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How to reply to a condolence letter

Updated February 21, 2017

A condolence letter shows your support for someone who's lost a loved one. A reply to a condolence letter should thank the sender for his support, and tell him how much it was appreciated. Wording a reply to a condolence letter requires only a few formalities and some heartfelt words.

Begin the letter by thanking the person by name. This means writing her name atop the letter or including it in the first few sentences. Condolence replies should never be pre-worded or templates and should personally recognise the sender.

Follow up with a brief sentence or two on how his support helped you. This can be something as simple as, "During this difficult time, your letter was greatly appreciated," or a longer, more personal expression if the sender is someone you're close to.

Let her know how you're doing. You don't have to get too personal; for example, you might write, "Things are still difficult and I'm taking it day by day." The person who sent the condolence letter is genuinely concerned for you; letting her know how you're feeling is something she'll appreciate.

Add any personal stories or titbits you'd like. You might relate an anecdote about the person who died or comment on the relationship you have with the sender of the letter.

Close the letter with a final thank-you. Your closing line might read, "Thanks again for your support and love," followed by your name. Choose heartfelt wording instead of more formal closings or just signing your name.

Tip

Remember that condolence-letter replies are written during a difficult time. Don't send them until you feel ready and don't send them if you don't want to; family and friends should understand.

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About the Author

Amy Davidson is a graduate from the University of Florida in Gainesville, with a bachelor's degree in journalism. She also writes for local papers around Gainesville doing articles on local events and news.