How to Write a Sympathy Letter
Be sure to express genuine sorrow and concern
- Respectifully describe your admiration
Describe how much the deceased was respected and admired by you and others.
- Mention what good things you liked about the person
Write about a few of the deceased person's strengths, achievements, and successes.
- Discuss a positive memory
If appropriate, include a short personal story or anecdote involving your relationship with the deceased.
- Keep the letter balanced
Strike a careful balance between the formal tone of a sympathy letter and its deeply personal nature.
- Keep your sympathy letter short—under one page in length
Remember that a mourner is emotionally drained.
- Offer to help in some way
If you can do so sincerely, include contact information such as your cell phone number and your email address.
- Even better, just help in some way without being asked
Clean their house. Mow their lawn. Bring over cooked meals. Now is your chance to show true love and charity to the mourner and his or her family.
- Comfort the mourner with words of hope and faith
If you have strong religious convictions, mention your belief that the deceased will find peace and happiness in a better world.
- Imagine yourself in their situation
Put yourself in the mourner's place and imagine the kind of sympathy letter you would like to receive.
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