Writing words of condolence in a card or letter is a heartfelt way to offer support to the family of the deceased. Finding the right words of condolence to write in a card or letter can be difficult. To make it a little easier, you'll find several examples of words of condolence that you can use as a guide to writing or expressing your own words of condolence for cards or letters. You can also find out the answers to frequently asked questions about writing a condolence letter below.
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Words of condolences are simply comforting words shared with a person who has suffered the loss of a dear one; giving them hope, support, and letting them know that someone cares. Choosing the right words to say at such a time can be quite challenging, and is dependant on factors such as; how well you know the deceased, the type of relationship you have with them or shared with their loved one, their religious affiliation and culture, and many other factors. We provide some examples of condolence letters above that you can use to write your own further on in this article, but first let's take a look at some extremely important things to consider when writing words of condolences.
Writing words of condolences will yield rewards for both the person sending the letter and the one receiving it. The right words delivered in the right spirit can go a long way to helping someone to heal from the emotional suffering that death brings, while allowing the writer to share his or her love and concern with the bereaved. This is good therapy for both parties, especially if the right words of condolences are chosen. Sending a letter of condolence is one of the most loving things one person can do for another at such a time, but it must be kept in mind that emotions are running high, and so proper etiquette must be exercised in order to avoid unintentionally hurting someone's feelings.
It's very hard to know exactly what any particular individual may be going through during the grieving phase, but it's certain they will be experiencing a wide range of emotions. These emotions can range from guilt to extreme depression, and consequently one must be very careful to not mention anything that may upset the bereaved more than they already are. A good rule of thumb is to sit quietly for a moment and place yourself in the grieving person's position. What would you like said to you if you lost a loved one; what would you not want said? Because emotions may be so volatile at such a time, the words of condolences you send should be carefully considered. Here are some things you should not say in your letter:
Keep It Sensitive and Simple- when writing words of condolences, and do say the following:
You may also include an offer of support in your words of condolences, as long as it's not financial. If you'd like to cook a meal, help with the children or provide transport, by all means do so, but make sure you follow through on your offer.
The only time you might want to consider a longer letter is if several weeks have passed since the deceased's death. There may have been mitigating factors that kept you from writing your words of condolences sooner, so make sure you let them know those reasons, while keeping your letter as concise as possible. If you wish you can schedule a phone call at a later date to catch up and further express your sympathies.
The short answer to that question is yes, although however you decide to share your words of condolences, a short note written by hand should always be included. Alternative ways of expressing words of condolences are:
If you decide to show your support with a financial gift, wait until a few weeks after the funeral, and if possible send it anonymously. Though many people may require financial assistance at such a time, many will be too proud to accept it directly from a friend. Remember to include a handwritten note, as many people like to keep cards and letters containing words of condolences as keepsakes to remember their loved one.
There are eight essential elements to a words of condolences letter. They are:
An example of how to include these eight essential elements in a words of condolences letter is as follows:
I am so sorry to hear about your loss.
_____________ was a wonderful person and will be sadly missed by all who knew him/her.
I was heartbroken to hear the news, and I want you to know that my thoughts and prayers are with you.
I remember the gentle spirit and helpful nature of _____________, and will always remember him/her as an exceptionally special and giving person.
I particularly remember the time when we moved into the neighbourhood. _____________ came over and helped us lug our things into our new home, then brought us over a home cooked meal that night. It was a wonderful act of kindness which I'll never forget.
There is a great void to be filled by _____________ passing, but I know that the depth of love that you and your family share for each other and for _____________ will pull you through. Honor his/her memory with that love and the wonderful memories you share of him/her.
I'd like to honour _____________'s memory myself by cooking you a meal on Thursday evening and I could bring some pictures that I have of that night when he/she helped us move in. There are some really great shots of _____________ teaching us how to Morris dance.
May God bless and comfort you and your family,
This is merely an example, a template if you like, of what to write in a words of condolences letter. Use it as a guide, but insert your own thoughts and feelings into your letter. Speak from the heart keeping these eight essential elements in mind, and you can be sure that your words of condolences will comfort and caress your grieving loved ones.
Below you will find a collection of samples for particular circumstances and relationships. Use them in the same way; to glean an idea of what you can say, and then write your own words of condolences as they flow from your heart.