Dealing with the death of a loved one is a difficult and painful time. You can be there emotionally for a friend or family member who has lost someone close, but when a co-worker, employer or someone else in your professional network loses a loved one, the appropriate thing to do is to write a condolence letter that expresses your sympathy and offers your support.
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Write the condolence letter in a sympathy card or on tasteful stationary. Don't type it or use company letterhead. Adding a personal touch is important.
Keep the letter short and simple. Your business associate may not have the time or energy to read a lengthy letter. When it comes to a condolence letter, less is more.
Be polite and professional, but try to sound sincere. Let your business associate know how sorry you were to hear of her loss and that she has your deepest sympathy.
Avoid mentioning the cause of death of your business associate's loved one. Whether it was a long illness or a sudden accident, it has no place in your condolence letter.
Compliment the lost loved one if you knew him. Keep your compliments simple and genuine. Avoid saying anything personal about him unless you had some kind of relationship.
Offer your support, but don't make a general statement. Instead, offer something specific, such as time off from work or help with funeral costs. Be sure you or your company is able to provide this support before offering it.
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