Writing a Meaningful Condolence Note

Ancient letter and ink feathKelly M.* asked "How can I quickly and properly write a note of condolence to a friend?"

Here are a few tips that might help you when writing a note to someone who is grieving:

Acknowledge the Loss and Name the Deceased
“I was so saddened to hear that Tom died.”

Share a Favorite Memory
“He was such a great storyteller. I remember at last year’s summer party how he entertained all the kids with one of his crazy tales. He had their full attention and they laughed and giggled about the ending long after.”

Express Your Sympathy
Include in your letter a thoughtful word, a hope or a wish such as “Please accept my sympathy,” “You are in my thoughts,” or “Wishing you God’s peace.” Closings such as “sincerely” or “fondly” aren’t quite as personal.

Clearly Identify Yourself
Include your last name when signing your note, as there may be many with a similar first name. Offer how you knew the deceased if you do not know the family well or you haven’t been in contact for a while. “Sarah Jones (Tom & Judy Black’s daughter).” Provide a clearly written return address.

For additional tips on funeral etiquette click here.

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