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Condolence letters

Condolence letters

On this week’s podcast, I covered condolence letters, a difficult but important topic.

I often find the weight of grief delays me writing a condolence letter. Is the same true for you?

I don’t want to “bother” anyone, or say the wrong thing… or worse, have my suffering contribute to the pain they already feel.

The result is that I often delay reaching out, and at worse, won’t reach out AT ALL. It’s horrible. I know. 

On the other side, when receiving a condolence letter, I wouldn’t care about it being perfect. I would just want to feel the love and the support of those around me.

In the podcast, I elaborate more but here is my main advice...

Most importantly, write! Keep it simple so that you actually can write and send your condolence letter.

I follow this general framework: 

  1. Share how you felt learning the sad news (keep it brief, it’s about the recipient after all, and not your own grief).

  2. Share a happy memory, how the deceased changed your life, what reminds you of them, etc.

  3. Offer your condolences and help! If you can deliver food (or gift certificates for food), or simply be there to talk, let them know. We can’t take away another’s pain, but we can be with them as they grieve.

Other tips:

  • Always write by hand ✍️

  • Make sure to check in on them in a few months, and possibly on the anniversary of their passing (depending on whom you’re writing)

  • Goodbye, Google (!!!) You want to make sure that you send something personal and not generic. Avoid googling what to say. “I’m sorry for your loss,” while true has become so blasé it has lost its authenticity.

Any other advice you have or things that made you feel better while grieving?

You can listen to the episode here. Be sure to subscribe and review if you like it. Tell your friends too!

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