Social Etiquette and Good Manners/Christmas Letter/Death of a spouse


Each year my husband and I would send out Christmas cards and a letter to friends and family, most of whom we don't see very often.  Just recently my husband passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly.  Many of those who we sent cards to do not know about his passing.  How can I include the deep loss in my letter gracefully?

Thank you for your help.

Dear Laura:
I am SO sorry for your recent loss.  The holidays are a particularly difficult time when we miss our loved ones.  The best way to inform your Christmas letter friends about your husband's passing might be with wording like this:

"This Christmas season is particularly sad for our family due to ________'s passing in _______.  It was sudden and unexpected and our celebration of the season will be difficult with his absence.  If you have any stories or remembrances that you would like to share, I would welcome a letter, email or phone call.  _____________ particularly loved this season and the traditions we shared.  Those traditions will be carried on as remember him.  

Before we lost ____________, we had the good fortune to _______________ and _____________...  - this is where you share all the good news that have.

I wish you a peaceful holiday season.  

Social Etiquette and Good Manners

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Cynthia W. Lett


Proper manners with friends,family,colleagues,neighbors and everyone else you know.


I have been an etiquette expert teaching and consulting on the subject worldwide since 1983. I started and serve as the Executive Director of the International Society of Protocol & Etiquette Professionals and am considered a leader in the field of etiquette and protocol training and execution. I edited "Etiquette for Dummies" and have recently written "Lett's Talk - Everyday Etiquette Dilemmas and What to Do about Them". My book, "That's So Annoying:An Etiquette Expert on the World's Most Irritating Habits And What To Do About Them" was published in 2009 and is available wherever books are sold. I taught the Business Protocol class to Master's level students at the George Washington University, Washington, DC for seven years I served as Chief of Protocol for MCI Telecommunications for three years.

International Society of Protocol & Etiquette Professionals, ASTD, PCMA, National Speakers Association

I have been quoted over 700 times in the past 5 years worldwide. Publications include Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Washington Times, NY Times, Washington Business Journal, USA Today, Associated Press, London Times, Newsweek Japan edition, Newsweek US edition and many many more.

I am a Certified Etiquette Professional (CEP) and Certified Protocol Professional (CPP) earned by examination through ISPEP. I have a Master's degree in hospitality law and undergrad degrees in Restaurant & Hotel Management and Public Relations/Interpersonal Communications from Purdue University.

Awards and Honors
Who's Who Worldwide,Who's Who of American Women, Distinguished Darden Professor (Purdue University).

Past/Present Clients
World Bank, United Nations,US Dept. of State, US. Dept. of the Army, Pentagon, Barclays Global Investors,Accenture,Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, The White House, Dept. of State, AT&T,Bank of America,American Association of Clinical Pharmacies,Ritz Carlton Hotels, Hilton Hotels, Marriott Hotels,Starwood Hotels,and many more.

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]