Example Letter #1
I have just learned of the death of your father. I have always had the highest regard for him. He was the epitome of a refined gentleman and always treated everyone with utmost respect. I know this is an enormous loss, but you may be comforted by the knowledge that he left the world better than he found it. My sincere condolences to you and your family.
Example Letter #2
The news of your daughter's accident has saddened all of us at Doe Corporation, and we extend our deepest sympathy for your loss. I know she brought you great happiness. The passing of a child is especially difficult for loving parents. We extend our deepest sympathy to your and your family.
Example Letter #3
Words cannot express how sad I was to hear of your loss. Although I wasn't close to Jane, I always admired her energy and positive attitude as she came to greet you for lunch each day. She must have been a magnificent support for you as a wife and as a great friend.
I know this must be a very difficult time for you, so please let me know if you need more time off to handle these important affairs.
Example Letter #4
My staff and I extend our sympathy on the death of your wife. Although we knew her mostly through the stories and photographs you shared with us, we sense the loss you are experiencing. Please let us know how we might help during this difficult time.
Write Your Letter Step-by-Step
1 Express your sympathy briefly.
Sample Sentences for Step 1
- Our entire office was shocked and saddened to hear of your son's tragic skiing accident.
- I was informed this morning about the loss of your mother. Please accept my deepest sympathies.
- John called this morning to let me know that your father passed away last night. Although his passing was forthcoming, I know the finality of it is still difficult.
- No words can ease our sorrow at John's passing.
- John, our group was so sorry to hear of the boating accident and Jane's death.
- Please accept our deepest sympathy at Jane's passing.
Sample Phrases for Step 1
- accept our sincerest condolences
- although expected, it is still
- deeply grieved this morning to learn
- express my deepest sympathy
- extend our heartfelt sympathy
- extend my deep sympathy to
- extend our deepest sympathy to you on the
- has shaken us terribly
- informed this morning about
- 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 and saddened us
- shocked to hear of the death of your
- so sorry to hear of the accident
- such a cruel blow to
- the tragic accident
- the entire office was shocked and saddened to hear of
- there are no adequate words to ease
- this sad occasion
- to you and your family
- was stunned yesterday to hear
- was saddened to hear of
- was so sorry to hear that
- were grieved to hear of your loss
- your sad loss
2 If you were acquainted with the deceased, recall his or her achievements or character; otherwise, write something generally complimentary.
Sample Sentences for Step 2
- Although there is little we can do to ease your grief, we express our deepest sympathy. Eric was an honorable son.
- Although I didn't know her personally, she must have been a wonderful woman to have produced such a wonderful son.
- It's never easy to lose a loved one who had such a profound effect upon one's life.
- John and I have shared many wonderful experiences with you and Eric over the years, memories we cherish now more than ever before.
- I remember meeting your wife at several company gatherings and always thinking what a warm, intelligent person she was. She must have been a great source of inspiration and support for you.
- I can only imagine what a great loss this must be for you and your three children. Jane was a kind and caring person.
Sample Phrases for Step 2
- although I didn't know her personally
- can only imagine what a great loss this must be for you
- certainly produced a wonderful daughter
- earned the respect of everyone
- feel as if I knew him from the things you have said
- feel fortunate to have known him
- had the greatest respect for
- held in high regard by all who knew him
- am sure you must have been very proud of
- made friends with everyone he met
- much admired for her loyalty and personal integrity
- must have been a wonderful person
- must have been a source of inspiration and support to you
- never easy to lose a loved one
- remember him as a warm, intelligent person
- remember meeting your
- shared so many wonderful experiences with you and
- so little we can do or say to ease your grief at this time
- such a profound effect on your life
- the community is richer for having known
- was a fine human being
- was held in very high esteem by all who knew
- what a unique person he must have been
- will sorely miss
- will all remember her for her
3 Offer further condolences or support.
Sample Sentences for Step 3
- We hope that the happy memories you shared with Jane will help you in the difficult days ahead.
- If there is anything I can do to ease your burden, please don't hesitate to call.
- Please accept my sincere condolences for your loss. If you need some time to sort things out, I will be glad to cover for you.
- We hope you can draw strength from our continuing friendship at this difficult time.
- I have asked Eric Johnson to take over all unfinished projects on your desk so that you can focus on meeting the needs of your family.
- I will be happy to notify other colleagues and clients, if you desire. Just say the word.
Sample Phrases for Step 3
- accept our sympathy and condolences
- admired your dedicated care
- anything we can do to help
- be glad to cover for you so that you can take some time off
- be assured of my availability
- best wishes and thoughts are with you
- call on us if we can be of service
- concern of your many friends will sustain you
- don't worry about work at this time
- everyone wanted to contribute
- extend our deepest sympathy
- extremely painful time for you
- flowers are just a small symbol of our
- help each other through times of crisis
- help sustain you in the difficult days ahead
- hope the many happy memories will bring comfort to you
- hope you may draw strength from
- hope the support of your family and friends
- hope the many memories you shared will ease your pain
- if there is anything I can do to help
- if you would like to get away for a few days
- know the loss must be overwhelming
- may a lifetime of wonderful memories give you strength
- may you have the strength and courage to carry on
- may God bless you and your family
- only a phone call away
- our thoughts are with you
- please let us know
- please do not hesitate to call on us
- realize how deeply this loss will affect you
- share your relief that she is now at peace
- thoughts and prayers are with you
- time to focus on the needs of your family