It’s traditional to offer condolences by sending a handwritten card. Sometimes though, it becomes necessary to send something via email instead. There are lots of reasons someone might opt to convey their condolences via email.
You may not have a mailing address for the individual in question. Or you live in a different country and it could take weeks for a handwritten card to reach someone. When it comes down to it, practicality and convenience sometimes win the day.
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It can be hard to convey tone via email. A handwritten card has a level of personality to it that is difficult to capture on-screen. But there’s a solution for that. Condolence email templates can help you strike just the right tone without worry.
Even though email can be a more informal medium, you’ll want to maintain a certain level of formality. Do this to compensate for breaking from the tradition of sending something handwritten. Strive for a neutral but sincere tone. Let the intended recipient know that you’re sorry for their loss.
Don’t focus on yourself too much. It’s okay to talk about the impact that the deceased had on your life. But don’t let your feelings of loss overshadow or diminish what the deceased’s family is going through. Use the same tact with your subject line by making it clear what the email contains.
A clear straightforward statement for your subject line is ideal. Something like: “With Sympathy For Your Loss” or “My Sincere Condolences.”
Once you’ve settled on something appropriate, select an email template from the options below. Feel free to copy any of these templates and customize them for your needs.
1. For someone who lost a father
I was sorry to hear about the recent passing of your father. Though I never met him, I always enjoyed hearing your stories about him.
He sounded like he was an extraordinary individual. I know you thought very highly of him. From what you’ve told me about him, his passing is a great loss. I know I’m on the other side of the world right now, but I’m always available if you need to talk.
2. For someone who lost a husband
I just heard that your husband lost his battle with cancer. I can't imagine how you must be feeling right now. I would have called you, but I didn’t want to disturb you. I’m sure you have a lot on your plate.
I wanted to let you know that I’m here if you need to talk. I’m going to bring some meals over to the house for you and the girls so you don’t have to worry about cooking. Let me know if you have any requests. I’ll come by tomorrow.
Thinking of you,
3. For someone who lost an aunt
I spoke to my mother this morning and she let me know that Aunt Alice had passed away. I’m so sorry to hear that. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of coming to visit your family in the summer.
I wanted to reach out and extend my sincerest sympathy for your loss. I’m keeping you in my thoughts.
4. For someone who lost a son
I can’t even begin to tell you how sorry I am about the loss of your son. There are no words to say that can capture the magnitude of your loss. My heart goes out to you and your family. I’m keeping you in my thoughts.
5. For someone who lost a wife
Dear Mr. Brown,
We’ve never met, but your wife was my high school English teacher. I was devastated to hear about her recent passing. Mrs. Brown was an outstanding teacher who cared about her students. Whenever we struggled to believe in ourselves, she made sure to remind us about our talents.
Mrs. Brown came into my life at a time when I needed someone to tell me I could succeed. If it hadn’t been for her, my life would have turned out differently. I’m forever changed because of her. I’m so sorry for your loss.
All the best,
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6. For someone who lost a husband
Dear Mrs. Peterson,
It was with great sorrow that we learned about your husband’s untimely passing. Dave was such a valued member of our team. We will miss his keen insights around the office, as well as his unparalleled work ethic. But more than that, we will miss his generous spirit and his obvious devotion to his family.
Please know that all of us here at the firm are at your disposal during this difficult time. Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly if there is anything you need.
Reese Maxwell, CEO
7. For someone who lost a mother
I was saddened to hear that your mother is no longer with us. I know she has been ill for quite some time. It was so admirable of you to take her into your home and care for her during his last days. It shows immense strength of character.
I know you are grieving, but I hope you’ll allow your friends to help take care of you for a while. Our book club group has made a schedule and we’ll take turns coming by to drop off meals and help you around the house. I’ll call you later to make plans.
8. For someone who had a miscarriage
I wanted to reach out after seeing your recent Facebook post about your miscarriage. It was really brave of you to speak publicly about your loss. I had a miscarriage when I was much younger but never spoke about it with anyone besides my husband. I think part of me felt guilty, or like I had done something wrong.
Thanks to young women like you, we are beginning to talk openly about these tragedies. Soon the stigma surrounding miscarriage will be gone. You are very brave to share your experience. I wish I’d had a role model like you when I was younger.
9. For someone who lost a wife
I was so sad to hear the news that your wife passed away. When our family first moved into the neighborhood, Gretchen was so warm and welcoming. She made sure to introduce us to everyone and let us know all the best places to get coffee and takeout. She even came over to help us unpack and settle in. She was always kind, positive, and optimistic.
Please know that just like Gretchen took care of us, we’ll be doing everything we can to take care of you. Whatever we can do to help out with cooking, housework, or childcare, you can count on us.
The Ayala Family
10. For someone who lost a grandmother
I apologize for the belated note. I’ve been traveling, and only just got the news of your grandmother’s passing last month. Miss Millie was like family to me. I loved going to church with your family and listening to her sing with the choir. And going back to her house for Sunday supper was a blessing.
Things weren’t always great at my house. So, having one day a week where I could count on a good meal and some kind words made a huge difference in my life. I’m so broken up that I wasn’t there for Miss Millie’s homegoing service. I know she’s looking down on us. After all, she was already an angel when she was on earth.
Choose the Best Templates for a Condolence Email
Grief is a universal language and one that knows no boundaries. These condolence email templates may seem specific, but with a little tweaking, they can fit any occasion.
Focus on conveying your sympathy without being too wordy. Remember, the key to a good condolence email is letting your sincerity shine through.