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Expressions of Condolence and Sympathy

Words Of CondolenceWriting a Condolence note to accompany a floral tribute is to comfort, soothe, provide solace and allay sorrow or grief.

A word of condolence, an expression of sympathy to a person who has experienced pain, grief or a misfortune, may be one of the most meaningful acts of kindness and compassion you can give to a grieving person.

Bereaved people will acknowledge that condolence notes from friends become some of their most meaningful mementos of a difficult time.

They may read these treasured letters of condolence over again days, weeks or years after the loss, to re-experience the loving thoughts and tender memories written by caring friends.

When writing a shorter condolence note, Zunin and Zunin, authors of The Art of Condolence recommend including these components:
  • Acknowledge the loss and the name of the deceased.
  • Express your sympathy.
  • Note special qualities of the deceased.
  • End the note with a thoughtful word, a hope, a wish or expression of sympathy.
Example Of A Condolence Note

Dear __________,

l. Acknowledge the loss.
I was saddened to hear of the sudden loss of your baby. I know you have been excitedly planning for her arrival which is making the day you say "Hello" be the same as the day that you say "Good-bye," be even more difficult.

2. Express your sympathy.
I am thinking about you during this difficult time and sending my heartfelt sympathy.

3. Note special qualities of the deceased or the bereaved.
I have seen you handle challenges in the past and know you will find your strength to make it through this difficult period.

4. End with a thoughtful word or phrase.
Holding you in my thoughts,

Your signature ____________

A good condolence note is one that speaks from the heart. Use these guidelines as a starting point for writing your condolence message. Just remember it is more important to express thoughts and feelings about the loss than following any script or formula.

Write from the heart. Write what feels right

Condolences to the family can be sent here