What should I write in a book of condolence?

What should I write in a book of condolence?

A book of condolence is similar to funeral guest books. While they may differ by offering more space for expression over just a simple sign-in space, you should carefully think about what you are sharing. 

This book is often kept by the host as a way to remember the memories of the deceased. Therefore you should write only memories that will leave a good or warm feeling to those that read it. Even better if you can share a moment that made everyone laugh. Remember you are giving a moment you shared with the one being celebrated, but you need to translate it to words. You can prewrite several drafts before you attend the ceremony. 

book of condolence

Quick Tips

- You should craft a brief to medium written moment you remember. 

- Try to be personal as it allows for a deeper connection for readers.

- Speak clearly about what you are trying to share. If you are trying to share a touching moment do not mention anything negative.

Try these openings to get started:

  • James and I met during his favorite hobby: fishing on the Tennessee river....
  • It took me forever to realize that when our manager referred to the lazy Susan, she was talking about the spinning table at our workplace....
  • I never did beat Austin in the pool swimming laps. He was insanely athletic....

book of condolence

Examples of what you should not write:

  • James is in a better place now.
  • She would have wanted you to find love again.
  • I know exactly how you feel.


Always round out your writing with a warm or grateful note. Tell the family you will be there for them if they want to talk. Let them know how grateful you were for the times you shared with them and their loved one.

If you are looking to purchase a condolence book for a ceremony that is upcoming or for another person, we stock several options. 


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