Image of a man writing a letter.
Image of a man writing a letter.

Farewell letters herald the close of a friendship, working partnership and sometimes, a romantic relationship. Remaining cordial, level-headed and communicating clearly are all pivotal aspects in writing a response to a farewell letter. Although it may be a transformative and painful experience to receive news of a farewell, the response to such a letter is an ideal chance to contribute your thoughts and communicate a farewell of your own.

Use a positive and cordial form of address that reflects your relationship to the person to whom you are writing. A common address, which works for most situations, is “Dear (name of person)."

Write a first paragraph that sums up your gratitude for the positive elements of your relationship. For example, “You helped me to finish projects that mattered in my life and motivated me to strive for more every day.”

Confront the present moment and your reaction to the farewell. In a professional setting, wish your coworker success. If the letter is intended as a personal good-bye, sum up where you stand now and your reaction to the farewell letter. Remain positive but address any sad emotions the farewell letter triggered.

Discuss the future in the final paragraph. Express how you plan to move forward from the farewell you received. For example, “Now that our partnership has ended, I look forward to discovering projects I can pursue independently, although I will miss the dynamics we had as a team.”

Close the response letter with your final thoughts on any further contact. Leave a final sentence which allows for future contact if you feel the person who wrote the farewell would be interested in reaching you in the future, and you are open to this option.

Close the letter with a cordial closer such as “Best Wishes” or “To the Future."