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How to Write a Letter Informing Friends of a Death

Updated February 21, 2017

Experiencing a death in your family or close circle of friends is an emotional and upsetting experience. In addition to grieving, there are also important tasks that need to be completed. According to Etiquette expert, Emily Post, Informing friends of the passing is an important action that needs to be taken soon after the death. If this task falls to you, it is important to remember that this is an incredibly delicate subject that you should handle with the upmost sensitivity and care.

Compile a list of all of the potential recipients of your letter. It is courteous to extend this information to friends as well as acquaintances and coworkers, if you know their contact information. If the deceased kept an address book, this will be an asset during this undertaking.

Take time to personalise the letters if you know the recipients. Mention a personal story about them, how highly the deceased spoke of them or something similar that will help ease the news and bring up positive memories.

Volunteer information about how the immediate family is doing. For example, if your father has passed and you are writing a letter to his friends, you should mention that you mother is keeping busy and holding up and appreciates their thoughts and prayers.

Inform the recipients of the details of the funeral and wake if these events have not already taken place. If they have passed, include the information about when and where they occurred.

Give an address or location where they can send their condolences and well wishes. Oftentimes, families opt for donations to be made to a charity in lieu of flowers or gifts, so be sure to include all of the pertinent contact information if you are going this route.

Things You'll Need

  • Recipient addresses
  • Pen
  • Stationary
  • Stamps
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About the Author

A West Coast transplant currently living in Washington D.C., Rhiana Quick has always had a passion for writing and started her freelance career in 2010. Quick earned her bachelor's degree in political science and French from Boise State University and is currently working at a nonprofit organization.