Dear (your friend’s name, or Mr./Mrs./Miss followed by last name if recipient is business associate or someone in management where you work),
State in your first paragraph that you were saddened to hear about the loss, and that you want to express your sympathy for the recipient’s loss.
If you knew the deceased, go on in the body of the letter to share a favorite memory or talk briefly about time you spent with the deceased. Never include any bad memories, and avoid making statements like “I will keep you in my prayers” unless you really mean it. Simple statements such as “We are thinking of you” or “Let us know if we can help in any way” are thoughtful and comforting.
In closing, express once more that you are sorry for the recipient’s loss, and that they should let you know if there is anything at all you can do to help.
Sincerely, Love, or Best Wishes (whichever works best for the situation),
The most important aspect of writing a sympathy letter that will touch the heart of the recipient is to be genuine. The tips and sample above will help you craft a letter that is meaningful and shows your thoughts and respect are with the recipient during their time of loss.