Thursday, May 9, 2013

Opening Lines: How to get started with a condolence note

Finding the opening lines of your condolence note takes time. 

And that's okay! Here are a few suggestions beyond "I'm very sorry for your loss..."

  • If you bought a card, take a look at the cover art. Do you draw any associations from it? What made you select this card? For example, I bought a card with ginko biloba leaves; ginko is known as a nutritional supplement to aid memory. Memories are a key element in condolence.
  • Does your card's printed sentiment trigger feelings you would like to express?
  • An opening line can express a thought about having a sister/brother/mom or dad... perhaps you were "never lucky enough to have a sister."
Avoid feeling that you have a writing deadline; no matter when your condolence note arrives, it will be welcomed. Consider the act of holding the grieving person in your heart and mind as you seek inspiration, a caring meditation.

The right opening line will come, and you will be on your way to writing that memorable condolence note.

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