Condolence Letters - Sending Words of Encouragement to a Loved One
By Ben Anton
Condolence letters are considered some of the most difficult letters to write and send because of their very sensitive nature. Even so, when someone close to you is dealing with the loss of a loved one, the grief and bereavement, writing and sending a condolence letter is probably one of the most considerate, kind, and thoughtful things you can do.
A condolence letter, if written properly, can show that you care about your friend and what they’re going through and that you are sympathetic to their loss. Although there are many different ways to remember a loved one, such as a funeral, memorial service, online memorials, and online obituaries, writing and sending condolence letters can also be your way of not only expressing sympathy but also in remembering a loved one and sharing those memories with your grieving friend or relative.
The problem is that many people have a hard time finding the right words to express themselves in writing during such a sensitive time. Before you put pen to paper or start thinking of what on you are possibly going to write, keep in mind that your letter, in addition to being carefully and well-written, should aim to achieve three main purposes. The first is to express sympathy and comfort to your friend or relative experiencing the loss of a loved one. The second is to honor and pay tribute to the deceased and the third is to let the bereaved person know that you are available should they need help. If you are able to keep these three things in mind, and put them on paper, your condolence letter will in fact be honest and heartfelt.
Try to be personal and heartfelt in your condolence letter, without being too sentimental and gushing. You can start by acknowledging what happened—the person’s death, how you found out about it, how it made you feel, etc. Do not go into detail about how or why the person died—this is completely unnecessary and unhelpful. Move on to express sympathy and comfort to your friend or relative in bereavement. If you don’t know the name of person who died (for example, it could be your best friend’s grandmother), find out. This will make your condolence letter more personal and meaningful. If you’re uncomfortable asking, find out at the funeral or memorial service, or search online - their obituary may be online or an online memorial may have been set up.
Next, include positive statements about the relationship between the deceased and your friend or loved one, if appropriate, as well as positive statements about your relationship with the deceased. Don’t forget to include something positive about them in general—his or her good qualities, characteristics, personality, hobbies, interests, good memories, etc.
In writing your condolence letter, avoid clichés like “I know how you feel” or “This is for the best” or “This is God’s will”—these statements are generally not sincere or heartfelt and don’t really serve a purpose.
Also, avoid writing general statements about your willingness to help if needed (this is unfortunately very common in condolence letters). While you likely have a desire to do something for your friend or relative who is grieving for the loss of a loved one, think of something practical that you can specifically do, and then offer your services—but only if you can follow through.
How do you send a condolence letter? First of all, it’s usually not appropriate to type and then print one out using your computer. Secondly, avoid e-mailing a condolence letter, save for special or extreme circumstances. The best way to write and send your letter is to handwrite it using stationery. Remembering a loved one and offering support through a condolence letter requires a personal touch.
When mailing your letter, make sure it’s mailed within two weeks or so of the person’s death in order to properly pay your respects in a timely manner.
Writing a condolence letter is not an easy task. It is a difficult but necessary thing we may all have to do in our life to help aid a loved one in a time of need. Take this as a simple guide to get you on your way as you have to take on the task.
~Ben Anton, 2007
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All of our personalized and engraved jewelry is crafted right in our own studio by a skilled engraving professional. Each piece is individually configured to ensure that your specific inscription is produced in the best way possible.
Please take note of the number of allowable characters (which includes spaces and punctuation) that can be engraved listed in the product description. In some cases we can compress the letters if the wording is a couple of characters over the specified limit.
We reserve the right to change the font and the layout you selected for the best possible fit on the piece.
Engraving Fonts Available:
Machine Engraved Block font in all capital letters. On larger pieces, it will be a filled double line block (first picture). On smaller pieces, it will be a single line block (second picture). The first letter in the word will be larger than the rest of the letters in the word (second picture), unless you type your personalization request in all capital letters (first picture).
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Monograms are the classic way to personalize items. The initial of the first name is on the left, the initial of the last name is in the center in a larger size, and initial of the middle name is on the right. If you are doing a monogram of married couple, the initial of the husband's first name is on the left, the initial of the couple's last name is in the center in a larger size, and the initial of the wife's first name is on the right. We offer four beautiful Monogram styles: Interlocking Script, Roman, Circle Block, and Fancy Script.
We have several Monogram jewelry pieces. However If you wish to have a monogram on a jewelry piece that does not have the Monogram option (ex. on the back of a custom handprint-footprint pendant), please contact us with your request prior to placing your order. Monograms take up a large area of space on the piece, and may not be available on all our items.
~If you would like a HEART shaped icon, please use a pound symbol # in the engraving field, example: Always In My #
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~Please note that the star and heart symbols will take up 2 character spaces when they are engraved. Please allow for this when entering your desired inscription as you place your order.
~We can engrave in other languages!
Please input the exact way the engraving should read in your online order and also in a separate email to confirm your special personalization.
*There is a $10 labor charge per item for engraving in these languages, your credit card will be charged the difference after your order is placed.
*These languages are only available on our machine engraved pieces. Not available in hand stamped font or on the Posh Mommy Jewelry.
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About our Engravables:
Sterling silver is a relatively soft metal which scratches easily during normal wear. Please note that sterling silver WILL scratch if it rubs against harder materials such as crystals, keys, stone and metal surfaces. This is normal and to be expected.
Each of our engraved items is polished a minimum of 4 different ways to reduce surface scratches. Some items may appear to have scratches or dings. These cannot be polished out, as they are part of the metal itself and enhance the character of the individual handcrafted piece. Sterling silver will take on a patina of it's own, developing numerous small scratches, with normal wear. Each of our engraved pieces is protectively wrapped to avoid damage during shipping.