When a friend suffers a loss, it’s a nice gesture to attend the funeral service for their loved one. You’ll notice, though, that the memorial is often rather hectic and there are many people there who want to offer their condolences. Your friend will appreciate your comforting presence, but the whole day may seem like a blur. That’s why it’s a good idea to also send a note to let your friend know you care. By expressing your thoughts in an email or letter, you’ll be providing something tangible that your friend can look back on once the initial crush of well-wishers has ended. Having trouble getting started? Here are some guidelines for expressing your condolences:

1. Be concise
When it’s hard to know what to say, we sometimes ramble. Your sympathy note does not need to be lengthy. It can just be a brief note focused on acknowledging the person’s loss and expressing your condolences.

2. Be empathetic
When writing the sympathy note, think about what you might like to hear from a friend if you had recently lost a loved one. Approaching your condolence letter in this way may make it easier for you to empathize with your friend and compose a heartfelt note.

3. Use good stationery
Using high-quality stationery is a nice way to create a keepsake while you’re sending a note to show you care. You can also pick a thoughtful card, writing your own personal message inside to go along with the pre-printed sentiments.

4. Share memories
Reminding your friend of a positive memory you have about the deceased may provide some comfort and encouragement. Consider sharing a memory of a time when your friend’s loved one brought a smile to your face or was doing something that he or she loved.

5. Offer help
Perhaps the most important thing you can do for a grieving friend is to provide tangible support such as child care, cooking a meal or providing housekeeping services. It’s also nice to invite your friend out for something simple such as a coffee, where you can provide a listening ear as well as a moment away from stress and pressure.

The experienced staff at Skylawn Funeral Home and Memorial Park have been taking care of families for almost 60 years, offering high-quality services that honor and respect lives lived. To learn about all we have to offer, please call (650) 349-4411.