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Many people often find themselves stuck for what to say when someone passes away but writing a condolence message that includes words of sympathy can bring much comfort to the bereaved. A condolence message should pay a meaningful tribute to the life of the person who has died and provide support to the recipient when they need it the most. It’s a simple gesture that lets them know that they are in your thoughts.

But, finding the right words to say when someone is mourning the death of a loved one can be difficult, which is why we have created this blog post to help you.

Reasons to Write a Condolence Message 

Of course, it would be really easy to pick up a pre-made condolence card from your local shop, but writing to offer your personal words provides a more compassionate tribute to the deceased. It also sends the message that he or she, as well as the person grieving their death, are important to you.

Additionally, writing a personal condolence message allows you to share a special memory that you might have shared who have passed away. You can take this as an opportunity to offer the recipient with some time to talk to you in the coming weeks and months if they need to. If you do offer your help in your message, it’s best to mention this in a specific way. For example, you could write, “Can I bring over some dinner on Friday?” or “Would you like me to do your shopping for you next week?. Too often, a lot of people simply write, “drop me a phone call if you need me”. Offering your help this way may make the recipient feel worse as it can put the burden of calling you on them. Offering specific help can also make the condolence message a lot more personal. You may also want to help them with the funeral plans or funeral cost, but approach this offer with much caution as you may cause offence.

Before Writing a Condolence Message 

Before you start writing a condolence message, you might want to write the recipient’s name down on your calendar, say a few months and half a year from now. The recipient of the condolence message will find that they are surrounded by love following the death of their loved one but may find themselves feeling very alone further down the road.

One thing to be aware of before you start writing a condolence message is that if you are only distantly acquainted with the person you’re planning to write it to, this isn’t going to be the best way of showing your support. Of course, every situation is different, but take the time to think about whether writing the message is wise. Most of the time, a condolence message will be gratefully welcomed by the recipient.

Our Advice for Writing a Condolence Message

Firstly, try to write and send your condolence message as soon as you can. It’s best to do this within the first couple of weeks following their loved one’s passing. However, if that time period has passed, by all means, still write the condolence message. Funeral services normally take place within this time period, so if you are attending the deceased funeral, it’s perfectly acceptable to place your condolence message in the collection box if you don’t wish to post it. Besides this, there are many tasks involved following the passing of a loved one (including arranging the funeral) so the recipient might not get a chance to open their post straight away anyway. If possible, it’s better to handwrite your condolence message rather than typing it out on a computer or laptop. Personally written messages are becoming rarer in today’s world, so a handwritten message will carry a much greater meaning at such a difficult time.

Try to write your condolence message in your own voice, just as you would normally speak to the recipient in person. Don’t feel like you need to get flowery with your words or try to write a poem of your own. Simply come up with one thing that you would like to say the most to express how you are feeling. This could be about the person who has died or how much you care for the person who is grieving. If you are finding it difficult, you could read a few quotations about loss and grief that might inspire you to find the words.

A Sample Condolence Message

Here is an example of a condolence message. You don’t need to follow this example and might just want to use a small portion of it; we are merely sharing it to help organise your thoughts. Remember, write a condolence message from your heart and trust whatever you choose to include will be worth your time and help comfort the recipient.

Dear [Insert Name],

I was deeply saddened to hear about the death of [Insert Name].

I cannot imagine how difficult this must be for you now, but please trust that I care about you. [Insert Name] was such a kind soul. He would do anything to help improve the life of a child.

I will never forget the time that [Insert Name] proposed to you at your 25th birthday party. It was one of the most romantic things I have ever witnessed and something that none of your guests expected. I cannot begin to imagine how much you will miss him. 

Maybe you could use your creative talent to make a lasting memory book of [Insert Name]? If you would like, I can come over at some point next week to help you make it. I have some wonderful pictures of [Insert Name] that I’d love to share with you, as well as several memories of how they always tried to help everyone around them.

I will always be here to help and support you in any way I can,

[Sign your name]

S. Stibbards & Sons Are Here To Help

Remember that this blog post merely acts as a guide to help you write a condolence message. Ultimately, it’s down to you, and your relationship with the recipient and deceased will determine what you write. Thus, you can use our advice above or choose to write a completely tailored condolence message. The most important you can do is to write it from your heart.

If you would like some help with writing a condolence message, then please get in touch with S. Stibbards & Sons through our contact page today. Our friendly and compassionate team will be able to provide you with information and advice on what to include and answer any questions that you might have.


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If you wish to have a discussion with one of our funeral arrangers, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We can talk through yours and your loved one’s needs and discuss how we can best celebrate their life.