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Writing Condolences

If you are looking for words to communicate your feelings of concern, sadness, and condolence to friends and associates in Japan in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami, I offer the examples below. To communicate most effectively across the language barrier, I have primarily used short sentences and literal language. (The grade...
Australians remembered the victims of the tragic bushfires today in a national day of mourning. I send condolences to our neighbors on the other side of the globe. I am sorry for your heartbreaking losses of loved ones, property, and community. Fionna wrote asking for help to write a condolence message to...
How do you address a widow? I recently sent a note of condolence to a woman whose husband had died. Because I didn't know her well, I guessed about how to address the envelope. I used this style:Ms. Grace TomlinsonWhen she wrote back to thank me, I noticed her...
Last week my friends Patrick and Tim lost a beloved companion: their 14-year-old miniature schnauzer, Victor. If you have experienced the death of a pet, you know that it can be just as sad as the loss of a human being--sometimes more so. (Translation for readers around the globe:...
A reader wrote to ask for help on writing a thank you to her coworkers, who were extremely supportive when her son died tragically in an accident. I am very sorry for her and her family's terrible loss, and I know that writing such a thank you can be...
I have been writing lately about how to compose a condolence message and how and why to write thank you notes. This post combines the two: how to write a thank you for a condolence message. I'm inspired to write on this topic because of the search strings people...
Some of us think writing sales letters, cover letters, or requests for donations is the hardest work imaginable. But this week I wrote the most challenging kind of delicate message: condolences to someone who had lost a coworker through suicide. Because I knew very little about the situation (very...
In early September I posted a blog on writing condolences, inspired by the need to send messages to people affected by Hurricane Katrina. Since then I have been amazed at the number of people who have visited this blog in search of examples of condolence letters. The earlier blog...
This post is about writing condolences, but first things first: The past week has been filled with tragedy and loss for many Americans in the Southeast. If you or someone you love has been affected by the horrible events of the hurricane and its aftermath, please accept my sincere...