Social Etiquette and Good Manners/An awkward letter


acquaintance whose father died a month ago. She and I are not close - that's why I didn't hear of his death until now. However, she was extremely helpful to our family in my father's final illness and I would like to acknowledge her loss.

The problem is that I didn't know her father well and what I did know isn't good. He told her more than 10 years ago that he never wanted to see her again - over something that was trivial at most and none of his business anyway. I don't know whether they ever reconciled or not.

How do I word the letter?

Thank you,



Focus on your friend, not on the person who passed.   Keep your message simple and supportive since you did not have a very close relationship.

In this instance I tend to write a card that focuses less on the person who died, and more on the impact that person you know. I write things like, "I am sorry to hear of your recent loss. I want to send my warm thoughts your way. I pray for you and your family to feel peace during this time." "Even though I cannot be with you during this sad time, please know that I care about you and I am thinking of you. "

Social Etiquette and Good Manners

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Constance Hoffman


As a professional etiquette coach and trainer, I am able to assist with any and all of your questions pertaining to social and business skills, party manner, appearance, communication both verbal and written, tipping, email manners and social media, and of course entertaining and dining etiquette.


As owner of Social and Business Graces, I have been teaching children and adults for over 15 years.

Owner of Social and Business Graces

Owner, teacher, coach and author of "Tips on Tipping".

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