Template for Writing a Sympathy Note: When You Didn't Know the Deceased

If you didn't know the deceased, you can use or adapt this template when writing a sympathy note to a bereaved friend or family member. For an example of a completed note, see the sample. If you did know the deceased, see the template and sample offered for that situation. For more general information on this topic, see What to Write in a Sympathy Note.

Dear [insert name of bereaved],

I was sorry to hear about the loss of [name of deceased and relationship to the bereaved]. Please know you have my deepest sympathy.

While I didn't have the pleasure of knowing [him or her], I will always remember you speaking about [insert anecdote or special trait of the deceased that the bereaved has mentioned].

I hope the passage of time will help ease your sadness and leave you with happy memories. In the meantime, I'm sending healing thoughts and support your way.

With my sincere sympathy,

[your signature]

Barbara Kate Repa

Barbara Kate Repa, a lawyer and journalist, has devoted her career to editing and writing about legal issues for consumers. See full bio