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brief words of sympathy

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									Helpful organisations                                      Who is Dignity?                                               I’m sorry to hear
                                                           Dignity Caring Funeral Services has over 500 funeral
Cruse Bereavement Care       Citizens Advice Bureau
                                                           directors in towns and cities across the country who
                                                                                                                        A brief guide to writing
(England and Wales)          This is a good source of
                                                           have served their local communities for generations.              letters of sympathy
Cruse can help anyone        practical help and advice
who has lost someone         and is particularly helpful
they love.                   with financial or legal
                                                           We help families through every step of arranging a
                             problems.                     funeral, from registering the death to the details of the
Helpline:                                                  funeral service itself. Our first priority is to make sure
0870 167 1677
                             The Compassionate             that families can arrange the funeral they want for
You can get details of       Friends                       their loved one, and we will do everything we can to
local branches from their    They offer help for parents   meet any special requests or arrangements.
main offices at:             whose children have died.

126 Sheen Road               53 North Street               We are available every day of the year, 24 hours a day,
Richmond                     Bedminster                    to help and advise. We also have a clear pricing policy
Surrey                       BS3 1EN                       and provide written estimates before the funeral, so
TW9 1UR.                                                   you know exactly how much the funeral will cost. We
                             Phone: 0117 953 9639
Phone: 020 8940 4818
                                                           have a very strict code of practice, to make sure that
                             The Child Death Helpline
                                                           all the families we serve have the same high standards
Cruse Bereavement Care       Phone: 0800 282 986           of service from caring and professional staff.
(Scotland)                   (Mondays, Wednesdays
Riverview House              and Fridays 10am to           If you need the services of a funeral director, please
Friarton Road                1pm, and Monday to            call us on 08000 344 6489 at any time of the day or
Perth                        Sunday 7pm to 10pm)           night, and we will put you in touch with your local
PH2 8DF                                                    funeral director.
Phone: 01738 444178

The Samaritans
The Samaritans offer a
24-hour telephone
listening service. You can
find their number in The                                                          Dignity Funerals Ltd.
Phone Book.                                                           A company registered in England No. 41598.
                                                                           Plantsbrook House, 94 The Parade,
                                                                       Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B72 1PH.
                                                                     Phone: 0121 354 1557 Fax: 0121 355 8081.
                                                                                   A British Company
This leaflet is a brief guide to writing a letter of      To the family of someone you did not know                To someone who has experienced a
sympathy. Very often we find ourselves stuck for          very well                                                sudden loss
words when someone has died. But people who               I was sorry to hear of your recent bereavement.          I was so sorry to hear about the tragic
have lost someone they love get comfort from              Although I did not know [name] well, on the              circumstances surrounding [name’s] death. The
knowing that their loved one was a part of the            occasions when we met, [he or she] was always            shock and sense of disbelief must be immense.
lives of others, so it will help them if you can write    kind and considerate. Please accept my sympathy          [Name] was such a special person and it must be
a few words.                                              for your sad loss.                                       so difficult to come to terms with the fact [he or
                                                                                                                   she] died so suddenly. If there is anything I can
You don’t have to write a long letter, as long as it is   To the family who have lost a child                      do to help, such as [offer practical help such as
sincere. Try to post it as soon as possible after the     I was very upset to hear of your loss. [Name] was        looking after the children, doing some shopping,
death. The letters below are simply a guide and           such a lovely [child or person] and will be dreadfully   collecting the pension], please let me know.
may help you get started.                                 missed. If there is anything [I or we] can do, [I am
                                                          or we are] only a phone call away.
To the family of someone at work
who has died                                              To a neighbour or close friend
I am writing on behalf of all [name’s] friends at         Although we have spoken recently, I wanted to write
[name of organisation] to express our sympathy at         and tell you how sorry I am for your loss. [Name]
your sad loss. [Name] was a valued member of the          was such a special person that no words are really
team and contributed to the organisation in many          adequate. [He or she] brought pleasure to everyone
ways. Besides being an excellent worker, [he or she]      [he or she] met and will be sadly missed. People
was always good-humoured and considerate                  tell me how much they valued [name’s] friendship. I
towards [his or her] colleagues.                          am always here to talk if you would like. I’ll get in
                                                          touch soon to see if I can make myself useful in
[He or she] often spoke of [his or her] family with       anyway.
affection. [Name] will be sadly missed by everyone
at work. Our thoughts are with you at this difficult

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