Writing a Condolence Letter to a Friend

Category: Letters Of Condolence


A condolence letter is a thoughtful way for you to show a personal expression of sympathy for the death of a loved one.

Usually, you would choose to write such a letter to family members or close friends of the person who has passed away. But it’s not always easy to get your thoughts down onto paper.

It can be made that much more challenging when writing a condolence letter for a friend. Losing someone is hard, and seeing your friend go through the process of losing a loved one can be a difficult time.

How do you choose the right words to express your deepest sympathy? When is the right time to send such a letter? And how do you ensure that your message gets across to your friend in their darkest hour?

If you’re seeking a way to let your friend know that you are here for them, a condolence letter is a special way to convey this message. It lets them know just how much you care, love and support them and that you are a shoulder to lean on throughout such a difficult time.

No rules

There is not one particular way to write a condolence letter for a friend as the very nature of what you wish to express will be out of respect to your friend written in a personal way for them.

But if you find yourself struggling to put pen to paper, here are some helpful words of advice when it comes to drafting your words of sympathy:

The beginning

  • A condolence letter for a friend is a special way of communicating your thoughts and feelings, but you want to ensure the message isn’t overly long. Sending a message of this kind might be something your friend struggles with during such a difficult period of grief so try to keep it brief.

  • Handwriting your condolence letter is a touching way to keep your message personal and sincere.

  • Share some special memories of your relationship with the person who passed. You could even write a heartwarming story or anecdote to help begin your friends healing.

Starting your condolence message can often be the hardest part of the process, so try putting some of the following words on paper to see if they work for your own letter.

  • “I am so incredibly sorry to hear that June has passed away. We will all miss her so much”;

  • “Mark was a very special person, so funny/warm/generous/kind. I will miss him very much”.

  • “I can’t even begin to express my thoughts upon hearing the news of your mothers passing. I am here whenever you need me”;


Ending your condolence letter

At the end of your letter, it is important to convey your condolences alongside any offerings of love and support. If you cannot physically be with them, it’s okay to offer to give them a call or to let them you that you will arrange a time to see them in person.
You might be wondering when a good time is to write your condolence letter, and whilst there is no exact rule, it’s a good idea to do so within two weeks of the person’s death. Often, it can be difficult to find the right words and you may find you put it off until such a time has been and gone. But it’s important to let your friend know that you are thinking of them and to acknowledge such a huge loss in their life.

  • “I will be thinking of you and will keep you in my prayers”.

  • “I’m so sorry I cannot be there in person to convey my heartfelt condolences. Please know that even though I’m not there right now, my thoughts are with you.”

  • “I hope we can get together to talk soon. I will give you a call next week”

If you are looking for some helpful examples to write your own condolence letter for your friend, you can find some helpful examples here and some thoughtful words of sympathy here.