Farewell letters herald the close of a friendship, working partnership, and sometimes, a romantic relationship. Remaining cordial, level-headed and communicating clearly are all pivotal aspects in writing a response to a farewell letter. Although it may be a transformative and painful experience to receive news of a farewell, the response to such a letter is an ideal chance to also contribute your thoughts and communicate a farewell of your own. Carefully consider your response to a farewell because the receiver may read it numerous times.
Use a positive and cordial form of address, which reflects your relationship to the person you are writing to. A common address, which works for most situations is "Dear ____,". This form of address suggests a friendly but professional demeanour which will set a positive tone to your response letter.
Write a first paragraph which sums up your gratitude for the positive elements of your relationship. For the end of any relationship, this is a great time to express the elements of that relationship which gave you positive thoughts or outcomes in life. For example, "You helped me to finish projects that mattered in my life and motivated me to strive for more every, single day."
Confront the present moment and your reaction to the farewell. In a professional setting, this paragraph is the ideal time to wish your co-worker success and to express your happiness for them. If the letter is intended as a personal goodbye, use this paragraph to sum up where you stand now and your reaction to the farewell letter. Remain positive in this section of the letter but you can simultaneously address any sad emotions which the farewell letter triggered. An example of a professional response would be, "I was so sad to hear of your leaving the company, but I am also thrilled for the new doors which are opening for you." An example of a personal response would be, "I am saddened that you feel we must end our friendship, but I also accept that you have made your decision."
Discuss the future in the final paragraph. In this paragraph express how you plan to move forward from the farewell you received. This section of the response will help give closure to the situation. For example, "Now that our partnership has ended I look forward to discovering projects I can pursue independently, although I will miss the dynamics we had as a team."
Close the response letter with your final thoughts on any further contact. If you feel the person who wrote the farewell would be interested in reaching you in the future and you are open to this option, leave a final sentence which allows for future contact. For example, "If you ever need to reach me, my e-mail will remain the same at email@example.com."
Close the letter with a cordial closer, such as "Best Wishes" or "To the Future". These closing lines will keep the positive feeling of closure intact throughout the letter.
Remain positive and cordial as the letter may exist and be reread for years to come.