How to Write a Condolence Note?

How to Write a Condolence Note

The death of a person is always unfortunate. There are too many emotions that circle you, shock, despair, sadness, anger and more that we can’t even begin to describe. Writing a condolence letter can to the family who has lost a loved one can be difficult. You have to remember to be considerate and sensitive while sending messages of sympathy. You also have to remember not to write anything that might sound rude or inconsiderate in your compassionate note.

Here are some tips and tricks to frame a condolence message that provide support to the family who has lost a loved one.

How to write a Condolence Message

Short and Sweet

A key to writing a good condolence message is to keep it simple. You don’t need to make it long. A few lines can say a lot more than you expect. The family who has lost someone is probably grieving. Keep in mind that they might be receiving similar messages of condolence. A long condolence message is unnecessary, something that the bereaved family might not even read. After someone passes away, there are a lot of things that the people around them need to do. Whether it is funeral planning or figuring out an estate plan, a short condolence note with a maximum of five lines will be appreciated by everyone.

You might not understand

It might feel tempting to write the phrases “I know what you are going through” or “I know how you feel” or “I understand your pain”. Often you might not know how it feels to lose a specific person. Loss can be very personal, and it is best to avoid using these generic phrases while writing your condolences. You might offend the grieving person when you use generic statements like this. It might feel that you are attempting to invalidate their pain. It is best to stick to sympathy, as words of empathy may come off as rude.

Add a personal touch

Family members of the deceased will receive numerous notes of condolences. To avoid sounding like every other condolence card, add something personal. When you are writing a condolence card, you must share a relation of some sort with the deceased. Add that so that they can reminisce about a pleasant memory. You can also offer your help to the family during difficult times like this. You can offer to take care of a young child or maybe bring over some food.

Do not intrude

When someone passes away, often you might not be aware of the details. Especially if a person died tragically. Do not bring that up. It may still be a sensitive topic. Do not try to fish for the specifics of someone’s death. It is considered rude and insensitive. Try to approach it with a more generic aspect.
I am sorry (person’s name) passed away/ I am sorry that (person’s name) passed away in such a terrible accident. You see why the first statement sounds better; it is because it doesn’t bring up the tragedy.

Be respectful

Being respectful is a key component in giving condolences. When giving a condolence note, if you are sure that the family is religious, a few words of god may help them in their mourning process. Saying comforting things like (person’s name) is in our prayers might give them some form of relief. (if you are not aware of their religion, stick to the generic style)
Overall, be respectful towards the dead, be respectful toward the grieving family.


Writing a condolence message can be difficult. Our thoughts often don’t translate into words during times of sorrow. Our list of condolence messages may help you craft a perfect message that can comfort people through times of distress.