Express your regret over the death but avoid going into the details of the illness or tragedy, its consequences, or how you heard of the incident.
Honor the loved one by offering some specific praise. When youre unacquainted with the deceased, you may simply pass on complimentary remarks from others (even the recipient of the letter). Such comments help the reader to praise the loved one and to work through his or her own grief.
Offer any help you or the organization can provide, but be specific.
General offers (if theres anything I can do to help) sound insincere.
Mention any memorial you are making on behalf of the deceased such as flowers, a book, or monetary donations.
Hand write your letter on personal stationery to add a warmer touch.
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