What is a Condolence Letter?

Do you know what is condolence? It is basically an expression of sympathy or sorrow that is mostly given during the occasion of the death of near and dear ones. The condolence letter is the way of communicating with someone to whom you want to express your condolences. Generally, such letters are written to the family members or friends of the deceased person. You can write this type of a letter in a personalized manner.

You can send such a letter when you have the deep and personal connection with the mourners. You can start such a letter by showing your condolences and further discuss the life and actions of the deceased. In such a letter you can convey the personality and life of the deceased person. Some people also like to include few memories of the dead person that they have shared previously. In the end of the letter, it is important for you to show your condolence as well as support to the mourners.

When to write such a condolence letter? It is advisable to write such a letter within 2 weeks of a death. Such letters are generally handwritten and not typed because hand written letter adds personalized touch.

Elements of Grief in a Condolence Letter

In a condolence letter, it is important for you to include the elements of grief. Any kind of death or loss can make you feel numb and you can also go in shock. The wide range of feelings goes together with grief like sadness, anger, fear, guilt etc. In such a scenario, a grieving person needs condolence and you can give that by writing a condolence letter. By understanding the components of grief through which the family members and friends of the deceased person are going through, can make it easy for you to write such a letter.

In the age of social media if you pick up your pen and write a personal letter then it can give good comfort to the mourners. Try to write heartfelt messages in your condolence letter. Here are the few elements of grief that the mourners may go through and by understanding which you can find it easy to write the condolence letter:

  • Feeling of shock or tremor
  • Denial of the loss of a person is also the stage of grief
  • A bit of anger and sadness
  • Anxiety attacks
  • Guilt feeling
  • Engages or preoccupies the mind
  • Going absent-minded
  • Deep reflective thought before accepting the loss
  • Let go and feel less pain
  • Moving on

The above-mentioned are few elements of grief which the mourners may go through and after considering these griefs in mind, you need to write a condolence letter.

Effects of a Condolence Letter on Grief

It is known fact that communicating with the grieving person is a difficult task. A grieving person goes through several emotions and dealing with those emotions is not an easy task. Your letter should be such that it should allow an individual to fight across different stages of emotions.

Even if you get the late news of death, don’t stop yourself from writing a condolence letter because it is difficult to overcome through the process of death. Writing such a letter is beneficial because the recipient can read and reread it when required to cope up with the loss. It is not possible for you to be with the survivor 24/7 and in such scenario your letter can provide a great support and comfort.

How to Write a Condolence Letter?

What do you want to say to the grieving person in a condolence letter? Depending on the answer to this question, the length of your letter can be determined. It can be a long letter or a short letter, but ensure that your letter provides a good comfort level to the survivors.

Some of the important things that you need to include in your condolence letter are like:

Show simple acknowledgment for the loss

In the opening sentence of your condolence letter, it is important for you to show the acknowledgment for the loss. Inform the recipient about how you learned about such a sad news. Express your sadness and show the disappointment.

To show your acknowledgment, you can include a sentence like “I am sorry to hear about the sudden demise” I am saddened by the loss of…

Show kindness and sympathy

The next part of your letter would be to show some kindness and sympathy. Show your care by using the words of sympathy. Show your sadness to the bereaved and share the sorrow. It is important, to be honest with such a letter. Let the bereaved know that, they are not alone in this tough time.

Express your Sympathy

In this next section of your condolence letter, let the person you are writing to know how much you care. How you share in their grief and sorrow. Above all, be honest. If you knew the person who passed away, express your sadness and offer support to the bereaved. Give them comfort, letting him or her know they are not alone during this time.

To show your sympathy, you can make use of sentence like “I am sorry for your loss”.

Write few qualities of the deceased

Do you know some special quality of the deceased person? If yes, then do mention it in your condolence letter. You can explain about the special characteristic that you valued in the individual. You can add humour but in an intelligent way that can fit the situation. You can mention any kind of leadership or sensitive quality of the personality in your letter. You can show the relationship that you had with a deceased person.

To express qualities of the deceased person, you can make use of sentence like “I’ll always remember the way he or she…

End the letter with the kind sentiments

The closing of your condolence letter should be good and you can include some kind sentimental sentences. Your words should reflect your true feelings. Here are the few sentences that you can use while closing such an article:

  • May the love of those around you, help you through the days ahead
  • May the comfort of God help you during this difficult time
  • Words seem inadequate to express the sadness we feel
  • You have my deepest sympathies on the death of your…
  • I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family
  • Our hearts go out to you in your time of sorrow

Tips to Write a Condolence Letter

Here are few tips that you can follow to write a condolence letter:

  • Draft your letter in such a way that it is short and concise
  • Use friendly and comforting approach
  • You have to console the recipient and not convince him or her
  • Don’t try to impose yourself on the reader
  • Offer all possible assistance
  • Share some good moments to make the reader feel good
  • Don’t add feelings or words which are not required


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