What to consider when writing a condolence note

A written note of support can provide comfort to someone who has experienced a loss. Here are some ideas to consider if you’re looking for guidelines for when and how to send a note.

  • Timing. Try to write and send your note within the first two weeks after the loss. But it’s OK if you miss the exact window. Many people are comforted by words of support later as they move through the grief process.
  • Format. Handwritten notes can feel especially meaningful. They convey a level of thought and care for preparing your communication.
  • Tone. Be authentic and aim for your note to sound like your voice.
  • What to write. After acknowledging the loss, you can find the right words to express sympathy. For example, you could share a memory or add a quote. You could also remind the bereaved that they have your support.