Hi Blog Peeps!!
I had planned my next post on handwritten notes, not only with the intention of posting some time ago (sorry, but it was far too nice to sit inside & blog!) and to be about writing Thank You notes. They are often overlooked or not sent at all & they are the most sincere form of note writing that you could do...until my mother-in-law asked me to send a condolence note to a family friend.
I have to admit something here...this is not a form of note writing that I am familiar with. Perhaps it's my age? The only people I know who have passed are close family members like my grandparents. So here we are, dear readers, as I take you along on my journey to figure out what to say to this family friend at such a time. Ironically, I was having a conversation about just this thing 2 weeks ago with an older friend who has children just going to college. They are of the age that email, texting & Facebook updates have replaced all written correspondence & she recently had to goad them into writing a condolence letter.
Their big complaint & reluctance to do it: They had no idea what to say.
Me neither, so I did 2 things: 1. I bought a condolence card at my local card shop & 2. looked up examples on the internet. I am happy to report that About.com not only gives examples & advice for condolence letters, but also for condolence NOTES. See! Again, proof that handwritten notes need not be a book!
The point in this type of note writing is to show your support & sympathy for the friends and/or family of the deceased. There is no pressure to do anything except extend that sentiment in a short & meaningful note. After all, the definition of console is to comfort at a time of grief or sorrow.
Here are the steps they recommend:
- Acknowledge the loss and refer to the deceased by name.
- Express your sympathy.
- Note any special qualities of the deceased that come to mind.
- End the letter with a thoughtful word, a hope, a wish, or expression of sympathy e.g. "You are in my thoughts" or “Wishing you God’s peace.” Closing such as "Sincerely," "love," or "fondly," aren’t quite as personal.
So, after a little deliberation, I added the following note after the greeting card message:
Dear (name left out for privacy),
We were so sorry to hear about the death of your mother. Your family is in our thoughts & prayers.
Wishing you peace,
I found getting a card with a pre-written sentiment was helpful, although not necessarily encouraged by some of the sites I read. It sort of broke the ice for me. But, as About.com points out, the most important thing is that your message comes from the heart.
Hope everyone has had a great end of summer & is picking out pumpkins for Fall. A woman on my street has one that, if it wasn't sitting on her stoop, I'm sure would have won a blue ribbon at a county fair somewhere. It's huge. Happier subjects next time!