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How to Write a Condolence Letter | Easy Step-by-Step Guide


How to Write a Condolence Letter

We often find that we are lost for words or stuck when someone dies and don’t know what to say. However, a condolence letter will help, especially when you do not know how to approach the bereaved at first. This article contains an easy guide on how to write a condolence letter.

Try to put down a few brief words to let them know you are thinking about them and that their loved one made a difference in other people’s lives.

A letter of condolence should honor the departed’s life and offer comfort to the bereaved at a difficult time. The bereaved may even keep the letter and reread it in the future.

Continue to read to learn how to write a condolence letter and get a free sample to help you draft yours.

How to Write a Letter in 2023: Easy Guide

Decide on the type of letter you want to write

Determine if the letter is professional [formal] or casual [informal] before you write a condolence letter.

Now, decide if you are writing a business letter, cover letterrecommendation letterinternship letter, or another type of professional letter – all of which are formal letters. Or if you are writing an informal letter which we will be discussing later in this article.

Use the correct letter formatting – font and format.

Choosing the appropriate typeface is the next step. Instead of fonts with a specific style, choose readable and straightforward ones. There are several examples of professional fonts. Here are a few options for use:

  • New Roman Times
  • Roboto
  • Arial
  • Calibri
  • Georgia
  • Broad Sans
  • Helvetica

You could use a font size between 10-12 points for simple reading.

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Choose the format

Generally, various formatting options are available; however, you should often choose between a block or an indented format. The block format is centered on the left side of the page, with all parts and components.

The first sentence of each paragraph is not indented. The indented style is typically used for writings with a more casual tone. When using an indented form, each paragraph’s first line should be one inch indented.

Meanwhile, if you choose an indented style, your address and the date will be right-justified. Even though block form is the most typical and often used style, the indented format has some visual appeal. Any format is acceptable for formal letters.

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Add your name and contact information.

The return address must be placed in the upper right-hand corner of a formal letter. Typically, this will be your address, but it might also be another location where a response should be sent.

Add the address and name of the person you are writing to.

Include the recipient’s address in your letter. Usually, beginning below your address, the recipient’s address should be on the left side of the paper.

Make sure to match this address with the transparent plastic window of the envelope if you plan to print and mail the letter using one.

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Add the date

There is no one right way to add the date in your letter. Most people add either on the letter’s left or right side, which is OK! Also, ensure you write the month as a word.

Add a salutation

The most straightforward and frequently most suitable greeting is “Dear [name of recipient],” if you know whom you are writing. Use the person’s title and last name if you don’t know them well or are in a formal relationship.

If you don’t know the name of the person you are sending a letter to within a corporation, take the time to conduct some research to find out. On LinkedIn, you can frequently locate someone’s name if you know their title.

You might also contact the business and inquire about the name of the individual in that position.

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Write the body of the letter

In the letter’s body, use formal language. Be straightforward and try to make it as short as possible; the ideal length is three to four paragraphs.

Basically, the first paragraph should be brief and contain your introduction and the letter’s objective, such as a request, complaint, or inquiry.

The paragraph or paragraphs in the center of the letter should include the pertinent details that led to its creation.

Keep the material to the fundamentals and focus on organizing it straightforwardly and logically rather than overextending it since most English letters aren’t particularly long.

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Add a complimentary close or sign-off

Use “sincerely” for your close if you’re writing to someone you know well or with whom you have a formal connection. Best wishes, “kindest regards,” and “best” are more alternatives. Another choice to take into consideration is “Yours sincerely.”

Include your signature

Your name should be capitalized once you have signed (or typed it). Write your title in brackets after your name if you believe the recipient of your letter might not be aware of your gender.

You can optionally include your phone number and email address, which can be helpful.

Proofread

Once you’ve finished writing your letter’s initial draft, read it aloud to yourself to check for grammatical and spelling mistakes.

Make sure the recipient can comprehend the letter’s purpose and that it reads correctly.

People who read this also check out: How to Send a Letter to an Inmate in 2022 | Full Guide

Types of Letters

Letters are primarily classified into two main categories; formal and informal letters.

The type of formal letters include:

  • Invitation
  • Job or school application
  • Recommendation or referral
  • Cover letter
  • Offer or proposal
  • Acceptance letter
  • Interview follow-up or thank you
  • Rejection letter
  • Exit or resignation letter
  • Agreement
  • Inquiry

Types of informal letters include:

  • Thank you
  • Congratulations
  • Love
  • Appreciation
  • Friendship/thinking of you
  • Sympathy or condolence
  • An announcement, such as a change of address or name
  • Letter to the editor
  • Welcome

Having known this, our focus in this article will be on an informal letter, as a letter of condolence is a type of informal letter. Further, in this article, we will discuss how to write a condolence letter.

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What is an Informal Letter?

Informal letters are personal messages you send to friends and relatives to share news about your life and to express your sympathies.

Basically, an informal letter is typically addressed to a member of the family, a close friend, or a close acquaintance. In an informal letter, the wording is informal and private.

Informal vs. Formal Letter

Formal letters professionally address someone, whereas informal letters do so more personally. This is the primary distinction between formal and informal letters. Additional distinctions include:

  • While informal letters can have any shape, formal letters have a structure.
  • An informal letter’s tone is friendliness, while a formal letter’s tone is formal and businesslike.
  • While you can write an informal letter from any point of view, formal letters are often written in the first or third person.
  • Formal letters are focused and succinct and don’t include extraneous filler or fluff.
  • Informal letters can also be written by hand, but official letters are often typed.
  • A date and contact details are always at the beginning of formal letters.
  • Formal letters do not use grammatical fads such as contractions (can’t, don’t, I’ve), slang, or idioms, unlike casual letters.
  • Informal letters can be any length, whereas formal letters are often only one page.

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How to Write an Informal Letter

Letters sent informally don’t have a fixed structure. However, there is a general trend and some customs that individuals often adhere to.

You can write it in a simple, informal tone. They can cover a vast range of subjects because they are informal conversations. It may contain anything you wish to mention to your loved one. Unlike official letters, you can use everyday language.

You may adhere to some simple rules to create effective casual letters.

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The address and date

Here are some things you may need to know if you’re wondering how to start an informal letter. You must initiate your informal letter with the sender’s address to follow the proper structure.

On the left side of the page is where the address is written. You must provide the complete address so the recipient may write you back.

Therefore, be sure you provide the correct address and pin code. Ensure you put your country in the address if you are writing to someone in another country.

The date follows after this. It is crucial to include the date on your correspondence so that the recipient will know when you sent the letter. You can write the date using one of the following formats:

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Salutations

The welcome can also be casual if you are acquainted with the recipient. When addressing a buddy or someone in your age range, use their first name, as in “Dear Godswill.”

You can address them in your greeting when writing to your mother, father, aunt, or uncle, for example: “Dear Mom.” also, you can use Mr. or Mrs. if you are writing to an elderly person whom you highly respect.

For instance, if you were sending a letter of congratulations to your instructor, you could address it as “Dear Mrs. Victoria.”

If you want to write a stay-at-home-mum letter, find free templates here: How to Write A Stay At Home Mum Cover Letter | Sample Templates

The introductory paragraph

Now we start writing the letter. The tone of the entire letter is established in the initial paragraph. You may begin by inquiring about the recipient’s well-being.

You might also write that you hope the letter finds the recipient healthy and happy. Informally written letters should have a relaxed and welcoming opening. It must not be as professional and blunt as business correspondence.

Body of the letter

The letter should sound welcoming throughout. However, you must modify your style and vocabulary depending on the audience you are writing to.

You can be quite relaxed and flippant when you’re with a friend. To an older relative, you must show the utmost respect and consideration.

Consider your conversational tone with the recipient when choosing the tone of your letter. Apply the same verb tenses and feelings to the letter after that.

The conclusion

Your conclusion should be a summary of the purpose of the letter. It can also include an affectionate goodbye to the receiver.

Even more, if you want a response to the letter, the conclusion is the place to indicate that to the receiver as it conveys a desire to continue the discourse.

Signature

Informal letters can be signed in a variety of ways. They don’t have a set format, so you may end them as you choose. Some frequent expressions are:

  • Kind regards
  • Best regards
  • Kindly,
  • Lots of love

Now that we have established what writing an informal letter entails let’s find out how to write a condolence letter.

How to Write a Condolence Letter

When writing a condolence letter, it will be most meaningful to use these steps:

  • Use the deceased’s name
  • Express your condolences or sympathy
  • Share a beautiful memory about the deceased
  • Remind the bereaved of the deceased good qualities
  • Offer your help and support
  • Close with some thoughtful words

Use the deceased’s name

Be straightforward and use the deceased’s name in your letter. The act of saying or hearing the deceased’s name might provide consolation to the bereaved person and as a reminder of their existence.

Express your condolences or sympathy

When you write a condolence letter, include a phrase in your letter that simply says the obvious when you write to offer your condolences. Writing “I’m very sad to learn that your mom passed away” is acceptable.

You may use words like “passed away” or “transitioned,” depending on your audience, but don’t be afraid to be sincere. Also, you can use other examples such as:

  • I wish to express my condolences for your loss to you.
  • I was saddened and hurt to learn about the death of…
  • It grieved me to learn about their demise.

Share a beautiful memory of the deceased.

Sometimes when you want to write a condolence letter, you may want to make your letter short and general so as not to burden the mourning individual, but to consider highlighting something unique about the dead.

Your sympathy letter will seem much more personalized and emotional when you include personal information.

Also, if you want to send a letter internationally, check this out: How to Send a Letter Internationally| Simple Step-by-Step Guide

Remind the bereaved of the deceased good qualities

It’s normal to feel lost, powerless, and alone during mourning. Remind the bereaved in your letter of their abilities and virtues, which may help them deal with the loss or feel loved and supported. Perhaps you might remind them of their positivism, fortitude, hope, or faith.

Offer your help and support

When you write a condolence letter, it is important to consider offering a valuable and concrete activity you can take to assist your mourning family member or friend instead of making an imprecise offer of support.

You may ask, “Can I bring you supper next weekend?” instead of, “I’m here for whatever you need.”

Close with some thoughtful words

Try something more direct instead of the standard letter closings of “sincerely,” “love,” or “thinking of you”: “You are in my prayers and deepest thoughts,” “I am here to offer support you,” or “I am with you in thoughts, prayers and presence.”

These words emphasize the bereaved person’s ongoing need for sympathy and support.

Before you go, check out: 15 Awesome “To Whom It May Concern” Alternatives | Letter Writing Tips

Condolence Letter Sample

Below is a free condolence letter template you could use to draft one for a bereaved person or family close to you.

You can download a free template below:

Conclusion

A letter of condolence is a means of showing the grieving person you are thinking about them. It may also be a technique to provide targeted assistance.

These letters are often sent out within the first two weeks of a loved one’s passing. Placing your letter in the card basket during a funeral or memorial ceremony is an easy method to distribute it. Naturally, you may also mail it.

In addition to expressing condolences, condolence letters frequently include the deceased’s unique features and personal memories you have of them and offer assistance to the family.

FAQs – How to Write a Condolence Letter

How do you write a heartfelt condolences?

Use the deceased’s name
Express your condolences or sympathy
Share a beautiful memory about the deceased
Remind the bereaved of the deceased good qualities
Offer your help and support
Close with some thoughtful words

What is the best short condolence message?

Please know that we are thinking, praying, honoring (Name), and remembering and celebrating their life. We shall always cherish our recollections of (Name). The void left by (Name) in all of our lives is enormous. Without him/her/them, the family won’t be the same.

What to say after someone dies?

I’m sorry about your loss
Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers
I am shocked and saddened by the devastating news of your lost one
If you ever need to talk, know that I am here
They will be missed.

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