How to reply to letters of sympathy

Nach einem Todesfall, einer Naturkatastrophe oder anderen Ereignissen haben Sie viele Beileidsschreiben erhalten. Aber was machen Sie jetzt? Sollen Sie zurückschreiben? Und wenn ja, was sagen Sie auf Englisch?

Alles kein Problem mit den Tipps von Secretary Today.

When you receive sympathy cards from business associates or friends, either because someone in your firm has died, or because there has been a serious accident, natural catastrophe or other disaster, it is good to write back and thank them. Why? Because thank you notes show your appreciation or gratitude for another person's kindness and thoughtfulness and also because it keeps the relationship moving forward.

Tip: Don't wait too long after receiving letters of sympathy before you send your thank you letter. An acceptable time limit in business is two weeks.

Here are some useful phrases for writing polite and professional thank you letters:

  • Thank you so much for your kind words.
  • Thank you very much for your kind letter.
  • Thank you very much for your kind expression of sympathy upon the death of our founder and CEO, Hans Schmidt.
  • The many letters we received from you during this difficult time brought us great comfort and encouragement.
  • Your help and expression of concern have given me hope and encouragement during this difficult time.
  • Your kindness and understanding have been a great comfort. They have helped us accept the situation, as terrible as it is, more courageously.
  • It was heart-warming to receive your kind expression of sympathy upon the death of our works manager Heinz Richter.

Here are some sample phrases

Saying thank you ...

... for a letter of condolence

  • We deeply appreciate your kind expression of sympathy in this time of sorrow. Thank you for keeping us in your thoughts.
  • Thank you for your heartfelt letter of condolence. It was thoughtful and kind of you to take the time to share your memories of Margaret with us. Your words were not only a comfort, but a source of strength for all of us at ABC-Company.

… for a letter of support after a natural disaster

  • It was very kind of you to write to us and express your sympathy with us at this time. The situation here really is terrible, with many people still homeless. We greatly appreciate all the help we have been receiving. Thank you once again for your kind thoughts.

… when someone has been to a funeral

  • This is a very difficult time for all of us. Your presence helped to lighten our burden. I was grateful to enjoy your company and hear your lovely memories.

… for flowers, donations or gifts

  • In the name of everyone at XYZ Company, thank you very much for your generous donation. It will go a long way to helping us get back on our feet again after the hurricane.
  • Thank you for your thoughtfulness in sending the lovely flowers / generous donation in Anton’s honour. Your kind thoughts are greatly appreciated.
  • Thank you for the kind message you sent, and for your generous donation. I know Robert would have really appreciated it.
  • Thank you for sending the beautiful floral arrangement. This is a difficult time for all of us. I appreciate your kind support and beautiful symbol of remembrance for Susan. Thank you.

Secretary Today - Professionelles Business English für Sekretärinnen und Assistentinnen

Here is a sample of an announcement you could put in a newspaper

XYZ wishes to thank friends and business acquaintances for their expressions
of condolence and the many moving tributes paid to the memory of their founder, Anne Wolf.

ABC-Company would like to thank everyone who so generously supported
us in this difficult time. We want you to know that your help is greatly appreciated.