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Eunice Turner
B: 1937-10-27
D: 2018-11-10
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Turner, Eunice
Kenneth Kingston
B: 1951-09-13
D: 2018-11-02
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Kingston, Kenneth
Irene Bradfute
B: 1952-07-29
D: 2018-10-23
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Bradfute, Irene
Bernard W. "Ben" Monnig
B: 1941-04-27
D: 2018-10-22
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Monnig, Bernard W. "Ben"
Catherine Hieber
B: 1925-03-06
D: 2018-10-20
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Hieber, Catherine
John Stubbs
B: 1956-01-25
D: 2018-10-12
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Stubbs, John
Geneva Edgington
B: 1913-01-30
D: 2018-10-12
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Edgington, Geneva
Lawrence "Larry" Weston
B: 1923-05-30
D: 2018-10-09
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Weston, Lawrence "Larry"
Paul Seaton
B: 1920-10-07
D: 2018-09-26
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Seaton, Paul
Alexander Morris
B: 1975-08-06
D: 2018-09-25
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Morris, Alexander
Jack Walker
B: 1923-11-24
D: 2018-09-18
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Walker, Jack
Virginia DuVall
B: 1920-11-21
D: 2018-09-04
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DuVall, Virginia
Ke'Andrae Jamall Thomas
B: 1998-01-26
D: 2018-08-07
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Thomas, Ke'Andrae Jamall
Terrence "Terry" Gillespie
B: 1927-03-27
D: 2018-08-05
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Gillespie, Terrence "Terry"
Danny Johnson
B: 1962-03-12
D: 2018-08-03
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Johnson, Danny
Pauline Albertini Craig
B: 1927-03-31
D: 2018-07-29
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Craig, Pauline Albertini
Charles "Mike" Krueger
B: 1939-06-05
D: 2018-07-27
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Krueger, Charles "Mike"
Joan Edwards
B: 1941-02-04
D: 2018-07-24
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Edwards, Joan
Janie Soeffing
B: 1933-02-02
D: 2018-07-24
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Soeffing, Janie
Loretta "Loree" Luppino
B: 1945-05-10
D: 2018-07-23
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Luppino, Loretta "Loree"
Susanna Power
B: 1924-10-23
D: 2018-07-22
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Power, Susanna

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How to Write a Condolence Letter

Our Blog

How to Write a Condolence Letter

October 31, 2018
 
When a person experiences a loss, it’s natural to want to reach out to the deceased’s family and express your condolences. For many of us, we want to make sure the words we choose to express our sympathy is meaningful and heartfelt. But what are those words exactly and will they mean something to the bereaved? These are common questions many people face as they sit down to write a condolence message. 
 
Writing a condolence letter is not something to fear. Although it isn’t always possible to put into words how we are feeling, the small gesture of writing a sympathy message can make all the difference for the bereaved. Words are powerful tools that can go a long way in helping someone grieve through a difficult time.  
 
If this is the first time you’ve had to write a condolence message, you might find yourself unsure where to begin. Death is a sensitive topic for some people so don’t rush to write down the first thing that comes to mind. Instead, take some to think about what you want to say and jot down some notes and ideas first. 
 
If you don’t know how to write a condolence letter, we’re here to help. Below we’ve provided an outline to help make the writing a condolence letter a little easier. Remember, don’t get too hung up on trying to write the perfect condolence letter. Instead, just communicate clearly and speak from your heart. A condolence letter is meant to express your sympathy and let the bereaved know you are thinking of them during this difficult time.
 
condolence message

How to Write a Condolence Letter 

The Opening Section 

The first part of a condolence letter is where you acknowledge the recipient’s loss and how it has saddened you to learn of the news. Make sure that you begin your condolence message with “Dear…” and the recipient’s name. If you will be sending the letter to a family, try to include everyone’s name. The first few lines of your letter are where you should acknowledge the deceased’s passing and how it was difficult to hear the news. There are many different ways to say this but some common phrases include the following: 
 
“I was so sorry to learn of (Insert Deceased’s Name)’s passing.” 
 
“It deeply saddened me when I learned of your father’s passing.” 

The Middle Section 

In the middle section of your condolence message, you can start to talk about the deceased’s positive qualities and share some cherished memories. Reading how their loved one positively impacted the lives of others can be comforting for the bereaved. Make sure to mention something positive about the deceased. This will be different for everyone but a few examples of what you could say include: 
 
“He always put others first, I’m really going to miss that about him.” 
 
“I’ve heard so many great things about her over the years, she was really one of a kind.” 
 
The middle section is also where you can start to share some of your favorite memories of the deceased. It can be comforting for the bereaved to hear stories about their loved one and the experiences they shared with others. Just make sure that you share stories that are appropriate. The last thing you want is to share a memory of the deceased that will cause their family to get upset. 

Concluding Your Letter

In the final section of your condolence message, you can offer support to the bereaved and discuss the service. The weeks following a loved one’s passing can be difficult for people. If you would like to help them or offer support, this is the part of the letter to do so. If you can, be specific how exactly you want to help. The deceased’s family is likely to receive offers of assistance from many people during this time. Rather than saying the same thing as everyone else, “if there’s anything you need…” tell them how you want to help. Make you offer something real and actionable. This could be as simple as offering to drive them to upcoming appointments or watching the kids a couple nights a week. 
 
This is also the section of your letter where you can discuss the funeral service. If you are writing them before the funeral service, use this section to RSVP. If the service has already happened, acknowledge how special it was or apologize if you were unable to attend. 
 
There are many ways to conclude the condolence message. If you were close to the deceased, you can say something along the lines of: 
 
“With all my love” 
 
“Love always” 
 
If you were not as close to the bereaved, it’s acceptable to say something like: 
 
“My sincerest condolences” 
 
“You’re in my heart and prayers”
 
writing a condolence letter envelope

Condolence Letter Sample

Dear Jan, 
 
John and myself were so saddened to learn of Archie’s passing last week. I wanted to write you and offer our condolences to you and your family during this difficult time. 
 
Archie was truly special. He had such an outgoing and charming personality, it seemed like everyone he met became his friend. I know that John will especially miss spending summer weekends fishing off the pier with Archie. Although they only met a few years ago, John and Archie seemed like they were childhood friends. I will miss laughing at his jokes at dinners at the country club and curling in the winter. 
 
Thank you for inviting us to the funeral service. It was a beautiful day to honor Archie and I really enjoyed sharing stories with some of the other guests.  
 
Please know that both John and myself are here to help you in any way that we can. I would be more than happy to volunteer my time to cover your tasks at the church the next few weeks. John is also around to help with any work you need done around the house. Whatever it is, we’re just a phone call away. 
 
With love and caring thoughts, 
 
Susan

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