How to Write a Bereavement Letter

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The period after a person loses a loved one is considered a period of mourning or bereavement. This period normally occurs after losing a family member, close friend or pet; and it often takes people months or years to fully get through it. Many people send letters to those going through a bereavement period to let them know they are thinking and praying for them. They send these letters to hopefully provide comfort and support to those who are suffering a loss. When you write a bereavement letter, be sincere and sympathetic to the person and let him know you care and are there for her if she needs you.

Address the letter. Many people write a bereavement letter by hand on paper or inside a sympathy or blank card. Write the letter directly to the person using her first name, such as “Dear Joan.”

Mention the loss immediately. Begin the letter with words of sympathy that include the name of the deceased person. For example, write “My heart is deeply saddened about the death (or passing away) of James.” Another common line used in a bereavement letter is stating that you cannot even imagine the pain she must be going through.

State something nice about the deceased. Those going through a bereavement period generally enjoy hearing kind words about the person who passed. Offer a compliment about the person, such as “What a wonderful man he was” or “He was such a great person and will be missed deeply.”

Include a story. If you have a short story about the deceased individual that would bring comfort or joy to the recipient of the letter, include it. For example, tell her how you remember one day he stopped on the side of the road and changed your flat tire for you. Any type of story that demonstrates a positive character trait of the person is a nice idea to include in this type of letter.

Offer kind wishes. Close the letter by letting her know you are thinking and praying for her. Tell him that if there is anything he needs, he should not hesitate to ask. Sign your name at the bottom.