What Is a Good Condolence Message?


Quick Answer

A good condolence message is warm, caring and also brief, according to Hallmark. The tone of the message should convey comfort and support, without overemphasizing the feelings of pain and loss. Your Tribute cautions to avoid words that may cause further sadness for the recipient.

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Full Answer

A condolence card or note conveys concern and thoughtfulness by the simple act of sending it. A shorter message will be less effort for a grieving receiver to comprehend during an already difficult time. It is not necessary to express all of your thoughts and feelings, states Your Tribute. A phone call or personal conversation is best suited for lengthy messages in situations where the loss is very close and personal.

Avoid impersonal clichés like, "I know how you feel," or, "Everything happens for a reason." Include words that are uniquely personal to your familiarity of the situation, such as expressing appreciation for how someone has touched your life. Hallmark suggests providing an offer to help in specific ways like caring for children or yard maintenance. Closing the message with a warm phrase of sympathy is appropriate and further conveys support. After the situation has passed, follow-up messages are very thoughtful at a future time that is often the most lonely.

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