This week marked the third death anniversary of my dad, which happened while COVID protocols and restrictions were in place by the province. We could have a small very social distanced interment. We couldn’t have a church funeral service, nor a wake nor a reception, nor people coming to our house to visit or drop off food. The only meaningful way they could comfort us was through phone calls, texts or condolence cards and letters. This past week got me reflecting on the importance of well-written condolence cards.
Condolence cards/letters are another source of comfort to mourners. The words of sympathy and memory are welcome reminders to the bereaved that you are thinking about them. A good condolence letter acknowledges the loss and names the deceased, uses words of sympathy that share your sorrow, notes special qualities of the deceased, recalls a memory about the deceased, reminds the bereaved of their personal strengths, and offers specific help.
Seeing my dad through other people’s memories was very special. Reading the notes and sharing stories helped to lighten our grief, even if it was just for a brief moment.