to friends and family who have just experienced a loss. While you will want to speak from your heart, of course, following certain guidelines can help you avoid an embarrassing faux pas.

As a general rule, every written or spoken condolence should communicate…

1.) …That you care.

Dear Marie: I just heard about your John’s passing, and I wanted to write you right away to let you know how very sorry I am to hear about your loss.”

2.) …That they are not alone.

Your friendship has been one of the most precious gifts in my life. You – and your daughters – are in my thoughts and prayers.”

3.) …That you acknowledge their pain.

I know how close you and John were. This must be so difficult for you. Especially with his passing happening so close to your anniversary.”

4.) …That their loved one made a mark on your life.

John was always such a good friend to my Bill when he was still alive, and I will never forget how he came over to my house a month after Bill’s passing just to make sure the lawn was mowed and my gutters were ready for the rainy season. What a gem he was!”

OR, if you didn’t know the deceased personally, you could say something such as this:

I wish that I would have had an opportunity to know John better. I knew he loved you, so he       must have been a great man! You may not feel up to it now, but someday, I would love to   spend some time with you hearing more about what he was like and your life together.”

5.) …That you are available to help them.

I want you to know I am always here for you – whatever you and your family might need. As a   matter of fact, I am going to be near your home this Wednesday after work. I’ll drop a meal off.      If you don’t feel up to company, that’s just fine – I will leave the casserole on your front porch.”

By following a few simple tips, you can easily write a condolence that will offer support and love to the people who mean the most. Still need help? Don’t hesitate to reach out to the caring staff at Krause Funeral Homes.


One thought on “The Essential Elements of a Proper Condolence

  1. Dear Debbie: Read about Bill’s passing today. Barb & I want to let you know how deeply sorry we are. Love Barb & Carl

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