Sample letters of sympathy offer guidance for you when you have to write a letter to the family of a deceased friend or relative. These samples have been selected for you to use as a template. They express common sentiments that will inspire you to write your own thoughts. Make sure that you handwrite your letters of sympathy and include personal facts and information about your relationship with the deceased.
Consulting our sample letters of sympathy before you write your own condolence letter can help you to express your heartfelt sorrow and support in an articulate and effective manner. Your words of sympathy can be a wonderful source of comfort to those who are grieving the loss of a dear one. Nothing can be as effective as a kind word softly spoken, and such should be the spirit if the condolence letter. Before you take a look at the examples above though, there are a few important criteria that should also be included in a sympathy card or letter. Let's have a short discussion on the etiquette of expressing condolences, which you can then apply to your own letter - following the format of our above sample letters of sympathy.
Our sample letters of sympathy follow a standard format for writing messages of condolence. The first rule to remember when writing a message of sympathy is to include the three C's. They are:
These three qualities form the foundation of sincere letters of sympathy, and if your letter contains these qualities at its core; it will be warmly received. Let's break each quality down a bit and examine how we feature them in our sample letters of sympathy.
First we'll have a look at how we include compassion in our sample letters of sympathy. You may think it is natural to show compassion when writing a condolence letter, but often it is hard to find the right words without being overly sympathetic. A simple expression of compassion at the beginning of your letter such as: We are so sorry to hear of your loss, is a common way of expressing compassion. But it is quite basic, and though absolutely acceptable, it is fitting to expand on the sentiment further on in the letter, especially if you are quite close to the bereaved. This might be done by later stating: I really wish we lived closer together so that I could be with you to hold you and to help you. You are constantly in my thoughts, and I'm praying for you fervently
Such compassionate expressions of love can go a long way to helping a bereaved person overcome their grief. Knowing that they have loving friends who are thinking of them during their time of grief can help them better deal with what is truly one of life's most demanding and tragic times.
We show consideration in our sample letters of sympathy mostly by what we Do Not say. Things to avoid mentioning in a letter of sympathy are:
It might be hard to believe, but each of those items has been expressed in an actual condolence letter. The time of grief immediately following a loved one's death is not the time to mention faults, flaws, debts, or anything else that can compound a grieving person's sadness. Keep your thoughts powerful and positive. A condolence letter is all about helping someone to heal, so choose words that Build Up, not Break Down.
Once you begin examining our sample letters of sympathy, you will notice that one way we Do Not show concern is to ask the bereaved "How are you?" It should be pretty obvious how they are; how would you be if you lost a loved one to death? Concern in your sympathy letter can be shown by offering to help in a specific manner. Some of the ways we can offer to help are:
Showing concern by offering specific help shows that you are sincere; actions speak louder than words. Your help will be greatly appreciated by the grieving family or individual, and if you were close to the bereaved, it can be good therapy for you as well.
Always remember the three C's when writing condolence letters. Use this basic rule in conjunction with the format and ideas put forward in the sample letters of sympathy we have above, and you will author an ideal message of condolence that will be both heartfelt, and healing.