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Make a Condolence or Funeral Book

by Nathan Zachary

It can be scary to write in a condolence book, especially if you’ve never done it before. However, even a brief but genuine note can go a long way in making the family feel supported.

If you’re going to a funeral or memorial service, you should think about what you’ll write in the condolence book. There aren’t condolence books at every funeral, but if there are, you’ll be well-prepared. If there isn’t one, you can always send your condolences in the form of a personal note or card. So, how do you go about writing a note for a condolence book?

What to Take into Account Before Writing Your Message?

Consider these important suggestions before you put pen to paper and compose your statement for the condolence book:

Keep it succinct.

A condolence book is generally filled with letters for the family to read after a funeral. Keeping your message brief and to the point is sometimes preferable to being too wordy or drawn out. The length of a meaningful condolence book statement should not exceed a few sentences.

Make it your own.

It’s absolutely OK to draw inspiration from examples of condolence book messages, such as those provided below. However, you should try to include some unique touches that are specific to the dead.

Don’t make it all about you.

When tailoring your condolence message, please sure to include information about the deceased individual and their family. Try to avoid messages that are largely about yourself. It’s fine to express your own pain, but always return to your sympathy for the family’s loss.

Don’t use clichés.

The phrases “They’re in a better place,” “I’m sorry for your loss,” “You’ll get through this,” and “My thoughts and prayers are with you” should be avoided. You have the chance to rephrase some of these overused words when you prepare your condolence book letter in advance.

What Should You Include in a Condolence Book for a Deceased Family Member?

You might want to leave a message in a family member’s condolence book, regardless of how frequently you interacted with them or how long it had been since you last saw them. Here are some suggestions if you don’t know where to begin while writing a condolence note for a family member.    

I admired Aunt Leanne’s spirit and heart, and I will remember her fondly.

Tell the deceased’s immediate relatives what you cherished most about them and assure them that you won’t forget them.

I would I could have spent more time with Gary in his later years, but I consider myself fortunate to have known him.

If you (sincerely) cherished the time you spent with the deceased, you may include this wording in your message.

My heart breaks at your loss, and I want you all to know how much you mean to me.

If the dead was a relative of your extended family but you didn’t know them well, you should concentrate on sending sympathy to the immediate family.

Words fall short in situations like this. But I hope you know how much I love James and how much you’re in my thoughts.

Sometimes saying that while you’re speechless is the most truthful statement you can convey. However, it’s still crucial to add a few succinct words of encouragement.

We always enjoyed our summertime together, gardening and shopping at yard sales. I am aware of how much she loved you and will be missed.

By inserting a special memory you shared with the deceased in the condolence book message, you can make it more unique.

What Should You Put in a Condolence Book for a Deceased Friend?

It’s just as difficult to write a condolence book letter for a deceased family member. It might be difficult to decide what to include and what to leave out of a condolence book letter for a friend. If you wish to express your condolences to the family of a deceased friend in a condolence book, here are some suggestions to get you started.

Kaitlin was the most amusing, compassionate, and wise friend I could have ever had. I’m so sorry she’s no longer with us.

Describe what made your friend so wonderful, and express your condolences for their loss.

Sebastian was a fantastic son and brother, in my opinion. And I want you to know how amazing a friend he was. Thank you for raising such a wonderful man.

As their friend, you have a unique perspective on the deceased. The family would most certainly appreciate hearing what a terrific friend their brother, son, or husband was.

I’m very sorry you’re going through this, and you have my complete support. Your husband was a wonderful man.

You might include a few lines in your condolence book message to let the family know they can count on you.

Ella, wherever you are, I hope you know how much I love and miss you.

To express your love for the deceased, you can address your condolence book note directly to them.

How to Convey Your Condolences at a Funeral?

One way to express your sincere sympathies is by signing the guest book at the memorial ceremony or condolence book. Consider sending funeral flowers or making a charitable donation in the deceased’s name if you really want to show the family how much you care. In order to know whether the family is taking flowers and other presents when you send a gift to offer sympathy, look for a “in lieu of flowers” sign.

Additionally, it’s always a good idea to express your condolences in person in addition to writing a line in the condolence book and sending flowers or a donation. Decide what you want to say to the family members to let them know you care and support before you go to the funeral.

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