When someone you know is grieving the death of a loved one, it’s coming up with the right words to show your support. But, unfortunately, it might be so challenging that you avoid saying anything at all.
Fortunately, we’ve put together a complete guide on how to write a condolence message. In this guide, we’ll provide ways to express your sympathies without having the conversation face-to-face if that’s too challenging or not possible.
What is a condolence message?
A condolence message is a note written to express your sympathies for losing a loved one. It can be a valuable source of solace for someone you know who is grieving and a simple way of letting them know they're on your mind.
Ways of communicating your condolences
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to writing a condolence letter. However, the following ways of communicating your condolences are a great start.
1. Handwritten Letter
A handwritten note or card is the most traditional way to send a formal condolence message. You can just pen down your thoughts in a letter on nice paper or stationery and have it sent to the funeral home or address of the family. However, in today's age of emails and texts, handwritten notes are becoming increasingly rare. In this challenging time, a handwritten note will be more meaningful.
2. Social Media
An important thing to keep in mind regarding social media: it would be inappropriate to express condolences on Facebook or Twitter unless the grieving individual has already expressed their grief on these public sites. Since this is difficult, be cautious about mistakenly posting the news on social media as a sympathy – even if your intentions are good. Instead, take your cues from their online conversation and tone as a general guideline.
3. Face to face condolences
A personal conversation is the most intimate approach to express your condolences. Furthermore, talking with them in person can also help you understand what support they need and how you can help them best. When talking, you should give them your undivided attention and monitor body language for how they might be feeling.
How to write a condolence message?
The most significant sympathy message respects the recipient's loss while also letting them know that you think of them. You may wish to offer various types of comfort depending on how close you are to the person. Here’s how to write a condolence message:
Acknowledge the loss
Use the deceased's name when addressing them and don't avoid the subject or use a euphemism for death. Furthermore, mourners may find comfort in repeating and hearing the deceased's name during this painful time.
Expressing your sympathies
Be original and raw when you are expressing your sympathies. For example, a common way to begin your condolence statement can be with “I'm sorry for your loss."
Hearing that others thought highly of their loved ones can comfort a mourning family. Consider informing them that you knew and admired the loved one who passed.
If you're able to help the family or loved ones with arrangements, meals, housework, yard work, childcare, or anything else, feel free to mention it in your message. Just make sure to follow up and continue what you started.
Learning how to write a condolence message and the best way to express your condolences will ensure that you’re there for friends and family in a challenging time. We suggest choosing what feels most genuine when expressing your sympathies.