The Comforting Words Website Advises How to Write Sympathy Notes

Sep 13, 2011, 09:07 ET from Comforting Words Website

VIENNA, Va., Sept. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- When it comes to writing a condolence note, everyone struggles; it's hard to talk about death so it's no surprise that it's just as hard to write about it. What can we possibly say to comfort our friends and loved ones when they are feeling so sad? "For starters, the very act of writing a sympathy note demonstrates that you care; and the fact that you care provides the bereaved needed support," says Robbie Miller Kaplan, founder of the Comforting Words website.

So how do friends, loved ones, colleagues and neighbors craft a note of condolence that's sure to comfort? A helpful publication by Robbie Miller Kaplan, "How To Say It® When You Don't Know What to Say: The Right Words for Difficult Times: Illness & Death (2010)" details dozens of suggestions and practical advice on what to say after a death. Kaplan recommends:

  • Jot down some notes on how you are feeling. The best condolence notes come from the heart.
  • Take the time to recall a story or special memory that demonstrates the deceased's unique qualities, such as sense of humor, warmth, or personal integrity. It can be especially heartwarming to share a story the bereaved might not have heard.
  • Write in an empathetic style. If your message demonstrates that you can visualize yourself in the shoes of the bereaved, they'll feel less alone in their grief.
  • If you do send a sympathy card, don't just sign it. Include a personal, handwritten note that communicates your sadness upon hearing of the death.
  • Take some time to do it right; don't rush to write a sympathy letter and send it without giving it some thought. Better the notes of sympathy arrive a few days or weeks later with a more meaningful message.

About the Author

Robbie Miller Kaplan is an writer and speaker and the author of "How to Say It® When You Don't Know What to Say: The Right Words for Difficult Times,"   now in volumes on Illness & Death, Suicide, Miscarriage and e-books on Death of a Child, Death of Stillborn or Newborn Baby, Caregiver Responsibilities, Pet Loss, Job Loss and Divorce. Kindle versions available. Robbie's website is

Contact: Robbie Miller Kaplan, (703) 255-3388 or (703) 508-7016,

SOURCE Comforting Words Website