Writing Condolences

V Scroll down to view our collection of articles that will help you with writing condolences.

Tips To Remember When Writing Condolences

The death of a loved one is a stressful time. One thing that is often done to help the family realize that others are around them who care is writing condolences. Condolence messages convey a message of comfort, hope, and support to the bereaved. It is important, at this time more than others, to choose exactly the right words to convey this message.

Some may wonder when they should write condolence messages. This should be done as soon as possible after receiving word of the death. The family will be undergoing a lot of stress as they try to make arrangements for the funeral, deal with legal issues that arise such as wills and probate, and more.

Just a short card or note expressing one’s sympathy for their loss and one’s willingness to help in any way possible would be well appreciated. If a few weeks have passed since the death, one might consider writing a slightly longer letter, though this is a matter of choice and not a requirement when writing condolences.

Often, people are left wondering what they should say when trying to express their condolences. In general, it is best to apply the KISS theory, meaning Keep It Simple and Sensitive. It is best to open with an expression of sorrow for the loss of their loved one. If possible, share a funny memory of the deceased. Mention any unique qualities the deceased had that you will remember them for. Let the family know that you will also miss the departed.

There are some things that you do not want to say when writing condolences. Some things can be more hurtful than helpful during this time of stress and sorrow. For example, do not bring up issues that the bereaved and the departed may have had unresolved between them.

Do not bring up any debts the deceased may have owed you. Do not try to minimize their loss by quoting clichés. Words like “He/She is in a better place”, or “Time will heal all wounds” are not helpful at a time like this and not appropriate for condolence messages.

Other things to avoid include offering advice on how to go about grieving. Each person grieves in his or her own way. They do not need or want friends telling them what they should or should not do. Never offer financial assistance. It is acceptable to bring food to the family so that they do not have to worry about cooking during the initial grieving period, but they will not appreciate offers of money.

When writing condolences, it is important to keep these points in mind. The goal is to share one’s feelings with the family in a manner that offers them support and hope while letting them know that you care and are there for them. One can cause more hurt feelings and more problems by choosing his or her words poorly at such a time. However, delivering the right words in the correct spirit at this time can help both the bereaved family and you begin to heal as you undergo the grieving process.

Below are helpful articles on writing condolences that will help you write condolence messages for people you care about.


Choosing A Word Of Condolence

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/ May 30, 2012 3:58 pm

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/ March 26, 2012 11:53 am

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How To Write A Condolence Message

/ March 21, 2012 4:51 pm

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