When you can't share the news of a death in person or you need to share it with a large group quickly, a sample death announcement email can help you find a respectful way to inform others of the loss. The key is to think about how you might break the news to employees, colleagues, or distant family members in person and then use those words in the body of your email.
Sample Email Death Announcements for the Office
Figuring out how to inform someone of death by email can seem difficult, but there are ways to humanize the message and gently break the news. When announcing a death to staff in an office, you want to maintain a professional and respectful tone. For large companies, you can announce the death of an employee via email using these death announcement funeral templates.
Sample Subject Lines for Email Death Announcements at the Office
It's important to include a descriptive death announcement email subject line so people don't overlook the message. Remember to keep the subject line brief, yet somber. You don't need to include the person's name in the subject line, but you can if you're a small company where everyone knows each other well.
- Sad loss for our company
- [Company name] mourns the loss of a valued employee
- Regretful notification of a family loss for one of our staff
Email Example Announcing the Death of an Employee
If one of your employees has died, and you can't share the news with everyone all together in a meeting, you could send an email like this to inform all the staff at the same time.
To: All Staff
Subject: [Company name] mourns the loss of our clerk
Dear [Company name] team,
On [Insert date], our team suffered a terrible loss. Our [Insert job title], [Insert employee first and last name], passed away after [Insert cause of death]. He/She was a hard worker and we will all miss his/her positivity. We understand this message may be difficult to process. Please know HR is available to help you deal with this loss in the coming days and weeks.
There will be open viewing hours at [Insert location name] in [Insert location town/city] on [Insert dates and times]. Any employees who wish to attend the viewing during standard work hours can let their manager know. You will not need to use any PTO for this occasion. There will be a card in the break room that everyone can sign to give to his/her [Insert family contact].
[Insert company name or your name and title]
Email Example Announcing the Death of Colleague's Family Member
Another occasion where you might send a death notice email to coworkers is when a colleague's close family member dies. If you want to announce the death of a colleague's close family member, you should always ask for the employee's permission first.
To: Accounting Department
Subject: [Insert employee first and last name] needs your support
Dear Accounting Staff,
You probably noticed [Insert employee name] was not in the office yesterday. His/Her [Insert family member relationship] passed away. He/She will be out of the office for [Insert time period]. HR is prepared to help you deal with his/her absence and will coordinate any communication in the form of special messages, cards, or gifts you would like to send him/her. He/She gave permission for us to notify the team of this loss, which shows how close your team is.
[Insert name and title]
Death in the Family Email to Boss Sample
The loss of a family member is always hard to share, especially with your employer. However, it is important to let them know this news as soon as possible so that they can make plans for while you are away at the funeral.
Subject: Loss of a loved one
Dear [Mr./Mrs. Manager Name],
I wanted to inform you of the death of my [family member's relationship to you]. He/she passed away on [day of the week] in [location]. I know that this is not the most convenient time, but I need to request bereavement leave to go to [location of funeral] to prepare for the funeral/celebration of life.
I was hoping to take off [amount of time]. Please let me know if this is acceptable and what I need to do in order to have this request approved. I appreciate your understanding and support during this difficult time. I will make sure to prepare the team before I leave.
[Insert your name and title]
If you do not know your company's bereavement policy, you can replace the third sentence with: "I need to request bereavement leave to go to [location of funeral] to prepare for the funeral/celebration of life. Can you put me in contact with the HR representative who can let me know our company policy?"
Sample Email Death Announcement for a Family Member
Notifying family members of a death is part of planning a funeral, but you typically wouldn't announce the death of a family member via email unless you're notifying distant relatives or friends who don't live nearby. Use this sample email to get you started.
Family Death Announcement Email Subject Line Examples
The subject line for a family death announcement should include the name of the deceased person so recipients can see that it's a legitimate message and not a scam.
- Regretful notification that [insert first and last name] has passed away.
- Sad family loss: [insert first and last name]
- The [insert family last name] shares the loss of [insert deceased's first and last name]
Family Death Email Example
To: Smith extended family
Subject: Regretful notification that Art Smith, Sr. has died
It is with great difficulty that I share with you that my father, Art Smith Sr., of Boca, MN, passed away on June 7th. He passed peacefully in his sleep of natural causes. His love for family, close and extended, near and far, was a priority, and he spoke of you often.
I wish I could give you this news in person, but sadly, it's not possible at this time. We will host a private funeral for him on June 12th. If you would like a copy of the funeral program, I would be happy to send you one in the next few weeks. Donations can be made in his name to the Boca Nature Center [Insert website address].
With deep sadness,
Art Smith, Jr. and Family
What to Include in an Email Death Announcement
Email death announcements should include any information recipients need to know, but not necessarily all the things they'll want to know. Keep it short, solemn, and informative.
- A short subject line that states it is a death announcement
- The name of the deceased and their relationship to recipients
- Any funeral or viewing details that are available
- How people can go in on funeral flowers or card
- Ways that they can receive more information as it becomes available
Respectful Emails About Death
Notifying people of a death is never easy, but it's especially difficult if email is your best option. It's hard to express emotions in emails, so try to use wording from your subject line to your closing that expresses sadness and grief. Sample email death announcements can help you ensure the notification is sent and received with respect. If you do plan to share a notice of death via email, try to follow funeral etiquette whenever possible.