How to Write a Sympathy Letter

Writing a letter of condolence shows the recipient that you have put time and thought into expressing emotions that are not always as easily expressed through a commercial sympathy card. Sympathy letters are better written in hand than typed. Write as if you were speaking directly to the recipient, keeping it from being too formal.

What should a sympathy letter contain?

How you heard of the loss Be personal and acknowledge the name of the deceased, share how you learned of the death, and how it made you feel.

Special traits of the person Write about the positive characteristics that made that person special. How they affected the people they knew, what they did in the community, and what made them shine.

Express your sympathy Share and express your sadness, and sympathy.

Recall a memory Tell a brief story that features the deceased. How they touched your life. Something uplifting or even humorous, to celebrate their life.

Offer words of courage Mentioning the bereaved strength and offering emotional support.

Offer to help Volunteer to help with whatever needs they have, whether it be grocery shopping, cleaning house or watching the kids.

A heartfelt closing Sign with a loving phrase.

“You are in my thoughts and prayers”
“May God comfort you now and the days ahead.”
“With Deepest Sympathy”
“Our love is always with you”

Sympathy Letter Example

Below is an example of a sympathy letter using the steps above.
Dear _________,

I heard this morning of __________ death. I am terribly saddened by your loss. I know how difficult this is for you. Please know that you are in my prayers. __________ was the most thoughtful and kind person I have known. She would have given the shirt off her back for anyone in need. One instance that stands out from the rest, is when she _______________________.
I know how much you will miss her and I urge you to draw on your strength and your family’s strength during this terrible time. I am always here if you need me, even if you just need someone to talk to.
If you would like for me to help out around the house or with the garden, please don’t hesitate to call.
Words cannot describe the sadness in my heart. My profound sympathy is with you and your family.
May God grant you strength and comfort in this time of need.

This is just an example, remember to speak from your heart when you write your letter, keeping the letter close and personal.



Leave a Reply