How to write a Condolences Letter

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 you’re 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 there’s 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.

The following is a sample letter

Sample Condolences Letter

Dear Mrs. Parker,

We were troubled to hear that Peter died after battling cancer for so long.

We knew Peter to be a passionate, and highly motivated employee–always taking care of the company’s interest. He worked as a photographer, a journalist, and finally an editor, doing a splendid job with all his assignments.

From my conversations with him, I am sure he was a devoted husband and father. Please express my condolences to your daughter.

All of us at The Daily Bugle share with you in your loss. Flowers from the office should be arriving shortly. Please accept this as a small token of our sympathy and a tribute to Peter and the fond memories he left with us.

J. Jameson

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