Offer Sympathy For the Death of a Friend or Relative - Letters

Example Letter #1


I just read in the paper that Jane passed away. I feel a real loss in her passing and want to extend my sympathy to you and your family. I will always remember Jane as an honest and cheerful woman who loved to work with young people. Our family is privileged to have known her. In the months to come, please know that our family loves and cares about you. We will be in touch.

Example Letter #2


I was deeply saddened to hear of John's passing. John was a fine man and a significant influence for good in others' lives. I will miss him a great deal. Please remember that I am here to help however I can. Don't hesitate to call if you need help with funeral or estate matters or if you simply need a listening ear.

Example Letter #3


Please accept my sincerest condolences at the death of your dear daughter. She and I spent our freshman year in college as roommates and have since shared a wonderful relationship by telephone and mail over the years. She was an important part of my life, and I feel her loss deeply.

Enclosed are a few choice letters that she wrote to me concerning her feelings and thoughts about you. I thought you might want to know how lovingly she spoke of you as not only her kind and loving parents, but also as her friends.

Example Letter #4


I was shocked and saddened to here of John's death. I will miss his warmth and humor. His visits to my home and office were always a treat. It is difficult to know what to do in times like these. I want you to know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Please let me help you handle some of the many things that you certainly have to do. I am a phone call away. My time is yours.

Example Letter #5


Since I learned of your mother's passing, I find myself thinking of you and your family and how much we will all miss her. I am comforted because I am one of the lucky ones whose life was touched by this very special woman. I join you and the many others who will miss her, but I remain grateful still for having known her.

Letter-Writing Tips

A letter offering sympathy for the death of a friend or relative respectfully acknowledges the reader's misfortune while offering comfort and support. Be brief, honest, and sincere as you write the message by hand using personal stationery.

Step-by-Step Guide

1 Express your sympathy briefly.

  • I was saddened to hear of your sister's death.
  • I have been thinking of you every moment since I learned of Ashley's death.
  • I extend my deep sympathy to you and your family on the passing of your father.
  • I wish to express my deepest sympathy on this sad occasion. There is never any way to prepare for the loss of a parent.
  • I am deeply grieved when I think of your tremendous loss.
  • I feel angry that fate has delivered such a cruel blow to you and your family.
  • The news of John's sudden death has shaken us terribly.
  • We learned of John's tragic accident with sincere regret and shock.
  • accept our sincerest condolences
  • deeply grieved this morning to learn
  • deeply grieved when I think of
  • express my deepest sympathy
  • extend our deepest sympathy to you on the
  • extend my deep sympathy to
  • extend our heartfelt sympathy
  • has shaken us terribly
  • have been thinking of you every moment since I learned
  • is with sincere regret that
  • let you know we are thinking about you
  • my heart goes out to you
  • never any way to prepare for the loss of a parent
  • on the passing of your
  • shocked to hear of the death of your
  • such a cruel blow to
  • the tragic accident
  • this sad occasion
  • to you and your family
  • was saddened to hear of
  • was stunned yesterday to hear
  • was so sorry to hear that
  • were shocked and saddened by
  • with great personal sorrow
  • your sad loss

2 Reflect on the importance of the person who has died.

  • During the many years I knew Jane, her graciousness impressed me. Jane's home was always open to anyone in need of a friend.
  • John was warm, wise and understanding; he made life better for those who knew him.
  • I realize how deeply this loss must hurt you. Everyone loved and admired your mother, but not as deeply as you did. I have always admired the special bond the two of you shared.
  • Jane was one of the loveliest women I have ever known. She was a vibrant person at home, work, and in the community.
  • John was held in high esteem by those who knew him. His influence will never be forgotten.
  • Although we didn't know your uncle personally, we know that many people admired him a great deal.
  • a shame that one so gifted should succumb so early in life
  • already feel her absence
  • although I have never met
  • always warm, wise, and understanding
  • by all those who knew him/her
  • did more than was expected of
  • during the many years I knew
  • feel as if I knew him from all that you've said
  • fine memories he left with us
  • fine human being
  • friendliness cheered us all
  • good nature made her many friends
  • great and loyal companion
  • had splendid parents during her short time on earth
  • have heard so much about
  • held in high esteem by
  • immense capacity for helping others
  • kind and generous disposition
  • made life a little better
  • made this world a little better for me
  • no one who knew her could ever forget her charm and warmth
  • one of the kindest people I have ever known
  • an extraordinary person, who will not be forgotten
  • shall miss his counsel
  • was always so impressed
  • was always good to us kids
  • was a fine friend
  • was loved and admired by all
  • will always remember her pleasant ways
  • will sorely miss
  • will always think of him with fondness
  • will not be the same without her

3 Offer further condolences or support.

  • Always know I am here for anything you may need, including a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on.
  • Although I would not attempt to replace Ashley, know that I am here as your friend and confidant.
  • Please let me know how I can help you in this time of grief.
  • Know that my thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.
  • If you would like to get away for a few days to sort things out, just let me know. I will be more than happy to tend your children. It is the least I could do, considering all that John has done for us.
  • The bouquet arriving shortly is a small symbol of my great esteem for Jane.
  • Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help ease your burden.
  • Please add our sympathy and condolences to the many others you have no doubt received.
  • accept our sympathy and condolences
  • admired your dedicated care of
  • am here to be your friend
  • anything we can do to help
  • be assured of my availability
  • brave battle with cancer
  • bereavement is so personal
  • comforting to know that we are all in God's hands
  • concern of your many friends will sustain you
  • do call if I can give you a hand
  • extremely painful time for you
  • flowers are just a small symbol of my esteem for
  • help each other through times of crisis
  • here for anything you may need
  • hope you will accept these belated condolences
  • hope the many happy memories will bring comfort to you
  • how much I hurt with you
  • if you would like to get away for a few days
  • if you need someone to talk to
  • know that we too will miss her
  • know the loss must be overwhelming
  • many memories we will always cherish
  • may God bless you and your family
  • may you have the strength and courage to carry on
  • offer you a listening ear
  • please let us know if
  • realize how deeply this loss will touch you
  • realize our loss is small compared to yours
  • remember all the good times we shared
  • seems hard to believe that she is no longer with us
  • share your relief that she is now at peace
  • so many of his friends share your grief
  • thoughts and prayers are with you
  • words seem so useless
  • would be happy to tend your children
  • would be selfish of us to want to bring him back

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