How to Write a Condolence Note

by Tehreem

Get some quick ideas to write a personalized condolence or sympathy note for a friend or colleague at work place

It’s natural for you to reach out to your friend, colleague or family member if they have lost someone who was dear to them. Many people do this by a condolence note. It’s the best way to let someone know that you are there for them and you want to give them space in their time of distress.

A condolence note is a type of a brief letter that you write for friends and family or co-workers who are going through some kind of loss. It is a kind of reminder for them that there are people who care for them and support them in these hard times. Typically it’s a letter of showing your sympathies for the person on their loss, and it should be sent just in two weeks as soon as you get to hear the news of recipient’s loss.

Image credit: public domain

What should a Condolence Note include?

There are a lot of things which you should consider when penning a condolence note:

  • From which source you heard the news of loss, mention that.
  • How the loss made you actually feel, what your reactions were.
  • Good things and qualities about the person who died.
  • Any good memories of the person who died, mention them.
  • Offer your help and support to the person who just lost their loved one.
  • Send your condolence note with a genuine deep closing.

You can start by writing to the recipient that how much you feel sorry for their loss and how much you are affected by the sad news. This actually helps by making the person feel that he or she is not alone in this hard time and this act of the sender is very supporting and helpful for the other. When   you talk about the good qualities and some special memories of the person who has passed, this allows you to connect with the person.

When you are talking about good things and happy memories of the deceased, then make sure that you often write down their name. 

This is actually comforting the person who is reading the condolence note and makes them feel better. Next you would want to make your receiver feel that you are there for them in their tough time. You can offer any kind of help and support to them. If you will be formal like by saying this that, “Please do inform me if you need something”, this kind of sentence will only make your recipient uncomfortable if they need your help.

On the other hand, if you expressly offer something, the receiver can take it more easily and comfortably. Like you can offer that you can babysit their children if he or she needs private time or you can also make their meals for them for a few days, any kind of help that can assist them in coping with their loss can be a great effort from your side. Not only things like these can be offered you can time to time visit or call them so they can talk to you about it.       

To end with, a true and deepest conclusion is how you should end your condolence note. Wish them warm wishes and let them know that they are in your prayers and thoughts. 

Tips for Writing Condolence Note

  • Use a very polite and humble tone when writing your note; don’t be too formal or stiff. A good way to know the sound of your note is that after writing it you can read it aloud so you can understand betters how it feels when you hear it. It should sound as if you are talking to that person directly.
  • It’s a very bad and rude thing if you start talking about your family or any unrelated thing in the note other than the person deceased so avoid talking about anything else other than the person who has passed away and your recipient’s well-being.
  • If you are offering any kind of help in the note to the recipient then make sure you follow it too. If you are planning  to call them, then make sure that you follow to do so and call them every few days and check on them if they are okay or not. If you offer to babysit their children, then again make sure that you do so. And if you are not able to follow with something, then don’t offer it in your note as it only looks bad.
  • Write your condolence letter on a pretty notepad or a simple paper. If you are writing it on paper, then do put it in a soft looking envelope and try sending some flowers with it. You can also go for sympathy card and on the blank side of the card you can write your condolence note.
Updated: 01/12/2014, Tehreem
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kajohu on 01/13/2014

These are all very good tips for writing condolence notes. It's often hard to know what to say when someone has lost a loved one or gone through a rough time for whatever reason.

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