The death of a loved one is a difficult thing to deal with, to say the least. And knowing how to speak to someone who has recently lost a husband,
wife, parent, child, etc. is also challenging. What do you say to your friend or family member after he/she has lost someone so close to them? Can your
words really even make a difference in his/her mourning?
Here are a few tips to hopefully make this task seem a little less overwhelming:
Remember that it's not about you.
It's definitely not easy to sit down and try to express your sympathy to someone, but it's certainly easier than being on the other end of that
sympathy. So, while it's okay to admit that you're struggling with the death, too, try to not make the letter seem like your own personal therapy
session. How do you avoid that? You...
Focus on the positive.
You are welcome (encouraged, even) to share a positive or uplifting story or two about the deceased, but don't, for lack of a better word, blubber to
the recipient about how devastating this is. That doesn't help anyone.
Handwrite the letter.
Of course it's easier to sit down and type up a quick email, but typed words on a computer screen will be far less personal and meaningful to the one
receiving them. So, feel free to use templates you find online as guidelines, but then copy those out in your own handwriting. It will mean so much
more to the recipient to see your words in your handwriting. And speaking of your words...
Write the letter like you're speaking to the person.
Again, online templates are a perfect way to find the words that might be eluding you during a stressful time. So, use them, but make them your own. No
one wants to read a canned sympathy letter. Take the online template as inspiration, and change things up enough so that the recipient doesn't have to
see the signature to know who wrote the letter. Doing so will ensure that the recipient will know that you put some time and effort into thinking about
him/her, and that's why you're writing this letter in the first place.