Sample letter of sympathy condolence

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Sample Letter of Sympathy Condolence

A letter of sympathy or condolence is often one of the most difficult letters you will write. You are emotional because a person has died, but you also want to be careful about what you write in a letter to their relatives. If you say the right thing, it can be a source of encouragement and comfort for many years to come. If you say the wrong thing, the letter can leave long-lasting scars that sometimes never heal.

Take time to construct your letter of sympathy condolence carefully. Sometimes it is better to write less, rather than forcing the issue and causing offence. Hopefully our sample letter of sympathy outlined below will give you some guidance on the type of content you might include in your letter.

As you will see in our sample letter of sympathy, a letter of condolence has three main elements.

  • Firstly, it should contain an initial expression of sympathy. Show that you recognise and identify with the death of a relative or friend.
  • Secondly, it is good to demonstrate empathy with the person you are writing to. They have lost a friend or relative, but you have too. Show that you understand their loss and grief.
  • Thirdly, conclude by offering good wishes for the future, and perhaps some words of comfort they can hold on to in future days.

Remember the purpose of the letter, and don't over-do thing by writing exhaustively about some event that happened years ago. The principles are

  • A letter of sympathy should contain uplifting words. People need support and understanding when berieved.
  • A letter of condolence should be encouraging. Time moves on and pain will pass.
  • You should demonstrate empathy with their situation and feeling of loss.
  • Don't write more than is necessary or reasonable. Leave the detail for later.

Our sample letter of sympathy condolence and encouragement below will give you a base letter to work from. Tailor it to your own needs and circumstances, and you should be able to write a letter that meets all the guidelines given above.

Sample letter of sympathy condolence

Sample letter of sympathy condolence


26 High Street
New Town

25th April 2009

Dear Steven

It is with great sadness that we have learned of the loss of your father John. We knew John and your mother Jane for thirty years, and enjoyed many happy time with them on vacation.

John was an excellent golfer, and would always have good ideas for new adventures we could explore. He gave us support when we needed it, and was always willing to comfort and encourage where he could.

Please accept our deepest sympathy. Our memory of John will always be a lovely one.

Yours faithfully

Jim Smith


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