Condolence letters are sent as a consolation to the family members of the deceased. Writing a good letter requires tact and proper etiquette. The tips and examples provided here will help you write one.
Condolence letters are used to express support and sympathy to the person who has lost a dear one. They need to be written tactfully, and with a specific pattern. The letter should be comforting, send the right message and should sound heartfelt. There is a specific etiquette you need to follow, when writing a condolence message. These are not hard-and-fast rules, but mere guidelines and ideas that will be helpful while writing a condolence letter. The following is a template or a layout that you must follow when writing a condolence message.
- Opening salutation
- First Paragraph (Your introduction, relationship with the deceased, etc.)
- Second Paragraph (Experience with the deceased, his/her qualities, etc.)
- Closing Paragraph (Closing lines, offering help, support, etc.)
- Closing salutation
- Sender’s name and signature
Condolence Letter Samples
The following samples should be used only to get an idea. When actually writing a letter, make sure that you write what you mean. If the letter is to be sent to a close person, make it personal and include personal experiences and thoughts.
I am deeply saddened to hear about the sudden demise of ________. I had the honor to know him and had the greatest respect for him.
I know it is a great loss for you in particular. I had spent some memorable time playing golf with him and will truly miss him. He was _______ (mention some qualities of the deceased).
Please pass on my sincere condolences to your family members. If you would like me to help out with the funeral plans, please let me know.
I would like to express my sincere condolences on the passing of your ________.
Although I did not know him well, I know that he was a respected member in the community and his own profession.
I hope the family will rely on one another for support, to get through this. You and your family are in my prayers.
With deepest sympathy,
Although we have never met, your _______ (mention relation) and I had met at ______ and were regular correspondents. I am very sad to hear about his demise.
_______ (name of the deceased) was an exceptional friend. He was very energetic and a kind soul. He was someone I could always count on.
My deepest sympathies are with you and your family. Please do not hesitate to call, should you think of anything I can do to help.
Wishing you God’s peace,
I was very sad to hear about the demise of ________. He was a kind and gentle person. I will miss his generous nature.
I remember one incident when ____________ (mention your experience with the deceased)
Please let me know if I can be of any help during these difficult times. May God bless you and your family.
Now, if you are writing your own letter, then you can use the following phrases. These can also be used if you are writing a condolence message in cases of less intimate relationships.
- I am very sorry to hear about your loss and wish to express my deepest sympathies to you and your family.
- We are so sorry to hear the news about __________.
- I have been thinking about you and your family since I learned of ________ death.
- I am saddened by the news of your _______.
- It was with great sadness that I learned the news of the death of your ______.
Single Sentence Messages
- On behalf of all the members of the organization, please allow me to express my sympathies to you.
- I am at a loss of words to express how deeply sorry I am to hear about _________.
- I realize that you have a lost a beloved and no one will be able to replace him/her.
- Our deepest sympathies to you and your family during this sorrowful time.
- The entire organization/family joins me in sending our deepest sympathies during this period of bereavement.
- I hope you all family members, will rely on each other to get through this.
- _______ was a valuable member of the organization and many people will miss him/her.
- I know the grief is greater, but, I hope you will find peace in each other’s company/in your memories.
- You have my sympathy, love/friendship, and support.
- I wish to be of help with the planning and preparation of the funeral.
Some Things to Consider
- It is strongly recommended to write a personal handwritten letter rather than typing it out. The letter should be short, precise, and simple; avoid flowery language.
- You should clearly mention your relationship with the deceased. In the paragraphs, you can mention his qualities and strengths, and a personal experience related to him/her.
- A condolence letter’s closing salutation has to be personal, hence, do not end the letter with just your signature.
You can send a short sympathy note or attach your personal letter with a bunch of flowers. Although a condolence letter is short, it conveys a lot. A heartfelt letter will convey your sympathy and support to the family of the deceased. Take care!