The thank-you note writing tradition is strong in my family. Recognizing their sympathy, kindness and support is a thoughtful gesture that.
The last thing on your mind when grieving is to remember to send out a thank-you note to those who are there for you during that difficult time. However, it is appropriate to express your thanks to those who lent their support. The act of writing a note of appreciation is also a healing exercise that refreshes your perspective to see that you are cared for by many whom love and appreciate you, too.
Keep in mind that not every person who deserves a thank-you note was present at the funeral; therefore, you might choose to thank each person who made the effort to show their sympathy and support in other ways.
Consider sending a thank-you note to:
You may wish to post a public thank-you notice in your local paper as a way of thanking larger groups of people involved in the care of your loved one: the hospital and staff or caregiver(s), your clergy representative, the funeral home and staff, or any catering or transportation services that helped out in addition to the family, friends and associates who may have sent cards, flowers, donations, or made arrangements to assist during this overwhelming time.
*** A donation to a charity in the honour of someone or in memory will be acknowledged by the charitable organization, but you must also write a thank-you note to the donor.
*** Following a death, handwritten thank-you notes are written to people who sent flowers or donations; to those who helped with hot meals, hosted dinners, put up out-of-town visitors, lent chairs, or where otherwise supportive; and to all those who sent notes of condolence (exception: those who sent printed cards with only a signature and no personal message.) You may use the printed cards supplied by the funeral director if you add a personal note. When the person closest to the bereaved is unable to write immediately, a member of the family or a friend may write thank yous on their behalf. The notes don’t have to be long, and don’t even have to be sent as soon as other types of thank-you notes; traditionally, you have up to six weeks after a funeral. To keep track of who sent flowers, attached cards should be collected by a family member or funeral home official and a description of the flowers noted on each.
1. Purchase simple (plain), good-quality stationery.
The occasion calls for quality paper and envelopes that are easily obtainable at any store selling paper products.
2. Write a simple thank you.
Be to the point and keep it short and simple; there is no need to write an essay. People understand what you are going through. Simply speak from the heart.
Some comments you might include:
Write the thank-you notes when you can, and if you can:
As with any form of acknowledgment, it is best to send notes of appreciation for support as soon as possible after the event, although certain considerations are given to families that are grieving.
Please, do not feel pressured into writing notes when you aren’t feeling up to it. For some people, writing the thank-yous might be a cathartic process that aids in their healing process, for others it might serve to get their mind off of pain, and for others it might be a way of reconnecting with people after feeling disconnected. Yet for some who are simply exhausted by what they are going through, writing notes is the last thing they can do or want to do.
Accordingly, do what is right for you. Just do what feels right. Delegate the duty to another family member or friend, or dictate the thank-you message portion if need be.
When you write a thank-you note, do share your thoughts and appreciation for what they have done for you. Focus on a happy moment that you or the person to whom you are writing shared with the person who died.
Ask helpers to send out the notes. If you aren’t up to labeling envelopes, licking them, sticking on stamps and mailing them, request the help of a friend or someone else to do it for you. You’ll find that people are more than ready to assist you.
The family and friends of Dr. Fred Baker
mourn his passing
and celebrate his life.
He touched all our lives in so many ways –
as a father, a doctor, a friend, a teacher;
His integrity and steadfast love for his children,
family, and friends;
His unwavering concern for and gentleness with
those who sought his help, and
His lifelong commitment to right-living
and teaching by example.
With love, the memory of his kind deeds and the
strength of his example live on.
Thank you for remembering him.
The overwhelming flood of emotions has begun to subside. Taking each new day, one at a time. All that is done, sits in the back of my mind. All that there is to do, must start somewhere.
As I sit here, the numbness of my loved one gone reminds me of my grief. You reached out. Your caring touched me. Your love embraced me. Your strength helped me to find clarity and allow some peace of mind — for that I am thankful.
Great-Grandma Edna would often talk about you and how you taught her how to fish when nobody else would. She’s the one who taught me. Thank you, Bill, for coming to say good-bye to Great-Grandma, and for the picture of the best fishing buddies in the world. I bet she’s teaching the angels all your fishing tricks right now!
Thank-You Note to Clergy for Funeral
City, State Zip
Dear Pastor Hoit,
My mother’s death was a terrible blow for everyone in our family, but your heartfelt eulogy during her memorial service helped us all begin to move past our grief and toward an appreciation of who she was and where she is now.
I wanted to offer my deepest gratitude for the compassion and sensitivity you showed during your remarks. It’s no easy task putting into words what such a woman meant to her family, her friends, and her congregation. You nevertheless managed to articulate how so many of us were feeling that day.
Your words were a rare comfort in what has been one of the most difficult times of my life, and for that I will always be indebted to you.
All my thanks,
Thank-You Note for Sympathy
City, State Zip
Your note came just after I returned from Wisconsin, where I buried my father. The solitude here and the recent loss weighed heavily on my mind, and your caring comments made things seem brighter. Thankyou for writing.
After Tragic Accident
Thankyou for your kind expression of sympathy after my son’s tragic accident. We can never prepare for the depth of despair that such a sudden death brings, and the connection of our coworkers and friends helps tremendously to ease us back into the mainstream of life –- physically, if not yet emotionally. Thankyou for your card and concern.
Greg and Susanna
For Comforting Note After Surgery
I enjoyed the card you sent while I was recovering from my surgery. At such times, the minutes drag and words from the outside are so welcome! Thankyou for your thoughtfulness.
What to say on a sympathy note and how to write a sympathy thank you note.
Wording sympathy thank you notes is a difficult task when you are grieving. Writing thank you messages for sympathy is the last thing on your mind, let alone thinking about who should actually receive one.
I hope that my sample wording to say thank you will help you at this difficult time.
I, too, have lost loved ones and, must confess, did not even think about sending sympathy thank you notes at the time. I now regret it dearly, as the support, flowers and cards my family received at the time was overwhelming.
I have also included sympathy thank you notes for terminal illness. You will find these towards the end of the page.
If someone you know has lost a loved one and you require help with sympathy card wording here, you will find thoughtful words to express sympathy and sample condolence letters.
There is no hard and fast rule. Write heartfelt thank you messages to those who comforted you and shared in your loss.
Thank you cards or notes are normally sent out to the following, but there is no set rule.
Friends and loved ones who helped with the funeral services, in the preparation of food, babysitting or other arrangements.
Those who sent flowers, donations, cards, or gifts.
Thank you so much for the beautiful flowers you sent in memory of dad. The wording in your card really touched my heart and will help me though the difficult time ahead.
Your help at this sad time is most appreciated.
Thank you for your kind words and the support you gave us during Jane's illness and her passing. Jane was so lucky to have known you; you are a true friend.
Dear Julia and Peter,
The card you sent is lovely and the wording, so touching. I am so thankful for your love and support. Losing Robert, so suddenly, has left me feeling so helpless and I am literally walking around in a fog.
Your offer of help with the funeral is so much appreciated as I know I must try to gather strength for the coming weeks and months.
The spring bulbs you sent in memory of Mum arrived yesterday. It is so kind of you to send such a lovely gift and I have already planted them in the garden. Dad will be able to enjoy their blooms next spring.
Thank you once again for your thoughtfulness and support during this difficult time.
Your beautiful flowers arrived today. Thank you so much for thinking of us and your kind words about Peter are very much appreciated.
I don't know what I would have done without you! Thank you for all the help and support you gave me in organizing the funeral and the babysitting service. Words cannot express my gratitude.
Thank you for your thoughtful card and kind words you shared about Tom. It is nice to know that you are thinking of us at this sad time. I know you and Tom were close and his death must also come as a great shock to you.
It is very kind of you to offer your help and support at the funeral, We really appreciate it.
Your sympathy and prayers are much appreciated at this sad time. Thank you for your kind words and the photographs you enclosed. I love the one of mum and you on holiday last year, she was at her happiest then.
When my mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer 14 years ago, I remember, the amount of cards and letters she received were so gratefully received. Sadly my mum never had time to come to terms with her condition but treasured every single message, card and flower that she received.
If you or a loved one are in such a position and would like to write a message of thanks, I hope the wording below might be of help.
Sadly, we did not receive the news we hoped for, today. Laura is still in hospital and I would appreciate not receiving any calls, text messages or visitors, for the time being. I just want to digest the news and be there for Laura. I will let you all know when I am ready. Please know that we are both thankful for all your support at this time.
It is with heartbreaking sadness that I write to let you know that our beloved David passed away on Sunday morning. Without your generosity he wouldn't have been able to carry on with his cancer treatment, which in fact, was working. However, due to complications connected with his primary tumour, treatment had to be halted. Sadly, this meant that the cancer spread aggressively and nothing more could be done.
We were all so full of hope and will be eternally grateful for all your generous donations to the fund. It was David's wish to donate the remaining money to research into bowel cancer.
Thank you once again for all your well wishes and support over the last year. I cannot even bring myself to imagine life without him. My darling husband, a dear father, a caring brother, a loving son, a cherished uncle. A star in our lives forever taken. Taken far too young.
Lots of love xxxxx
The last few days have been very difficult as I come to terms with the bad news. But I thank each and every one of you for your support, love and above all, the hope that you give me. I cherish all your messages.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Below is a card I designed, which is available to purchase from Zazzle. I hope you like it.
Personalized Thank You Notes
Funeral Thank You Notes Wording
Condolence Thank You Notes Wording
Sympathy Cards WordingPet Loss Thank You Notes Wording
Return to Bereavement Thank You Notes Wording
Return from Sympathy Thank You Notes to Sample Thank You Notes Wording Home
During difficult times of tragedy, such as death, family and friends may send sympathy gifts. Sending a subsequent thank you note shows your appreciation for their kindness. However, actually writing the note might seem like an overwhelming process, particularly following a funeral. Don't feel apprehensive about letting time pass before writing thank you notes, as those around you understand the time required to get through the grieving process.
Think about what to write before actually writing on the cards. According to the Emily Post Institute, "notes of condolence should be acknowledged with a handwritten note." Therefore, write on another sheet of paper before neatly writing your thank you notes.
Begin the thank you note by greeting acknowledging the person or persons who have given you a gift. Begin with "Dear" (insert name or names if it is a married couple). If you are writing to a family, write "Dear Smith Family..." Place a comma after the name.
Express your gratitude by stating your appreciation of their kindness in the first sentence. An example of the first sentence might include: "Thank you so much for being supportive of me and my family during this difficult time."
Acknowledge your appreciation of the gift in the second and third sentences. State the actual gift in the note and what it means to you. An example of this might include: "Thank you so much for the beautiful calla lillies. They have added warmth and beauty to my home."
Write a touching memory for the person you are writing the thank you note to about the deceased person. An example of this might include: "Phillip really enjoyed playing golf with you and he always commented on your kind spirit."
End the note by expressing your appreciation for their kindness and concern. An example of this might include: "Thank you again for your kindness and support of me and my family during our time of mourning."
Close the note with phrases such as love, warm regards or sincerely. Make sure the first letter is capitalized and place a comma after the closing. Write your name or your family's name underneath the closing.
silver thank you image by Brett Mulcahy from Fotolia.com
Funeral thank you notes can be difficult to write. Please know that you have my sympathy if you are in this situation. The sample wordings in this post are here to .
After a funeral, you may want to send out thank-you notes for flowers, food, donations, fruit baskets, to your coworkers, the funeral director, pallbearers, the organist or other musicians.
Funeral thank you notes can be difficult to write. Please know that you have my sympathy if you are in this situation. The sample wordings in this post are here to help you figure out what to say.
For more general help with funerals, check out the Funeral Resources site.
Use the links in the table of contents below, to quickly jump to at section.
Examples to thank the funeral pastor are in the pastor appreciation post here.
When you are ready, the templates and samples below can help you get started with your notes.
Should I write a thank-you note to those that came to the funeral but did not give a gift or donation?
No. It’s not necessary to thank those that were at the service or calling hours but did not give flowers or any other type of gift. However, If you want to, you can send a bereavement thank you note.
Should I send a thank-you note for every sympathy card?
Dear [Person's Name]
Thank you for your support when my mother passed away. Your comforting words meant meant a lot to me. The card and your note were touching.
I appreciate the sympathy card, note, and flowers you sent when [person's name] passed away. You've always been a thoughtful person and I'm glad that you are in my life. I am grateful for your support during this difficult time.
Thank you for the beautiful card and sharing your story of when your sister passed away. Losing my sister has been very hard and your words provided comfort. Thanks for being there for me!
Thank you for going to the funeral home with me to help make arrangements for my mom. She was very special to me and I am glad you were able to go with me. It's all felt overwhelming. Your support helped me get through the planning details. The service turned out very well because of your help.
You are such a strong, loving person. Thank you for helping me when my dad died. I am glad you came over to make sure I was actually eating the food that was being dropped off by others. I am grateful for your support.
Thank you for being my best friend and being there once again when I needed help. The funeral went as well as a funeral could go and I was thankful to have you by my side. And, I appreciate the cards and phone calls checking on me.
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7 Examples for money or donation
Dear [person’s name],
Thank you for making a donation to Hospice in memory of [name of deceased]. We were grateful for the support of Hospice near the end of her life. Also, thank you for coming to the funeral. [Name of deceased] shared many stories about you with the family in recent weeks.
[Your name or family of [deceased]
Dear [person’s name],
We appreciate your donation to the Humane Society made in honor of Uncle Joe. Joe was a dog lover his whole life, and he would be happy knowing that more dogs will be helped.
[Your name or family of [deceased]
Thank you for the money at the time of Betty's passing. Your contribution was given to the American Heart Association as Betty was a long time supporter of their research. Also, thank you for attending her funeral.
The monetary donation you made at John's funeral is appreciated. The family used it to help cover the funeral expenses. We are grateful that John had such a wonderful boss in you. He spoke highly of you often.
Thank you for your generous gift given at the calling hours for [person's name]. I am grateful for the monetary support as his passing was unexpected. Your donation was used towards the expenses.
We are grateful for your monetary support during this time. The money you donated was used to cover dinner and snack food for the family during the calling hours at the funeral home. The entire family thanks you!
Thank you for the donation you made in Betty's honor in lieu of flowers. Betty was passionate about [organization name or cause]. Betty talked often of you and how wonderful of a friend you were to her.
There are examples below for funeral flower thank-you notes. The generic thank you for the flowers templates are here.
Dear [person’s name],
The flowers for Betty’s funeral were beautiful. The arrangement of purple carnations and white lilies was stunning, and Betty would have loved them. Thank you for your kindness and remembering the family.
[Your name or family of [deceased]
Dear [person’s name],
We appreciated the roses at my grandma’s funeral. Roses were her favorite. Roses will always remind me of grandma.
Thank you for the beautiful flower arrangement sent to the funeral home for my sister’s funeral. She loved tulips and I loved that you choose my favorite color for them. I will plant them outside soon. Each year, when they bloom, will be a pleasant reminder of you and my sister.
I am grateful to have you as a friend. The flowers remembering my grandpa are lovely. Thank you for caring about me and my family.
The family appreciated the flowers for Aunt [Aunt’s Name]. The arrangement was amazing and my aunt would have loved them. Thank you for showing your support and sympathy through the flowers.
Sending flowers to the church for my grandma’s funeral was thoughtful. The flowers helped the church to look beautiful during the service. Also, thank you for coming to the visitation.
Many flowers were sent to the funeral home for my dad. I liked your flowers the most! And I appreciate that you choose flowers that are not poisonous to my cats. I will enjoy them at home this week and not have to worry about my cats dying if they decide to eat them.
Thank you note cards available on Amazon are below (affiliate links)
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This could be for food brought to the funeral home for calling hours, or the after the funeral meal or food brought to your home before/after the funeral.
Dear [Person’s Name],
Thank you for organizing the food for the calling hours. The church has been a real blessing to us during this difficult time. The family loved the chicken wings and side dishes.
The Jones family
Dear [Person’s Name],
I was feeling overwhelmed when [Name of deceased] passed away. The casseroles you brought over were great! I lived on them for a couple of weeks and may not have eaten otherwise. Thanks for being there for me.
Dear [Name of church or church contact],
The meal after the funeral at the church was wonderful. Thank you for hosting the family and providing all the food. Food is such a comfort in times like this. We were able to share many memories of [Name of deceased] during the meal.
The Jones family
Thank you for arranging the pizza for my family during the weekend of my mother’s passing. With so many family members visiting from out of state, the pizza was a blessing. We were all happy to be able to eat together at home without figuring out what to eat. Also, thank you for coming to the funeral.
My family is thankful for the meals provided when my husband passed away. This has been a very difficult time for us. The children were glad to have some of their favorite comfort foods on hand. Your support has been a bright spot for all of us.
The casseroles you provided for the meal after the funeral were great. The enchilada and lasagna casseroles were big hits. Thank you for providing this comfort food.
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6 Thank you note after funeral to coworkers
Note: If you are thanking a group of coworkers at the same time, you may send them all one email.
Thank you for sending flowers to the funeral home. The arrangement was beautiful, and I felt touched that the team remembered me during this difficult. I will see you all when I return to work after settling Mom’s affairs.
Dear [coworker’s name]
Thank you for coming to my dad’s funeral. His passing was very hard and unexpected. Your support was appreciated.
I have the best coworkers! Thank you for the flowers sent to the church for my grandma’s funeral. They helped me to know that you were thinking of me while I was out of the office. I also appreciate all the work that was covered for me while I was out.
I am thankful to have you as a coworker. Your presence at the visitation was appreciated. I am grateful that we have become not only co-workers but friends.
You are a very thoughtful person. Thank you for coming to the visitation and funeral for my mom. As you know, her passing was very hard on me. I appreciate all of your support.
Thank you all for coming to the funeral last week. I am thankful that I was able to be away without worrying about my job and if my work would get covered. We have the best team!
Thank you note cards available on Amazon are below (affiliate link).
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Notes and tips:
Funeral directors are usually very helpful when the time comes to make arrangements for a loved one. I commend you for wanting to thank your funeral director during this difficult time. Below you will find example thank-you notes to help you get started.
When my mother-in-law died unexpectedly we relied on the funeral director. He helped us with death certificates, cremation process, transportation of the deceased, and filing the obituary with the local newspaper. This is a small list of what funeral directors can do. Read more about funeral directors here.
Another idea for wording examples is to browse funeral home websites that share thank-you notes as testimonials. If you look at the site for the funeral home you use, just be sure that you do not exactly copy someone’s note and then give it to them. It’s possible that they would recognize it as being from their own website!
If you worked with several people, it’s fine to address the note to the staff of the funeral home.
Dear staff of [funeral home name],
Thank you for helping us through the process from beginning to end. We were not prepared for mom’s death. We appreciate all the support from the entire staff. Having food delivered during the long day of calling hours was a fantastic idea. The family was thankful to be able to step away for a bite to eat while taking a break.
The [your last name] family
Dear [Name of funeral director],
Thank you for ensuring all the details of my Aunt [aunt’s name] funeral went smoothly. When she asked me to be her representative upon her passing I was not sure what all that would entail. I was glad for your help with the obituary and obtaining the death certificates.
I want to thank you for all the time you spent with my family. Explaining each step helped us make decisions and feel in control of a very hard situation. Thank you for arranging for [name of deceased] to be taken to the church. Having the funeral at the church she attended for over 50 years was important to the family. Your suggestion to make a DVD with photos worked out very well as family and friends enjoyed viewing it during the calling hours.
Thank you for everything you and your staff did for [deceased name’s] funeral. The room was the perfect size for the funeral and the organist did a great job playing the hymns. Everything went as well as possible given the situation. I appreciate that you were able to organize the pall bearers as that part was too stressful for me to deal with at the time.
We appreciate the kindness of all of the staff during the calling hours and funeral for my grandma. She was a special lady and I am thankful that everything went smoothly. The family appreciated the snacks that were on hand for the calling hours too.
We felt blessed to have you as our funeral director. Thank you for everything you did to make sure that everything went smoothly. We will recommend you to other families when they need a funeral director.
Thank you for being an awesome funeral director! I wasn't aware of how much happened behind the scenes until my dad passed. Your knowledge and expertise helped make the process feel not so overwhelming.
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Thank you for serving as a pallbearer at Paul's funeral. He requested to have you a pallbearer many years ago. I appreciate you serving in this way.
Grandma will be missed. We are grateful that you were able to serve as a pallbearer. Grandma told us how much she enjoyed your visits over the years.
Thank you for being a last minute pallbearer at Jane's funeral. Her youngest son is doing better now, but the grief was too much for him at the funeral. We are glad that you were able to stand in and help out in this way.
Greg enjoyed spending time with you. A few days before he passed, he asked us to ask you to be a pallbearer when the time came. Thank you for honoring his request.
Thank you for coming to Mr. Smith's funeral. We are glad that you were willing to be a pallbearer. Mr. Smith would have appreciated it too. We are thankful you were there with us to help celebrate life.
Thank you for playing the organ at my mom's funeral. She would have enjoyed the hymns you selected. The music played before the funeral felt peaceful. We appreciate you serving in this way.
You are a wonderful organist. The family was grateful that the funeral home has you on staff for funerals. Aunt Jane loved organ music her whole life and we are glad the funeral home had an organ to help fulfill her final wishes.
Attending Scott's funeral was heartbreaking. Hearing the beautiful music coming from the piano was calming. Thank you for being there and playing the requested music.
Your performance of Amazing Grace was wonderful. I understand why Grandma asked you to sing a solo! Your ability to make it through without crying was impressive. I know how much you loved her and will miss her.
Thank you for coordinating all of the music for Jane's funeral. We felt very overwhelmed. Your experience was appreciated by all. And, thank you for singing the two solo pieces that Jane asked for.
I hope these notes have been helpful. Again, I’m sorry to hear that you need to write this type of thank-you note.
You may also like:
Flower thank-you note templates
Writing out these greeting cards may bring about thoughts and memories of the If you are in the process of composing sympathy thank you cards, you may.