How To Write A Condolence Message


How To Write A Condolence Message

If you’re not used to writing, especially about sensitive topics, it can be difficult to know where to start with a condolence message. 

Below is a rough layout of how your letter or card could be ordered. This is a basic layout that you could use for a condolence message, but there is no set structure you have to follow.


1.- Start with “Dear…” If you are writing to a family, try to include every family member’s name.


2.- Start the message by offering your condolences. This is where you tell them that you are sorry for their loss. You can phrase this in various ways, as you see fit. If unsure, you could say “I was so sorry to hear about your loss” or “I am deeply saddened to hear about the loss of your father.”


3.- Mention a few good qualities of their loved one. Talking about their loved one’s good traits will bring them comfort, knowing they were appreciated and loved. You could say something like, “I will miss her brilliant sense of humor and laugh – she was always the life of the party” or “He was so kind to anyone who needed help”. If you didn’t know them well, you could reflect on what others said about them: “By all accounts, he was a kind and generous man” or “I wish I had known her better, she seemed to be so cheerful and caring.”


4.- Share a memory or story about that person. Grieving families can find great comfort in hearing new stories about their loved ones, so don’t be afraid to share cherished memories, as long as they are appropriate. It might be the first time you met, or the last time you saw them, or just a time when they really helped you out.


5.- Offer support if you can. If you are able and willing to offer any kind of support in the coming weeks and months, you can say so in your condolence message. For example, you might offer to help with specific tasks such as cooking, gardening, or looking after children, or you might simply say, “If you ever need to talk, I’m here.”


6.- You may want to mention the funeral. If your letter will reach the family before the funeral, you may want to confirm whether or not you are going. If you are writing the letter after the funeral, you could say what a fitting tribute it was. If you did not attend the funeral, you could make your apologies by saying something like: “Please accept my apologies for not being able to attend the funeral.”


7.- Sign off with an appropriate message. An appropriate sign-off could be something like “with sympathy”, “with caring thoughts” or “our sincere sympathy”. If you are close to the bereaved, signing off with “lots of love” or “all my love” may be more appropriate.