How To Write A Condolence Letter
Letter writing expert Rupert Morris explains how to write an effective and thoughtful condolence letter. Morris reviews common mistakes many people make and advises them how to write from the heart. The video concludes with an excellent example.
You have to write a letter of condolence, you don't have to write the word condolence. One of the first mistakes a lot of people make with this letter is they think it is going to be terribly difficult and they got to borrow, use certain phrases. They got to talk about condolence, they got to talk about passing away, they got to talk about bereavement, and people sometimes use it wrongly and write to sympathize on your father's bereavement.
It's not your father's bereavement, it's yours. So, the first essential is to be yourself. Don't try and use language you're unfamiliar with.
Somebody who is bereaved wants to know just two things, that a friend or acquaintance has taken the trouble to write and that they remember the person who died fondly. Those are the only two things that matter. So when you write a letter of condolence, you just say, “Dear so-and-so, I'm so terribly to hear about the person who has died.
” Then you say what you remember about them and how badly they will be missed. You can offer to help, of course, but the chances are you won't be able to. I mean, people have to handle these things.
That's the important thing, is that you took the trouble to write, and that you remember somebody fondly. It's actually much simpler and easier than you might think and I have a wonderful example. When the great comedian Eric Morecambe died, it was quite a long time ago now, Ronnie Barker wrote to his widow Joan on behalf of him and his wife and he just wrote: Dear Joan, you have your private grief.
We outsiders grieve too, but we rejoice that he lived. We all loved him so, Joy and Ronnie Barker. That's such a short letter and I think it says it all. .