Tips On Writing A Condolence Message Online Beneath A Death Notice And Submitting It To RIP.ie
RIP.ie – More than just a Death Notice Website
Guidelines and tips from a Jennings Funeral Director
Recent Death Notices
As a Jennings Funeral Director here in Dublin, I got a phone call in work from my lovely Auntie Edna, who needed me to look up funeral details on RIP.ie – I was able to quickly access the information – on the RIP.ie website, there is a listing under the heading recent death notices – my aunt was impressed at the speed of it all and asked if I’d call in at the weekend and ‘show her around the internet’ – pass on some of my work training in computers.
It’s part of my job to embrace the technology – and I enjoy that – partly because of staff training – I didn’t have to undertake a solo steep learning curve without back-up and courses in how Jennings utilise technology to have a very positive impact on customer service – and RIP.ie would be a part of that.
Q Mark for Quality: Jennings Funeral Directors.
There’s a unique aspect to the Funeral Directors ethos – families suffering a bereavement rely on our business acumen in time of need – but by that very same token, we are also a deeply sensitive service concern. Jennings IT systems are highly sophisticated – centralising our busy network – which radiates out from Head Office here at the Five Lamps out around Clontarf, Raheny, Oscar Traynor Road in Coolock, Blanchardstown, and beyond.
In 2014, Jennings Funeral Director were awarded the Q Mark for Quality Management Systems – a prestigious hallmark of excellent service. Our twin-track approach – mindful and paying respect to our undertaking concerns has two strands:
- The best of technology to sharpen our business edge –
- Which, ironically, also softens or cushions the bereaved family in that vital layer of reassurance that their chosen funeral service will be special.
My auntie Edna persevered – said she was ‘on a journey’ – and even wrote a condolence message on RIP.ie.
She still hates SatNav.
Says it drives her mad instead of driving her where she needs to go. She tells me that when she Google-Maps directions to a Cemetery, entire areas of Dublin disappear beneath her hands.
One day Edna was planning her drive to a funeral. She managed to find the Cross Symbol for St Brendan’s Church in Coolock, one minute it’s not far from Jennings Funeral Home at Oscar Traynor Road – and that’s reality – but on the internet, the symbols seem to melt off the screen the minute she hovers over the map with a mouse.
I was able to show her how on RIP.ie it’s a neater form of a map and it gives her less hassle and more directions!
But if she feels like that about Sat Navs, then I can well see how writing a condolence message online on RIP.ie might feel a bit odd if you haven’t done so before.
RIP.ie – Benefits, added features, personal condolence messages
There are many lovely benefits to this useful feature – RIP.ie can facilitate our need to comfort a friend in grief and loss, but also some very valid reasons why you might well decide not to write a condolence message online.
And at Jennings Funeral Directors, if someone rings up to ask how to source the information from RIP.ie, I tell them that my Auntie Edna can do it, anyone can! It’s a great funeral website for information – but there’s more than that on offer – submitting condolence messages, even buying sympathy cards on RIP.ie – for this article, we’ll focus on the message of condolence.
We all know the feeling – after the initial shock of hearing that a friend, dear neighbour, or relative has passed away – there’s a very human impulse to reach out in some way – sometimes with very close friends and family you just know that the right thing is to phone the family member immediately to express your sorrow at this sad time – other times the impulse comes as just a very practical need to find out when the funeral is taking place:
RIP.ie is a wonderful resource. Although you may log on to find there’s nothing in place yet for your own departed friend. In that case, someone like your Jennings Funeral Director may be able to take your number and phone you back when funeral arrangements are firmly in place (all kinds of hospital issues and flight plans may cause delays for the bereaved family)
But the Funeral Director will not publish any kind of death notice until everything is in place – from the professional care of the deceased – to the work involved around Cremation or Grave and Burial matters – until, indeed, the grieving family are satisfied that their wishes are being looked after in how their beloved departed’s funeral plans are proceeding.
But these days, a good online resource like RIP.ie is so important when you think about this – our lives are ever more busy, stressful; we cope with traffic and childcare, looking after the elderly, and in general juggling the big spectrum of work/life balance. And yet Irish people somehow make the time for funerals.
I see this every day as part of my job – whether it’s the Funeral Home at the Five Lamps, or the Church in Raheny, that person arriving in the door, perhaps a bit stressed, just wanting to be here. They’ve seen the RIP.ie Death Notice. A nice part of my job is where I get to say – you’re in plenty of time. And so it’s a blessing and a bonus when the funeral information is readily to hand.
Here are some pros and cons and tips on writing a condolence message of sympathy on RIP.ie and also some practical guidelines:
You might well ask – isn’t a text just as good as a message on RIP.ie? Yes, if you consider that any message of reaching out to help another human being through funeral times is an act of kindness.
But if you scroll down the pages of RIP.ie – the text layout is very beautiful – the website itself is a soothing mix of gold and white, and your message ‘nestles’ in there with a leaf to separate each message.
It’s quite lovely and the tasteful décor of the site makes the message stand out, and it’s user-friendly – RIP.ie takes care of the nice layout, we simply have to type out our message.
The condolence messages on RIP.ie seem to come from the heart – a very immediate and heartfelt response after that shock of hearing that a friend has died.
And that emotional truth can be very consoling to the close family.
It’s worthwhile bearing in mind one comforting point: RIP.ie carefully proofread all messages before they go online. My sister submitted a message of condolence about her best friends’ mother who had passed away. To her horror, she realised she had spelt the name of the deceased wrongly (Francis instead of Frances).
As a Jennings Funeral Director, I have a deep appreciation about why detail is so important in a death notice so I could relate to my sister’s distress. But it had been spotted and sorted even before she rang – the proof-reading process was that sharp.
So if you make a mistake in your condolence message, don’t worry, it can be edited and changed by RIP.ie before the funeral or any time afterwards.
A message of condolence online does not replace the more traditional sympathy card and letter. It’s not meant to.
Instead, it’s often just one simple line…
So sorry for your loss..Mary, Joe and Alan Keogh
Your condolence message appears on the left hand side of the RIP.ie condolence page, the name of the sender on the right – sometimes it’s a list of names, a family sending one heartfelt message.
You don’t have to worry about how it’s laid out – RIP.ie take care of all that – you just click on the Condolence page below the Death Notice – and there’s a button dedicated to ‘add a condolence message’.
That brings you to a simple box-like screen where you can type your personal message of sympathy. After you click submit, the message is laid out in the RIP.ie house style and you’ll soon be able to view your own tribute to the family in mourning.
Keep your message relatively brief, here are some examples from RIP.ie which convey so much, yet shorter than a traditional letter – fictional samples based on condolence message:
My deepest sympathies to Patrick and Mary on the untimely passing of their wonderful son Andrew…Maureen Flynn, Cork.
I don’t know Judy’s family but please accept my condolences – years ago as a student teacher, Judy helped me greatly as I was new to Dublin, new to teaching. Her kindness made all the difference…Rose Bourke.
Sleep well my good friend Paul after all your suffering. RIP…John Joe
Thinking of dear Aileen, Tom and Nora – Maureen will be sadly missed – we were blest to know your wonderful mother. See you very soon, always there for you, Breda, Rory and the gang xxx
And reading these messages, you imagine the comfort it brings to another family who have just suffered a dreadful loss.
Different tones in the messages, interesting reasons why.
John Joe’s message above is very short but very powerful as it’s a direct message to his departed friend.
Judy’s approach is perfect if you wish to reach out to the family of a departed friend when you don’t know this family personally. After a funeral, words like this bring the deepest of solace, to know that your beloved departed made a difference in a stranger’s life.
The condolence message from Breda, Rory and the gang – different story again – it’s clear that these are close friends of the family in bereavement – you could nearly imagine them calling round with casseroles or baked bread later – as it says on the RIP.ie site always there for you…
And the sadness of that first message – Maureen Flynn using the word untimely – evoking that intense sadness when it’s a young person who has passed away.
Maureen sounds similar to a woman from Dublin who phoned me in our Raheny branch of Jennings today to order funeral flowers and told me her connection with a young mother called Alice who had suffered a long illness.
“It’s such a sad passing, though I’ve lost touch with the family, we were neighbours many years ago and I remember Alice as a beautiful child.”
This lady was going to the funeral, but knew there’d be throngs of people at our Reposal Service in Jennings of Oscar Traynor Road. I suggested she submit to the open condolence book on RIP.ie – a great way to convey sympathy and reach out from long ago connections. She knew well about RIP.ie but didn’t realise you could put a personal message on there.
When you might decide not to write a condolence message on RIP.ie
Sometimes it’s obvious – the Funeral Director for some reason has opted not to have the Condolence option activated. The family might have decided against it – and at Jennings Undertakers, this is at the core of our funeral service ethos – to be mindful of the bereaved families throughout the funeral arrangements. Maybe the beloved departed is elderly and his or circle of friends will write letters or cards and might not be comfortable posting online.
Or, like a man called Tom related to me recently here in Jennings Funeral Home at Amiens Street – I was going to write a short message online for Joe, (Joe was a native of East Wall, a landscape gardener in his day). There was a Condolence option on the RIP.ie site, but no messages on there. It came to me then that because Joe loved flowers, his messages would probably all be written down by hand on the card that comes with the funeral wreaths. When I led Tom into the Reposing Chapel where Joe was reposing, he smiled. He was dead right. The room was full of flowers – and the card messages were lovely.
For this article about RIP.ie, we’ve kept the focus on how and why you might write a message of condolence.
But keep an eye on this Jennings Funeral Directors website – we’ll soon feature related articles on making the best use of the RIP.ie funeral service – tips about how to best negotiate your way around RIP.ie, the many different features on offer, and how to make the best of that online funeral facility.