Funeral Thank You Etiquette
Just like grieving, no words can also express our gratitude to those who showed kindness during our dark times. Yet, a simple funeral ‘thank you’ note is a good way to acknowledge their help and to thank them for sharing their time with you and your family. With a thank you note, you can convey your appreciation of their presence and assistance.
Writing and sending a funeral thank you note doesn’t have any rules yet there are some guidelines that you can follow when writing a funeral thank you note. We call these guidelines as funeral ‘thank you’ etiquette.
Funeral Thank You Etiquettes that You Should be Aware Of
It is not a requirement to send a ‘thank you’ note after a funeral. We do it to show gratitude and appreciation though. When sending a ‘thank you’ note, be aware of these simple guidelines.
- The right time to send it – there is no best time to send a funeral thank you note. Your friends and loved ones understand that you are grieving and will be grieving for months or probably years. However, writing a thank you note could be a great way to take your mind off this sad event in your life and remember how much your loved one is loved. They say it is best to send it 2 or 3 weeks after the funeral yet sending it after a few months would be fine
- Make it short – a simple thank you or acknowledgment can go a long way especially if you are writing it with sincerity. If you can be specific, do so. You can thank a friend for taking care of your puppy, for bringing in food during the funeral or for their generous donation
- Remember to add names - don’t forget your name or your family’s name and the name of the deceased
- Get help – do not get overwhelmed by the number of people you need to thank, instead, ask a family member to help you write. You can ask your family members to sign each thank you note before sending it out
- Use a sympathy thank you card – for your sympathy thank you card, choose a simple card with elegant design. You can opt for a blank card (so you can write your personal message inside) or go for a sympathy card with a message inside and just add your own personal message
Who to Thank
There is no rule that you should send a thank you note to everyone who attended your loved one’s funeral so do not stress yourself out about remembering everyone who showed up. If you have time and you just wanted to, your priorities for a thank you note will be those people who have done the following:
- Those who sent funeral flowers
- Those who made a donation
- Those who read funeral poems during the funeral
- Honorary Pallbearers and Flower Bearers
- Musicians or singers who performed during the funeral
- Those who contributed to the funeral service (readings, arrangement, singing)
- The clergy, pastor, officiant of the service
- Those who helped personally such as took care of your pets, provided food, helped in the kitchen, helped in assisting other visitors
- Someone who gave a eulogy
If you had experienced losing a loved one, you might think that you need to thank everyone who showed up. According to a website about funeral ‘thank you’ etiquette, there is no need to send thank you note to friends and relative who:
- Drop by to say their condolences
- Send condolence card
What to Include in a Thank You Note
Sending a sympathy thank you note is just okay yet to make it more personalized, you should add a short-handwritten message as well. Two to three sentences are enough, and it doesn’t need to be formal. On your ‘thank you’ note, you should add the following information:
- Name or nickname of the recipient – a nickname would make it more personal
- Your message – say how thankful you are for their time and support
- Concluding statement – say how their presence or help comforted you
- Give a warm regard – say sincerely, with love, much love, many thanks etc.
- Sign off – you can either sign it or just write your name or nickname
Why Spend Time Writing a ‘Thank You’ Note
With the advent of technology and the internet, you can just send an email to say thank you, send a text message or chat message or make a quick phone call to anyone that attended your loved one’s funeral. These actions can get the job done – you can still thank them.
However, there is something that a handwritten funeral ‘thank you’ note can do that electronic messages cannot – it makes the appreciation more heartfelt and sincere. Perhaps, we should include this as a funeral ‘thank you’ etiquette—meaning we should never underestimate the power of a personalized handwritten funeral ‘thank you’ note.
At such a difficult time, remember that sending a funeral ‘thank you’ card or note is not a must. For some people though, the thought of writing such can be comforting. It allows a person to think of the good times and the good people who loved the deceased. If you are in such a situation and you cannot find words to say, you can always ask for help from your family members, from the funeral director who handled the funeral or from special groups who are known in providing funeral ‘thank you’ notes.