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Sample Letter of Sympathy for a Wife

This Sample Letter of Sympathy for a Wife extends sympathy to a man with whom you work closely.  It focuses on the man’s loss, offers support, and acknowledges the lack of easy answers in the midst of grief.  When expressing sympathy, avoid clichés and pat answers, which can hurt the grieving person even more.  Instead, recognize his disappointment and his pain.  Offer to help him through the experience in your own way. Instead of mentioning the office, for example, make an offer to treat your friend to lunch or, if he is a young father, to help him find childcare.  These are the things he will appreciate most.  Although written to a co-worker, this letter could easily be adapted for almost any man who has lost his wife.  Use this Sample Letter of Sympathy for a wife to help express your own condolences to the recently widowed man.

Sample Letter of Sympathy for a Wife

Dear Mark,

Sally and I were so sad to hear about Kate! We had planned to visit her in the hospital on the very day we heard the news of her passing.

From what we heard, the doctors did their best. I know you had some hard decisions to make during her illness; rest assured that you made the right ones. You did everything you could to provide the best medical care for her. You must be exhausted from all the effort and from this terrible disappointment.

When we talked last time, you seemed prepared for this outcome. But I’m sure you can never really be ready for it. We never want to believe that someone we love is going to leave us in this way. Deep down, we hope and believe that everything will be okay, that healing will take place. I know you were holding on to that hope until the end.

All of us who knew Kate are asking why this should happen to such a sweet, caring person. Sometimes we simply have no satisfactory response. I’m certainly not going to offer any pat, clichéd answers. That’s the last thing you need. All I can do is to offer my support.

I’m glad that your son, his wife and your daughter will be with you for a few days. But when they’ve gone back home, your toughest days may lie ahead. Sally and I want to help you through those days if we can.

Take the time you need before returning to the more mundane things of life. Take an extended leave from work if you need to. Don’t rush it. The office will be here when you get back.

Again, we are so sorry for this tremendous loss in your life. Please extend our sympathies to your children, as well. I’ll stay in touch.



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