Thank You

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Sympathy Thank You Card Etiquette & Suggestions

After a funeral, one of the last things you feel like attending to are the niceties of etiquette, including writing letters of thanks to those who have been helpful, supportive and kind to you and your family. Funeral thank you notes may seem like a daunting task, but it can actually be a very healing experience. Here are a few tips and reminders to help you:

1) Typically notes are sent with 2-4 weeks of the services or after the receipt of a gift or favor. However, modern etiquette is more relaxed regarding bereavement thank you notes. It is considered a major breach of etiquette for someone to take offense at a lack of acknowledgement from someone who is grieving.

2) Thank you notes for sympathy gifts, letters of condolence, or favors can be written by any family member, not just the recipient. So the next time a family member such as a cousin or in-law, sister, son or daughter asks you, “Is there anything I can do?” Feel free to ask them to help you. You can also have a family member hand write the letters, and you can sign them.

3) A thank you not is not required for everyone who attended the visitation or funeral service or for a short card.

4) Funeral thank you notes are normally sent to the following people: pallbearers, those who brought food or provided baby sitting, those who sent flowers, people who made donations in the deceased’s honor, people who sent long letters of condolence, photographs, videos, guests who spoke at the service, and gifts.

5) Your note does not need to be long. One or two sentences is all that is necessary.

6) Do your best to specifically mention what you are thanking the sender for such as flowers, sharing memories while taking you out to dinner or money. Example: “Thank you for the beautiful peace lily plant (or color of arrangement or type of flowers). It will be cherished.”

7) When thanking someone for a financial gift, do not mention the amount. Simply refer to the money as “your generous gift” and let them know how you used those funds. Examples: “thank you for your generous gift. We have used these funds for the memorial that was established for my mother.” Or “ we have used these funds to purchase new song booklets for the church.”

8) Mail or have someone else mail your thank you notes as you write them. It can become overwhelming if you wait and mail them all once they are written. There is no need to worry about family members or friends receiving cards at different times. Your friends and loved ones will understand

9) In addition to hand written thank you notes, you may also wish to insert a public thank you notice in the Omro Herald.

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