How to contact a lost relative
How to contact a lost relative
Contacting a lost relative is something you can do.
You must obviously have a means to contact them.
If you don’t know where they live, click here to read our article on finding lost relatives.
If you do have a means of contacting them then read on, because how you contact them can make a huge difference to what happens next.
Only you know how this relative you are going to contact will react. And even then, you might be completely wrong. We’ve seen calm reactions from volatile relationships and volatile ones that were not expected. So, keep your guard up and prepare yourself fully.
When we say volatile that reaction is usually because of emotions or because it was not a right time for contact, so consider that too.
You might be looking for a relative you’ve never met. Or maybe one where you both have a lot of water under the bridge.
Maybe it’s a close relative such as a son or a daughter, maybe the last time you saw them it didn’t turn out too well.
OR possibly its no more than a distant cousin you’ve never even spoken to let alone met.
As you can see, the advice to give you need to be tailored to your exact needs.
So, if you wanted you can call us for specific advice and for us to carry out any trace or intermediary work for you.
If not, then we’ll try to answer the question.
How to contact a lost, distant relative
I guess if you are looking for a distant relative you have never met, your approach should be direct and short. They won’t at this stage be wanting your life story. So, keep the message brief and on point.
If you are trying to regain contact with a spouse, a parent or a sibling or child and it didn’t end well, really give this some serious thought.
There are entire books devoted to this subject, so please don’t rush in. Take a step back not a step forward.
How could contacting them work out?
What might their initial reaction be?
Can you through this contact still give them space to breath?
Then you can also think about your own feelings.
How would you feel if they didn’t respond?
Would you be happy to know they got your message but didn’t come back to you?
Why are you contacting them in the first place? Could it make matters worse?
As we said there is just a lot to consider.
Remember if you do not know where they live, we can help. Click this link to visit our Find Lost Relatives Service.
How to contact a close relative
So, lets look at an approach for contacting a close family member.
Once you’ve thought about possible outcomes and feel you have prepared yourself for any of those. And you’ve thought about them, if the time is right for them, if contacting them is going to be a positive experience for them. If you have really thought about all that, and you believe it is still a good idea then let’s move on to the method of contact.
A letter is best for contacting relatives
A letter might seem quaint or old fashioned but there are good reasons to send it.
Even better if you use an intermediary to send a letter for you, then they can deal with any initial reactions, so you don’t have to. Having an intermediary is a really good idea.
A letter can be re-read, it can be taken to another place. It is easy to show someone else. It is a considered way to contact someone. It is not in your face.
We would also recommend not posting it through the door yourself. Get a third party to do it, ideally the postal service.
We would not recommend connecting with someone through social media.
What should you write in your letter to a lost relative?
Keep the contents short. Don’t go into too much detail. Don’t put personal information in that might be read by someone else. Don’t criticise others in the letter and especially not if that person could read it.
Hopefully your contact is for good reasons, to resolve and rectify not to antagonise or provoke. So, make sure you don’t put anything that could do that.
It is a fine line and a difficult thing to do so don’t be scared to ask for help. Whether that is via a paid service such as our own. Or a friend or even a charity.
We hope this article has given you some ideas to help you with contacting your lost relative.