How to Write Comforting Letters to the Bereaved guides readers through the delicate task of penning their thoughts and emotions to friends or family members suffering the loss of a loved one. It lays out an array of suggestions, precautions and examples in a clear and informed style. This friendly, easy-to-read guide enables professional caregivers and lay readers alike to quickly take what they need from a number of considerations, such as: how to start such a letter; how to elaborate on the relationship, the loss, and its meaning to the reader; various ways to help survivors regardless of geographic distance; important precautions about what to avoid; different approaches to talking about religious faith; the inclusion of humor; plus follow-up letters long after the funeral; and more.
Hospices, funeral directors, bereavement support groups, clergy of all faiths, psychologists and counselors, extended care employees, hospitals, oncologists and other medical specialties with high mortality rates, nurses, veteran’s groups, life insurance agents, greeting card suppliers, florists, and friends and relatives of the bereaved. In addition to individual use, How to Write Comforting Letters to the Bereaved is ideal for organizations and associations for educational use.
Please note: this book is presented in 4 ½” x 6 ½” format.
—John D. Morgan, Ph.D., King’s College, Centre for Education about Death and Bereavement, London, Ontario, Canada
“John Haley’s guide, How to Write Comforting Letters to the Bereaved, is as comforting and supportive as the letter we would hope to receive in times of loss and bereavement. For all who might wish aid in writing and comforting a friend, relative, or colleague, Haley’s guide is a spur to the imagination and a practical set of guidelines to express what is in your heart.”
—Alan Briskin, Ph.D., author of The Stirring of Soul in the Workplace
“Author John Haley helps bridge the chasm between the lamentable inadequacy of words in a time of sorrow, and the longing to honor a life that has been lived. "
—Patricia Sammon, Queen’s University, Canada
“How to Write Comforting Letters to the Bereaved reflects true insight and sensitivity. The book should be a very practical, down-to-earth help for many who wish to express sympathy and comfort through the written word. Thank you for writing it.”
—The Rev. Carl Malm, Center for Loss, Grief and Change
"The booklet is a rich resource about grief and many sources of insight and comfort to help us share something of ourselves and our compassion for others. It is helpful for writing notes but is really is about being present with the bereaved.
Many people shy away from the bereaved because they don't know what to say or do. It is really about non-judgmental presence, about paying attention to our own stuff, and about our intentional efforts to share and care. This book will serve those tasks well. Buy it in quantity and give it away to family and friends (and many of the professional who also can learn a thing or two!)."
—Reverend Dr. Richard B. Gilbert, BCC, Executive Director, Resources Hotline, Volume 4, Number 30
"As one who professionally interacts with dying and bereaved persons regularly, I find How to Write Comforting Letters to the Bereaved to be an immediate help to me at multiple levels. Not only does it help with writing to bereft survivors, it even helps with what to say to them when stranded in that awkward silence in person or on the phone. I heartily recommend it to professionals and volunteers who might struggle for a sincere voice of caring. This guide most certainly takes a permanent place among my references."
—Diane R. Morrison LCSW Director, Behavioral Health Care, Kaiser Permanente, Los Angeles Medical Center, Former Director of Social Services, Kenneth Norris Jr. Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Southern California , Los Angeles, CA