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Finding the Right Words to Say

By January 29, 2008

If a family member, friend, or acquaintance has recently lost someone close to them, how do you find the right words to say to offer your sympathy? The answer may lie in a condolence letter or note.

A condelence letter is an excellent way to offer words of sympathy to someone who has lost a loved one. It lasts longer than flowers, although you can certainly send the letter or note along with flowers, and is more formal than spoken words.

What is the difference between a condolence letter and a condolence note? According to Zunin and Zunin, there are 7 components of a condolence letter. Using the 7 guidelines, a condolence letter acknowledges the loss, offers sympathy, remembers qualities and memories of the deceased, reminds the bereaved of their own special qualities, and offers help. A condolence note, on the other hand, only incorporates 3-4 of the 7 components. It is usually written on a small notecard as opposed to stationary. It can also be written on or tucked into a commercial sympathy card.

Whether you decide to write a condolence letter or a note, your heartfelt words will be a lasting gift of hope and healing for the grieving individual.

Guidlines and Examples of a Condolence Letter and Note

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