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Words of Condolence to Write in a Letter for an Uncle

It can be difficult to know what to say to a niece or nephew that has just lost an uncle. They may not have been close or they may have regarded the uncle as a second father. Below you can read an example letter of a condolence letter for an uncle. Following the sample, we have provided a section-by-section breakdown of how to compose words of condolence letters for uncles so you can put together your own special message.

Dear Steven,

I was so sorry to hear of the passing of your uncle. I know the two of you were very close and you had spent a lot of time in his home when you were growing up. I hope those wonderful memories will provide you comfort during this time.

Though I never knew your uncle, I understand the impact they can have on your life. My own uncle was like a second father to me. He and my dad would take me fishing or camping and teach me the things a boy needed to know. My uncle told the funniest stories and could make me laugh when no one else could.

I know you learned a lot from your uncle. I remember you telling me once that it was he who encouraged you to attend law school when everyone else thought you should be a doctor. He sure knew you, didn't he? I'm sure he recognized your ability to debate any topic as a sure sign of your future skills in the courtroom. I hope that you know that your uncle's legacy will live on through you and the other family members he helped mold and influence.

With my most heartfelt sympathy,


Before You Begin - Rules of Etiquette to Consider

  1. Keep your letter short but thoughtful
  2. Try to mention a fond or funny memory of the deceased if you have one
  3. Respect religious beliefs. Some people may believe in reincarnation rather than heaven, or could be atheists. Whatever their belief, they still deserve sympathy.
  4. Sign with a full name (first and surname). This is good etiquette as there may be other relatives or friends with the same first name as you.
  5. Do not offer financial help
  6. Don’t mention money the deceased may have owed you. This can be dealt with after the grieving period has passed.
  7. Do offer to help in other ways such as offering to cook a nice meal for the surviving family members, or helping with chores

Begin With an Appropriate Greeting

Letters of sympathy and condolences are personal, and so you should first mention the name of the person you are addressing. Depending on how close you were with your neighbor some of the ways you can do that are:

Dear _______,
My Dear Friend _______,
Dearest _______,
Dear Mrs. _______,
Dear Mr. _______,
Dear _______ Family,
Dear Family _______,

* Condolence Letter Writing Tip: If you knew the deceased, but not the family, address the letter to the closest family member, such as the spouse or eldest child. Also, if you did not know the deceased, address the card or letter to your friend, co-worker, or acquaintance.

What to Say First in Words of Condolence Letters for an Uncle

Choosing the right words to include in your own letter is often a daunting task. The most important thing to remember is to write from the heart so that your letter is sincere and clearlry reflects your relationship with the bereaved.

In our letter we began with:

I was so sorry to hear of the passing of your uncle. I know the two of you were very close and you had spent a lot of time in his home when you were growing up. I hope those wonderful memories will provide you comfort during this time.

Other suggestions for openings for such a letter are:

I want to extend my deepest condolences to you. So sorry to hear of the passing of dear _______. I will keep you in my prayers.

We are so sorry for your loss. You have our deepest sympathy and are in our thoughts and prayers as you grieve the passing of your uncle.

My deepest condolences on the loss of your uncle. May your beautiful memories sustain and bring comfort during this unhappy season.

Please accept my most sincere condolences for your loss. Words cannot express how sorry I am to hear this sad news.

Please accept our heartfelt sympathies. Our prayers are with you during this time.

Mention a Wonderful Memory of the Deceased

When writing words of condolence letters for an uncle, it is appropriate to mention a fond memory of the uncle if you knew him. If you did not know him, you may show your sympathy by relating a memory of your own uncle as a way to share in the feelings of the bereaved. Providing a special memory as we did on our example letter can help the survivors to better deal with the pain of losing their uncle. Here are some other ways to do so:

  • I remember your uncle well from the time you invited me camping with you and him. He was the funniest person I had ever met and he didn't even hesitate to bait my fishing hook when I was too squeamish to do it. He was an amazing person and I know you will miss him.
  • I worked closely with your uncle for years and he used to tell me the funniest stories about you and your sister when you came to visit. You two kept him entertained to say the least. As you grew up, you remained the apple of his eye. When you graduated first in your high school class, he told everyone he met. I hope you know how much you meant to him and that the knowledge will bring you comfort.
  • I never knew your uncle but I know how much you loved him. It was hard to get to know him well since you lived so far away, but his letters meant a lot to you. And then when he learned how to send emails, you too became regular pen pals. It's amazing how much influence family can have on one's life even from a distance.
  • I'm sorry to hear of your uncle's passing. I know he became like a father to you after your own dad passed away. This makes the loss doubly hard to bear, but know that his influence lives on in the way you live your life.

If You Like You Can Offer Help in a Words of Condolences Letter for an Uncle

Some appropriate ways to offer help are:

  • I’ll fix up some meals that you can keep in the freezer. That way you can just put them in the microwave and heat them up as you need them.
  • I’m going shopping on _____ so I’ll stop by and see if you would like to go along.
  • Since I lost _____ I attend regular support meetings. I have one on _____, I’d really like for you to join me.
  • I have _____ and _____ off, so I’ll pick you up and we can go for a walk on whichever day suits you.
  • Don’t worry about your pets. My kids will come by before and after school to feed them until you get back from the funeral.
  • I’m going to _____ on _____ night. I’ll pick you up at _____ and we can go together so you can get out of the house for a few hours.

Close with an Appropriate Sentiment

We closed our letter with:

With my most heartfelt sympathy,

These final words of sympathy end the letter in a comforting way and are a great way to express your thoughts one last time. Other phrases you can use to end words of condolence letters for an uncle are:

  • With hope that it helps you to know we care.
  • With warm and heartfelt sympathy.
  • With blessings, love and prayers.
  • May these flowers express what our words fail to do.
  • Know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.
  • With our deepest and heartfelt condolences.

Don’t Make These Common Spelling Mistakes

Makes sure you avoid these common spelling mistakes if substituting your own words for any in our sample words of condolence letters for an uncle.

  • Condolense
  • Condolesens
  • Simpathy
  • Simpathie
  • Preyers
  • Blesings
  • Simpothy
  • Simpothie

Condolence Messages for an Uncle

You may want to take a few moments to offer immediate support to a niece or nephew upon hearing of the loss of their uncle. An appropriate way to do this is to send a brief text or email message. If you choose to send a text or email message rather than a letter of condolence for an uncle, you can say something similar to what you would include in a letter. However, it is fine to send a shortened version of your message, especially if you are writing a text or social media message. Here are some examples that you can use.

I just heard about ______'s death. Please know you and your family are in my thoughts.

I heard from ______ that you lost your uncle. I want to extend my sympathies to you and the family. I'll give you a call tomorrow to see if you need anything.

I just heard about the death of Uncle ______. I want to offer my deepest condolences. I'll take care of things around the house while you attend the funeral.

You can send one of these messages to provide immediate comfort and then send a traditional letter at a later time if you feel it is appropriate.

Condolence Cards for an Uncle

If you are sending flowers or another gift to the niece or nephew, you may wonder what to put on a card to offer sympathy. Here are a few ideas that you can use for your own condolence cards for someone's uncle:

  • May these flowers serve as an expression of my sympathy for you and your family.
  • Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers during this time.
  • May these flowers let you know that we care for you.
  • You are in our thoughts during this time.
  • May God provide peace and comfort to you.

Words of Condolence Quotes

"We make a living by what we get: we make a life by what we give." Winston Churchill

"I can't think of a more wonderful thanksgiving for the life I have had than that everyone should be jolly at my funeral." Admiral Lord Mountbatten

"Say not in grief that he is no more – but live in thankfulness that he was." Hebrew Proverb

"It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be." J.K. Rowling

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