If you are not used to writing condolence letters, initially it will appear somewhat daunting.
After all, the words written in the condolence letters have to be impressive. The purpose of these has to be able to console the recipient, whether a family member or friend.
The word condolence is defined as “Regards, Best Wishes & Greetings” A number of our subscribers have elected to include a short funeral poem to include in the body of the condolence letters.
For a brief insight into writing condolence letters then read on, however, for a more in-depth guide and to select a short funeral poem click Here.
A brief guide to penning condolence letters.
When we lose a loved one, we often feel empty and alone. There is nothing that makes us feel much better than knowing that there is someone who is concerned about our wellbeing.
That being said, people also want us to be there for them when they are going through a difficult time. Writing a condolence letter to the bereaved will offer them some comfort, knowing that they have people lending a shoulder to lean on.
This is one way we show concern for the deceased and at the same time express our feelings of sympathy to the bereaved. However, you should consider writing a condolence letter in a structured way.
Below is a format on how you can write a comprehensive condolence letter;
1) Acknowledge the loss.
To start off your condolence letter, you may want to comment on how you heard the news and acknowledge the loss. For instance, if you are writing condolence letters to your bereaved neighbor who just lost her son through an accident, you can indicate how you received the news and also your reaction. This will show that you are genuinely concerned about their wellbeing.
2) Offer your genuine condolences.
This is usually the hardest part of writing condolence letters. Finding the right words to offer your sympathy to the bereaved is not easy. However, you should be able to express how you feel, genuinely and how sorry you are for their loss.
It is important to avoid mentioning the cause of death while doing so as it might hurt more than offer comfort by digging up the sad memories.
3) Share your relationship/association with the deceased. By including Short Funeral Poems.
When people lose a loved one, it is not sympathy that actually counts than having people who knew the deceased. In the condolence letter, you might consider sharing a story about the deceased, a short positive story. This will give the bereaved comfort that the deceased got to live and meet you.
However, this might prove to be really difficult, especially if you didn’t know the deceased well. In such a case, it would advisable to send a condolence letter containing your sympathy message and maybe include a section where you tell the bereaved that you didn’t know much about the deceased. It is important to remain genuine in your condolence letter.
4) Share a personal memory.
The bereaved, which is usually the immediate family members would appreciate hearing what the deceased was like with other people. Therefore, sharing a personal memory with the deceased will help the bereaved realize that their loved one lived.
This could also unearth their unique qualities they didn’t know about the deceased. For instance, you can share an incident you had with the deceased and may be an activity you did together.
Knowing that the deceased had a good life is comforting and they will be assured that their loved one lived to the fullest.
5) Offer your help and support.
When people are grieving, they depend on us to offer our help and support to help them get through their loss. In the condolence letter, it can be advisable to state what you may be able to help them with. This might include helping them babysit if there are small children or offering support to prepare for the funeral until they can finally get back to normalcy.
6) Extend our condolence to family members.
While you address the condolence letter to a specific person, particularly the immediate family member to the deceased. However, it is also important to remember to extend your sympathy message to other family members. This way, you will be able to express genuine concern to the entire family of the deceased.
7) Mention your support and affection in your closing.
In your closing statement, mention your concern while offering comfort to the bereaved. Offer your condolences in a nice sympathy message while you are concluding your letter as we as your solidarity.
Finding the right words to comfort the bereaved can prove to be a difficult task. You want to write a comforting condolence letter that will not offend your audience.
Avoid the following mistakes when you are writing a condolence letter;
i) Don’t dwell on the cause of death.
While you might want to be concise while writing a condolence letter, it is important to avoid dwelling on the cause of death. Don’t dwell on how the deceased died. Instead, you may talk about how sorry you are for their loss.
This way, the bereaved will find comfort without having to remember how their loved one met their death. The essence of a condolence letter is to offer your sympathy message and create positive memories of the deceased to ease the grief of the bereaved.
ii) Don’t compare their loss to your previous loss.
You might get tempted to talk about your loss and your experience with your grief but it is not as comforting as it may sound. It is important to recognize that we all have different ways of grieving.
Talk about your loss when you are trying to console the bereaved might sound like you are invalidating their feelings.
Avoid speaking of your loss or tell them how they should feel. Instead, express your sympathy and offer your affection so as they know they have a shoulder to lean on.
iii) Don’t explain their loss.
While trying to console someone, it is important to avoid explaining their loss or how it gets easier. You should avoid words like ‘it was God’s plan’. It would feel like you are making them feel rushed to accept their loss.
in your condolence letter, you may want to avoid saying that you are sorry that someone died. It is important to remain sensitive when you are writing a condolence letter. The main essence of the letter is to deliver your genuine sympathy and show your concern towards the bereaved. They are also used to comfort and console the loved one’s family.