Written or spoken condolences: etiquette manual

Death is one of the most difficult situations we have to deal with in life. It is enormously important to be able to express our sympathy to those left behind.
Hugs, calls and letters are comforting and show people that they are not alone.

Spoken condolences:
avoid empty phrases. It is much better to simply say: "I am so sorry" or "Words fail me". You can also simply press someone's hand in silence or give someone a hug without saying anything. What is important is that it comes from the heart and that you show compassion.
Letters of condolence:
write as soon as possible and use simple white paper. Use a white envelope (without a black border as this is used by the bereaved family only) and use a stamp (not a franking machine). Never write a letter of condolence as a fax or an email.
(see separate condolences ).

Further information about comfort & grief