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Sample Letter of Sympathy ~ How to Write a Condolence Letter



Heartfelt Condolence Letters ~ With Condolence Message Samples   Heartfelt Condolence Letters ~
With Condolence Message Samples
e-Book by Marty Tousley, CNS-BC, FT
Bereavement Counselor
This e-book guides you in writing a condolence letter that will comfort and support. A number of sympathy letters (authored by a certified grief counselor) are included, as well as a list of comforting phrases. This e-book comes with an array of related grief-healing e-books that you are wise to have readily available. Learn more.


Dear Marty ~ Could you provide a sample letter of sympathy?
Q & A by Bereavement Counselor Marty Tousley

If you are struggling to write a letter of condolence to a friend or loved one, these actual letters of sympathy I wrote for loved ones might be helpful to review.

I hope each one serves as a good sample letter of sympathy and it may help get you started in writing your own letter of condolence. You may also find this article on How to Write a Condolence Letter of additional help and support.


Sample Letter of Sympathy 1: Death of a Spouse

My dear Susan,

My heart broke into pieces earlier this week when I learned of the sudden, unexpected death of your dear husband, and I cannot imagine the depth of your sorrow.

I wish I had words to comfort and sustain you in your grief, but I know there are none that will take away any pain you are feeling now. My heart aches for you, Susan, and my arms long to embrace you. Even my knees know your grief, as I have been on them in prayer for you.

Although words seem futile now in the midst of your sorrow, they are all I have to give you. Please accept these written words as warm hugs to wrap yourself in, and know that I am holding you and your children in my heart at this sad and difficult time.

With all my love,



Sample Letter of Sympathy 2: Death of a Parent

Dear John,

Michael and I were so saddened to learn of your father's death this week. Please know that we are thinking of you and sending you our heartfelt sympathy.

Even though your father has been ill for some time -- and surely you've already been feeling the loss of him -- this still must come as a painful blow. To bury your parent is to bury a substantial part of your past -- and that is a significant loss.

We didn't know your father, but to leave this world a son as fine as the man that you are is no small accomplishment, and for that alone we wish we could have known him.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Charlene at this sad time.

In sorrow and with love,



Sample Letter of Sympathy 3: Death of a Child

My dear James,

There simply are no words to express the sorrow we felt when Alice telephoned us with the awful news of the death of your precious daughter Jane earlier this month, and we can only imagine how devastating this must be for you and the rest of your family. Of course your life is forever changed as a result of Jane's death ~ because there is nothing, nothing, nothing as painful as losing a child. After all, we are not supposed to outlive our children, are we? It goes completely against the natural order of things, it is so terribly unjust, and it is so very hard to accept.

We are both so very grateful that Michael was able to see Jane and spend a little bit of time with her during his recent visit to your home. I know he had a wonderful time being with all of you again, and it means a lot to both of us to know that he got to be with Jane one last time, before her earthly address was exchanged for a heavenly one.

I'm sure you already know that the bond you have with Jane will be with you always, James, just as long as you keep her memory and the love you share with her alive in your heart. You will always be Jane's dad, and Jane will always be your beloved daughter. Death may have ended her life, but it certainly does not end the relationship you have with her. Although she is no longer physically present, it doesn't mean you cannot continue to love her in her absence. I hope the precious memories you have of your precious child will one day bring you comfort, and that you'll come to find, in the lovely words of Hugh Robert Orr:

"They are not dead who live in lives they leave behind. In those whom they have blessed, they live a life again, and shall live through the years eternal life, and shall grow each day more beautiful, as time declares their good, forgets the rest, and proves their immortality."

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this sad and difficult time.

Wishing you peace and healing,


Wishing you peace and healing,

Marty Tousley, CNS-BC, FT, DCC
Bereavement Counselor




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