What Is a Condolence Letter?
A Condolence Letter is a personal document sent to a family member, friend, or colleague of a person who has recently passed away. Typically composed by an individual who knew the deceased person as a way to console relatives and friends who suffered a loss, a Letter of Sympathy will help the recipient to manage their grief better, remind them they do not remain alone, and demonstrate the willingness of the writer to share an emotional and financial burden with them.
- Sympathy Letter.
Check out our library of Condolence Letter templates to find the one you need. You can customize a sample Condolence Letter template to suit your needs or use one of the documents below. For instance, we offer several Condolence Letters to acknowledge the loss of the relative:
- Condolence Letter for Loss of Father;
- Sympathy Letter for Loss of Mother;
- Condolence Letter for Loss of Husband;
- Condolence Letter for Loss of Wife.
How to Write a Condolence Letter?
Below are some tips that will let you draft a meaningful Letter of Condolence:
- Find a card in a store or create a handwritten letter. Do not resort to generic words - your letter should express real emotion and show your consideration;
- Prepare this letter quickly and deliver it promptly - there is a limited timeframe between the person's death and their funeral, and if you decide to help the family and friends financially, you only have several days to tell them about it;
- Acknowledge the death of the person and express your condolences;
- Tell the recipient of the letter what the deceased person meant to you personally. Whether you worked together, were neighbors or friends, or they were an acquaintance of yours, a short story that invokes a warm memory about the deceased person is a nice way to help the grieving relative or friend;
- When writing a Condolence Letter, speak directly to the individual you are writing to. The letter can be concise as long as it is thoughtful. Whether you know the addressee personally or you only knew the deceased person, show your real feelings in the letter, do not be afraid to seem too emotional;
- If you know for sure or even suspect the recipient of the letter may need your assistance with the funeral or their household, especially if you know the deceased person took care of the house or the family might struggle with burial costs, offer help to them. Still, it would be disrespectful to mention specific financial issues - if the recipient wants to get in touch with you, they will, as long as they have your promise to help them;
- Remind the addressee that you are willing to talk to them when it is convenient and support them in the difficult situation they find themselves in;
- End the letter by once again telling how sorry you are for their loss and signing the document. Even if you choose to type the letter instead of writing it, a handwritten signature is a must.
What Should a Sympathy Letter Include?
Each Condolence Letter is unique. Nevertheless, here are the parts and phrases you should consider including when writing a Sympathy Letter:
- Introductory paragraph. You can only add "Dear [name of the addressee]" and express in one short sentence your condolences for their loss. Mention the deceased person by name and specify their relationship to the recipient of the letter;
- The main part of the letter. Only a few phrases would be enough here - if you knew the deceased individual personally and for a long time, share a story about them and explain the impact they made on your life. However, do not write the letter to talk about your feelings - focus on the loss of the addressee and express hope they find inner peace soon;
- Final part. Depending on your ability to help with the funeral arrangements and the possibility to come and offer your condolences in person, you can add a personal touch you want. At a minimum, write down words of comfort and sign the letter with your full name.
Haven't found the template you're looking for? Take a look at these related templates below:
- Cancellation Letter Templates;
- Letter of Appreciation Templates;
- Apology Letter Templates.
If you want to ease the burden of someone you care about and give comfort to the person or people whose father has passed away, this type of letter can be the best way to let them know you are thinking of them.
If you learned that your relative, close friend, or colleague has lost their partner, consider preparing a letter such as this to show your condolences.
A mother's passing is often the worst thing that may happen to a person, and a letter such as this may provide them with a few encouraging and kind words to help ease their pain.
An invidual may use this letter as a personal expression of sympathy that they feel when writing a note to a relative, friend, or colleague that has lost their husband.