Never are we more concerned with getting it right than when writing to one who has suffered a loss. In My Deepest Sympathies–, letter-writing guru Florence Isaacs guides us through the ins and outs of offering comfort and support with short yet meaningful notes that will long be remembered by their recipients. She offers guidelines for diverse situations, with sample letters to draw on, so that it’s easy to strike the appropriate tone every time.
Isaacs explains that the individual circumstances help determine what’s appropriate to say in a sympathy note, and she provides specific techniques for a wide range of relationships, from the death of a coworker’s spouse to the loss of a friend’s elderly parent from Alzheimer’s. She also addresses complex situations like the death of an ex-wife, an estranged sibling, or a longtime companion. She even includes thoughtful words for the death of a pet.
Whether it’s for a blank note or a few extra lines on a card, Isaacs’s advice runs the gamut from personal to professional. And she explains how to provide real help to the bereaved by making phone calls, running errands, or simply lending an ear. Information on funerals, memorial services, and proper etiquette when someone of a different culture has died will help readers avoid missteps in potentially awkward situations. Isaacs closes with techniques for effective eulogies, plus a special appendix of actual eulogies that illustrate ways in which readers can memorialize a loved one for family and friends.
Filled with practical information, My Deepest Sympathies– makes it simple to say and do the right thing at difficult times.
Florence Isaacs is the author of Business Notes: Writing Personal Notes That Build Professional Relationships and five other books. Her articles have appeared in Good Housekeeping, Modern Bride, Woman’s Day, Reader’s Digest, and other leading national magazines. She is a past president of the… More about Florence Isaacs