How to Write a Letter to Someone You Have to Say Goodbye To

Written by jack burton
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How to Write a Letter to Someone You Have to Say Goodbye To
Writing a goodbye letter sometimes leaves better feelings on both sides. (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Saying goodbye to a close friend, especially if there is estrangement in the relationship, is never easy. Sometimes the best way is to do it is via a letter, to give yourself time to compose your thoughts, marshal them into a proper order and avoid overly emotional statements. It may take several drafts and multiple revisions before the letter properly says what you want it to.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging


  1. 1

    Start with a meaningful salutation. If you have a nickname or a pet name for your friend, use it.

  2. 2

    State the relationship and briefly dwell on the mutual pleasures that it gave.

  3. 3

    Explain briefly that you have to say goodbye and what is causing you to leave. If it is something that you have no control over, mention that. If any fault lies with the friend, then it might be best to minimise that unless it is a matter so serious that it cannot be ignored. In that case, try to avoid accusations and hurtful remarks. Explain how you feel.

  4. 4

    Choose at this point to include a possibility that a broken relationship may or may not be restored in the future and the conditions for that to happen.

  5. 5

    Provide contact information if you desire to stay in touch with the person.

  6. 6

    Restate the joy of knowing the person and provide wishes for future happiness for them.

  7. 7

    End with a fitting close. If the friendship is ending, make it very clear at this point.

Tips and warnings

  • A shorter letter is generally better for an unhappy break-up with a friend or special person.

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