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Condolence Message

Updated on July 7, 2018

How to Make Sincere and Heartfelt Condolences Messages

When someone outside of your immediate family dies, there is only so much you can do amidst the sorrow. Sending flowers or sending condolences messages and bereavement cards might seem such a small effort. But these sincere condolences messages are oftentimes just what someone in such deep pain of loss would truly appreciate receiving. It lets them now that the sender is thinking of them, that they truly care and that they are there to support during these trying moments.

What would be the best way – email or handwritten? Although emails and e-cards have now become the more popular and faster means of communication, the best way to send condolences messages are still to handwrite them. It may be a little more tiring but a handwritten note conveys a deeper sense of feelings and has more personality than just emails or e-cards. Handwritten notes are usually kept as remembrances by the bereaved family.

Be sure to use your neatest and most legible handwriting though. Sloppy handwritten condolences messages will difficult to read and will not be able to impart the real message and emotion that you might want to impart. Using plain white paper or pastel papers with flowers or a subtle border works better than a yellow lined notepad paper. Blue or black ink should be used, not red ink or pencil. The solemnity of death should be reflected in a conservative and respectful condolence note.

Start off by addressing the message properly. The salutation would depend on your relationship with the dead person. If the deceased was a co-worker or friend and you don’t personally know the family, it is best to address the message to the closest relative such as a husband or a child. If it is your friend who has lost a loved one, write directly to him and not to the whole family. But if it is your relative who died, write to the whole family.

What should you write about? It does not need to be long. The bereaved family may be receiving a lot of cards and notes and will not have enough time to read very long condolences messages. Sometimes, the longer it is, the higher the risk is of writing something that may not be appreciated by the person receiving. It may only contain something that may further hurt or offend them. However, it would really depend on how well you know this person and how close he was to you. It would then be alright to say a little more, perhaps include some fond memories you have with that person or else include an anecdote. Always remember to refer to the deceased by his name even if you did not know him that well.

Some phrases like “Time heals all wounds” or “I know what you are feeling” may not be that appropriate nor welcomed in condolences messages. One can never profess to know the extent of one’s sadness or anguish over the loss of a loved one. If you can, include an offer to help. Having a death in the family leaves one disoriented and confused especially on the daily tasks that need to be done in the house. An offer of help for menial house work such as cooking or cleaning the lawn would be very much welcome.

To close condolences messages, sum it up with phrases such as “my prayers are with you” or include a short poem or quotation that would express your feelings over the loss. If the message comes from your whole family, add the words “and family” when you sign it.


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