An informative and respected website designed to offer
resources for obituaries, funerals and genealogy search

Sample Letter of Sympathy for an Unexpected Death

This Sample Letter of Sympathy for an Unexpected Death expresses to a neighbor the shock and grief you share over the sudden death of her husband. You can adapt the general tone and mood of the letter to many specific situations.  Note that it isn’t necessary to mention the cause of death; family members may not want to dwell on those facts.  Sympathize with your neighbor or friend by expressing your own feelings of disbelief and perhaps by sharing a positive memory.  When you share memories, it is important to keep them brief, upbeat and general.  You may close with a reminder of your willingness to help out in practical ways, while staying mindful of your friend’s possible need for privacy and solitude.  Feel free to use this Sample Letter of Sympathy for an Unexpected Death when your neighbor or other acquaintance faces this sad situation.

Sample Letter of Sympathy for an Unexpected Death

Dear Mona,

James and I were shocked to hear of Carl’s unexpected death.We just saw him out for a jog last weekend, and we keep wondering how it’s possible that he is gone. I’m sure you can hardly believe it yourself. One moment you’re living life as usual and the next moment your world begins falling apart. What a tremendous loss! We are so, so sorry.

The whole neighborhood will miss Carl’s generous spirit. We’ll miss his leadership at the association meetings and his willingness to help anybody who needed him. But most of all, I think we’ll miss seeing his smiling face and his friendly wave as he jogged down the street many mornings.

I can’t imagine your thoughts and emotions right now. You’re probably faced with many decisions that you don’t want to think about. Maybe the future seems frightening—maybe you can’t even think about the future. Maybe you can’t even think or feel anything at all right now. I don’t know…

But I know you have many neighbors who want to help you. The ladies in the cul-de-sac are already planning to bring more food for you and the kids in the next few days, but let us know if we can help in other ways.

James and I, especially, want to support you in the difficult weeks to come. We don’t know exactly what you will need, whether you’ll want to be left alone or whether you’ll want some quiet company. You probably don’t even know yourself what you will want. We plan to check on you periodically, but we don’t want to bother you when what you really need is solitude. So please, please let me know if you do need anything at any time. Remember, we’re just down the street.

God bless,

June Davis

comments powered by Disqus