Monday, June 23, 2014

Words of Condolence



Photo Credit: By Marcusmoseley (Own work) 
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Our guest blogger is Suzie Kolber, writes for a much needed resource - ObituariesHelp.org.   The following are some thoughts about how to express words of condolence.

How to Express Condolences to Someone You Love 

It is customary to send condolences to the bereaved when someone dies, but sending condolences to someone you love, someone you’re extremely close to can be a difficult task. When sending condolences to a person or family that you didn’t know so well, the emotional impact is not so intense; you are sad for them, but not overwhelmingly so. But if it’s a close family or friend to whom you’re expressing your sympathies, the feelings are much stronger. It can be quite difficult to sit down and write that heartfelt expression without being overcome with emotions yourself. The following article mentions some things to keep in mind when expressing condolences to close family members of friends. 

Why Sending a Condolence Letter is Important 

To sit down and write a letter to someone you care about regarding their recent loss is one of the most loving things you can do for them during their time of grief. But composing such a letter can be a painful and difficult thing to do. Most likely, all you can think of is how much you care about them, and how they must be feeling. You may be riddled with feelings of guilt and despair because you can’t be there during their time of need. These are normal feelings that any loving friend or relative goes through on these sad occasions, but remember the bereaved is waiting to hear from you, and your letter of condolence can make a world of difference. 

If the bereaved is a close personal friend or family member, the first thing you’ll most likely do is call them and express your sadness about their loss. But, a phone call only lasts for a few minutes, or hours at most. A lovingly written letter of condolence or sympathy will last them a lifetime, and give them something to remember your friendship at their time of greatest need. Many people keep the letters they receive as mementos of the kindness they were shown after experiencing the death of their loved one. A letter from a close friend can be especially comforting. 

What to Say in Your Letter 

Usually, a letter of condolence is kept short, expressing your sentiment towards the bereaved and letting them know that you’re sorry for their loss. As a close personal friend or family member however, you are at liberty to say a bit more. Don’t shy away from letting them know how important your friendship or relationship is to you; they need your affection more than ever at this time. Talking about old times, and their deceased friend, partner, spouse or other relative is good therapy for those who have suffered such a loss. Your demonstration of fondness for the deceased will validate their own feelings of the specialness of him or her.

If you aren’t able to be there physically for your friend or relative, let them know in no uncertain terms that you are there for them emotionally. Discuss your desire to get together as soon as life allows in your letter, and mean it. Think of how much your relationship with this person means to you as you are writing. Speak from your heart, and your letter of condolence will be a refreshing, uplifting source of the love that they desperately need during this time of heartache and sadness. 
 
About Our Guest Blogger:

Suzie Kolber is a writer at ObituariesHelp.org. The site is a complete guide for someone seeking help for writing words of condolences, sympathy messages, condolence letters and funeral planning resources.