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What to say in thank you notes for funeral

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What to say in thank you notes for funeral
December 23, 2018 Holiday Thanks 3 comments Here you will find some examples of various thank you card wording. We have compiled a list of thank you card wording below in the.

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How to Write a Thank You Note After a Funeral

Sample MessagesGathering SuppliesDeciding What to SaySending the NotesShow 1 more...Show less...Article SummaryQuestions & AnswersRelated Articles

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After the death of a loved one, attending to the niceties of etiquette might be the last thing you want to do. Nevertheless, it's an important part of life to acknowledge others' kindness in times of grief and hardship. Sending a short, simple thank you note is not only basic etiquette, but also a thoughtful way to convey your appreciation for those who were involved in the lives of your late loved one.


Part 1

Gathering Supplies

  1. 1

    Compile a list of people to thank. A potential list could include the director and staff of the funeral home, as well as people who sent flowers, prepared a meal, or otherwise helped arrange the service. Be sure to send a note of thanks to the officiant who conducted the services. If someone expressed an especially meaningful sentiment to you at the funeral, feel free to include that person on the list, as well.[1]
    • You will want to have a notepad and pen handy to jot down each person's name and what they contributed. It's likely to be too much to try to remember on your own. You can delegate this task to another family member, but be sure that they get the first and last names of donors and what they gave or did for the services.
    • People to include on your list are: pallbearers, officiants, musicians, those who made any kind of donation (food, memorial, or flowers), and those who helped you in a tangible way with the arrangements (contacting the funeral home or babysitting your children, for example).[2]
    • Keep in mind that you do not need to send thank you notes to every person who attended the funeral. Only those who went above and beyond in their service or assistance need thank you notes. Everyone else can simply be thanked verbally at the service.[3]
  2. 2

    Decide between cards or stationery. There are many choices in thank you card design. Choose a card that looks elegant and understated. Or, if you prefer, you can buy nice stationery and fully hand-write your notes. The design, wording, and cards/stationery are ultimately matters of personal preference.[4]
    • Generally you should avoid sending an email or ecard in place of a handwritten thank you note, as these can seem impersonal.
  3. 3

    Choose blank thank you cards so you’ll have room to write. Regardless of what style of thank you note you select, look for blank cards or cards with minimal writing inside them. This way you will have space to write, and your thanks will stand out.[5]

  4. 4

    Keep it simple. Although etiquette is important, do not stress yourself out over these thank you notes. This is an instance of it being the thought that counts. Don’t worry about sending the wrong kind of card or choosing an ugly stationery. You are grieving, and these notes are simply a way for you to thank those who helped you during a tough time.

Part 2

Deciding What to Say

  1. 1

    Speak from the heart. Let the person know how much it meant to you that they were there for you during your time of need and that it meant a lot to you that they contributed in some way. There are many ways to approach the wording in your thank you notes, and all of them depend on what the person did for you and your loved ones. You might simply write two sentences thanking them for thinking of you at this time of great loss in your life and letting them know that it meant a lot to you.[6]
    • If you are especially close to the person you’re thanking, feel free to include a personal anecdote or story from the deceased’s life, if you share one with whomever you’re thanking. Personalizing your thank you notes is always a nice touch, but certainly don’t feel that you must do this.
  2. 2

    Be specific. In your thank you notes, reference specifically what the person or group you’re thanking contributed after your loved one passed. Whether it was a meal, flowers, or a memorial donation in their honor, specify what you’re thanking them for and let them know that their thoughtfulness meant a lot to you.[7]
    • Begin your thank you note generally and build to more specifics. For example, good starting points would say something general, such as "Thank you for your kindness during this difficult time" or "Our family appreciates your support during this difficult time."[8]
    • Then you can build to how they helped you specifically. After thanking them for their kindness if they delivered a meal, for example, you might say something like "The meal you sent us was wonderful because it made one less thing for me to worry about. We truly appreciated it." The key is to thank them for their specific contribution.[9]
  3. 3

    Avoid mentioning specific dollar amounts. If you’re writing a thank you note to someone who gave a monetary donation in memory of your loved one, thank them for their donation, but don’t mention how much they gave. Simply say that you are thankful for their generosity in honoring your deceased loved one.[10]
    • Good phrasing for a monetary donation might read like "Thank you for your generosity in our time of grief. The donation in honor of [deceased's name] means a lot to us." This way you convey your appreciation without mentioned how much they gave.[11]
  4. 4

    Don’t feel obligated to write long, detailed notes. Two or three sentences is sufficient to communicate your gratitude. The act of actually taking time to send individual thank you notes speaks volumes about how thankful you are. Don’t feel like you need to write long paragraphs to communicate your thankfulness.[12]
    • Sign the notes either with your own name or “Family of [Deceased’s Name].”

Part 3

Sending the Notes

  1. 1

    Try to send them within two weeks. General etiquette rules dictate that you need to send thank you notes within two weeks of the funeral. Your friends and loved ones know you’re grieving, so if you take longer to send the notes out, don’t worry. A late thank you note is better than no thank you note at all.[13]

  2. 2

    Solicit help if you need it. If the prospect of thanking dozens of people after the death of a loved one feels overwhelming, don’t hesitate to ask those around you for help. Even if it’s sending someone to the post office to buy you stamps or envelopes, delegate tasks to close friends or family members.[14]

  3. 3

    Remember that thank you notes are not a requirement. Finally, don’t feel bad if you don’t get around to thank you notes. While they are a key component of good etiquette, during times of grief, etiquette can take a backseat to our mourning. So if you can’t emotionally get through the thank you notes, don’t beat yourself up for not finishing them.

Community Q&A

Add New Question
  • Question

    Should I sign or write something additional on a pre-printed thank you card from the funeral home?

    Only if you want to, perhaps to a special person or someone who did something special, such as read or sang at the funeral or helped with the wake or something. It is not really expected as people know you have suffered a loss, but a quick line for a special thing done or extra generous memorial donation would be fine.

  • Question

    How do I sign the letter?

    As it says above, sign the notes either with your own name or “Family of [Deceased’s Name]."

  • Question

    I have some beautiful blank note cards with my Mother's name imprinted on the front of the card. Since she was the one who passed, would it be appropriate to use those cards instead of using ones with "thank you" on the front? I can't afford to buy new cards, so I thought this might be okay.

    Yes, you can definitely use the blank cards with your mother's name on them. On the inside message you can express your thanks to whomever you send the cards.

  • Question

    Who is the proper person to thank for funeral flowers that came from a group?

    Write a thank you note to the group, not one person. Send the note to the leader or someone you know that is involved. Be sure to address the entire group, as the note will be shared with the group.

  • Question

    What is the best way to write a thank you note after receiving funeral flowers? Should I describe the type of flowers I received?

    Write something like this: "I wanted to thank you for the flowers you sent me. They were very thoughtful." If the flowers carried a meaning you're away of, then you could make a mention of that (see the meaning of flowers) or you could mention that they were the deceased's favorite, if this was the truth, such as: "Thank you for the flowers. They were Marie-Claire's favorites. I know she'd have appreciated your caring thoughts."

  • Question

    How do I thank a friend of my brother's for paying for and preparing the after funeral meal?

    I've written something along the lines of: "Thank you for the kindness and caring you showed in providing such a delicious dinner. Your love for [the deceased] was so sincere in every dish - and all homemade! For many of us, this was the first real meal we could sit down and enjoy since s/he passed. Your thoughtfulness is so appreciated. Sincerely, the ___ Family"

  • Question

    What do I say to the undertaker who organized the funeral?

    Thank them for their time and compliment them on their planning abilities. A phone call, letter, or quick in-person visit will do.

  • Question

    What do I say to the person who performed the music for the service?

    Say something like: Thank you so much for generously donating your time and beautiful talent at such a difficult time for me, it's greatly appreciated.

  • Question

    How do I write a thank you to a Sunday school class for their sympathy and a memorial?

    Say thank you by going in person into their class. You could award small prizes such as a piece of jewelry, a book, a gift voucher, etc. to class members who were particularly helpful. Or, throw the whole class a morning tea.

  • Question

    How do I write a thank-you note as a widow with young children?

    If you're struggling to write the card with young children around, ask a family member or friend to mind them for a hour or two. If you don't know what to say, keep it simple and don't be afraid to let tears flow.

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  • Don’t try to do everything yourself. Try to enlist the help of willing family members and close friends. Writing thank you notes might help you with your grief, but it can be hard to focus on tasks after a major loss. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

What You'll Need

  • Notepad
  • Pen
  • Thank you cards or stationery
  • Stamps

How to help families who may have questions about writing thank you notes following a funeral service, such as what should be said.

5 Examples of Thank You Notes for Funeral Flowers

what to say in thank you notes for funeral

Select A Funeral Thank You Card Wording

Browse our funeral thank you card wordings and simply choose one, highlight the text with your mouse, right click and copy. You can then paste that verse directly into the 'Thank You Message' window, which is located on any of our funeral card designs. All of our memorial thank you card designs have options for entering what you want printed, on the product page. Paste your wording into the window and you can then adjust the wording, by tweaking it to your liking and adding family names. Alternatively you can also list the wording number and we will do the rest. We want to make this as easy as possible for you and we are here to help every step of the way.


Funeral Thank You Card Wording 1

Words cannot express
how grateful our family is
for your generous support,
encouraging words, and
thoughts and prayers.
Thank you for thinking of us
in our time of need.


Funeral Thank You Card Wording 1A

The kindness of relatives and friends
who shared our sorrow has comforted
and sustained us in the loss of (Deceased Name).
 We thank you sincerely for your
expressions of sympathy.


Funeral Thank You Card Wording 2

Your comforting expressions of sympathy will
always be remembered with deep gratitude.


Funeral Thank You Card Wording 3

Perhaps you sent a lovely card, or sat upon a chair.
Perhaps you sent us beautiful flowers. If so, we saw them there.
Perhaps you spoke the kindest words that any friend could say.
Perhaps you were not there at all, just thought of us that day.
Whatever you did to console our hearts,
We thank you so much, whatever your part.



Funeral Thank You Card Wording 4

Just a note to thank you for your
kindness during our time of need.



Funeral Thank You Card Wording 5

To sincerely thank you for your kind expressions of
sympathy in our recent bereavement.



Funeral Thank You Card Wording 6

The family of the late [name of deceased] wish to express their appreciation
for your kind thoughts and expressions of sympathy.



Funeral Thank You Card Wording 7

Of great comfort during our sorrow were the expressions of sympathy
conveyed to us in many ways. We appreciate your
thoughtfulness and thank you most sincerely.



Funeral Thank You Card Wording 8

The family of [name of deceased] wishes to thank you most sincerely
for your expressions of kindness and sympathy.



Funeral Thank You Card Wording 9

Your kind expression of sympathy during
Our time of sorrow is greatly appreciated.



Funeral Thank You Card Wording 10

Our family acknowledges with grateful
appreciation your kind expression of sympathy.



Funeral Thank You Card Wording 11

A friendly smile, a casual touch.
These are the things that mean so much.
To know you are with us in our time of sorrow.
Sharing our prayers, today and tomorrow.



Funeral Thank You Card Wording 12

Thank you sincerely for your kind
and thoughtful expression of sympathy.



Funeral Thank You Card Wording 13

During the time of sorrow we learn how much our friends really mean to us. 
Thank you so much for your kindness and sympathy at a time when it
was deeply appreciated.



Funeral Thank You Card Wording 14

We wish to warmly thank you for your comforting words and genuine
acts of kindness in our time of sadness.



Funeral Thank You Card Wording 15

The family wish to express their deep appreciation and
sincerely thank you for your kind expressions of sympathy.



Funeral Thank You Card Wording 16

Your kind and thoughtful expression of sympathy
is deeply appreciated and gratefully acknowledged.



Funeral Thank You Card Wording 17

We deeply appreciate your thoughtfulness and thank you most sincerely.



Funeral Thank You Card Wording 18

Thank you sincerely for sharing our sorrow. Your
thoughtfulness is appreciated and will always be remembered.



Funeral Thank You Card Wording 19

We are sincerely grateful to the many friends who have given us
support and comfort during this time of loss.



Funeral Thank You Card Wording 20

Your thoughtfulness has meant so much and
everything you have done is truly appreciated...Thank You.



Funeral Thank You Card Wording 21

With appreciation for your thoughtfulness.



Funeral Thank You Card Wording 22

Perhaps you sent us flowers
or made us a meal.
Perhaps you sent a lovely card
or maybe we saw you there.
Perhaps you spoke the kindest words
that any friend could say.
Perhaps you were not there at all but
kept us in your thoughts and prayers.
Our loving thanks to you all.



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70 Funeral Thank You Notes To Appreciate Friends And Family

what to say in thank you notes for funeral

A sympathy thank you note only needs to contain a simple sentence or two. The important thing is that you are acknowledging someone’s thoughtfulness. Your message can be brief as long as it is heartfelt.

Many people choose to include a short personal note using preprinted sympathy thank you cards. If you prefer, you can use a blank note card.  Thank you cards can be purchased from the funeral home, gift shops, department stores, stationery stores, or from online printing services that specialize in funeral products.

It’s always good etiquette to make your message sincere and personal. Your goal is to express gratitude for the kindness shown to you and your family. Whatever sentiment you include in your message, the person receiving your note will appreciate the time you have taken to say thank you. There is no need to worry about what to write. As long as your message is appropriate for the situation, you will say the right thing.

To help you get started on crafting what you’d like to say, we have included a variety of tips and examples.

Top Tips for Writing a Sympathy Thank You Note

  • Don’t worry if time has passed since the funeral. While it’s best to get your notes in the mail within a few weeks of the funeral, people will understand if it takes a month or two.
  • Ask for help if you need it. The number of thank you notes that need to be sent out can increase quickly. Don’t be afraid to ask family members to help.
  • Break the list into pieces. Tackling the entire list at once can be overwhelming. Breaking the task up into manageable pieces can make it easier to get started.
  • Your signature can include other family members. If you’re sending a sympathy thank you note to someone on behalf of your entire family, signing it “the family of …..” is perfectly acceptable. This allows the sender to encompass the gratitude of all members of the family. If sympathies have been extended primarily to you, it’s fine to simply sign your own name.
  • Include your last name or the full name of the deceased in the note. Be sure to include your last name when thanking those who aren’t close friends (for example, the office or workplace of your loved one). This is especially important if you are a bit late (or very late) in sending out your acknowledgments.
  • Short but meaningful is the goal. A simple 1 to 3 sentence thank you is all that is needed as long as it is personal and comes from the heart. You can purchase sympathy thank you notes that come with a preprinted message or blank note cards for your message. Even if you use preprinted notes, you should add a brief personal message.

Examples of What to Say in a Sympathy Thank You Note

There are countless ways to phrase your expression of gratitude. Below are some typical sentiments that you can use to get started.

  • Thank you for your sympathy and kindness.
  • We deeply appreciate your expression of sympathy.
  • Thank you for your support at this difficult time.
  • Thank you for your prayers and thoughts.
  • We are grateful for friends like you at this time of sorrow.
  • We appreciate having you with us at this difficult time in our lives.
  • Thank you for the support and comfort you provided.

What do I say in a sympathy thank you note for condolence flowers?

Sending flowers to acknowledge the loss of someone is one of the most common expressions of sympathy. You will likely have a number of thank you cards for funeral flowers to write. Below are some examples of things you might say.

  • The [wreath/arrangement] you sent to the funeral home was stunning. We greatly appreciate your thoughtfulness and consideration during this difficult time.
  • The flowers you sent in honor of ____________ was one of our favorite arrangements. It meant the world to us to have your support.
    Thank you for your kindness in sending flowers to the funeral home for ___________________’s funeral. The arrangement was beautiful and ____________________ would have loved them.
  • Thank you so much for the lovely [wreath/arrangement] you sent to ____________________’s funeral.  I know ___________ would have been very touched
    by your thoughtfulness.
  • Thank you for sending the beautiful [wreath/arrangment]. Your kindness and thoughtfulness meant so much to us.
  • The flowers you sent brought such beauty and light to the room. I know that _______________ would have loved them.
  • It was so kind of you to send the spectacular [wreath/arrangement] to ___________________’s funeral. We are very grateful to have you in our lives.
  • Thank you for the gorgeous [wreath/arrangement]. That was very kind of you and I/we feel so grateful to have you in my life/our lives.

What do I say in a sympathy thank you note for a cash donation?

It is appropriate to send a thank you note if someone has made a donation in the deceased’s name. While it is considered bad form to state the dollar amount that is given, there are other ways express gratitude for cash gifts appropriately. You may also find yourself receiving a cash donation. Acknowledging cash can be a little awkward but there are many ways to say thank you. Below are a few suggestions to help:

  • Thank you for your kindness in remembering _________ with your donation. Your thoughtfulness and generosity are much appreciated by the entire family.
  • We are so appreciative of your generosity. Your donation in honor of ___________ will help fund the grave marker. Thank you so very much.
  • It was so kind of you to make a donation to the family in honor of _____________. We are pleased to pay it forward by sending a gift to the ______ charity, which was dear to _________’s heart. Thank you for your generosity and kindness.
  • Your donation in honor of __________’s memory touched us deeply. Thank you for your generosity and thoughtfulness, and may God bless you.
  • We appreciate your thoughtful donation to ____________ in memory of ______________.
  • Thank you so much for the generous donation to the __________ in ________’s name. As you know, he suffered from __________ for years before his passing, and this was the perfect gift in his memory.
  • Thank you so much for the generous donation to the __________ in ________’s name. As you know, supporting  __________ was a passion for _____________ for many years. Your donation was the perfect way to honor her memory.

What do I say in a sympathy thank you note for sympathy food and meals?

  • Thank you so much for providing a meal for our family! It was wonderful to be able to have one less meal to worry about during this difficult and busy time.
  • Bringing dinner to our home was extremely generous and very much appreciated. We are grateful to have friends like you!
  • It meant so much that you took the time to prepare food for us. Not only was it delicious it was greatly appreciated!
  • The kindness you showed by taking the time to cook for us brought a great deal of comfort and relief during this difficult time. Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness.
  • Thank you so much for bringing ________________________ for the after funeral reception. The _____________ was particularly delicious.
  • You made my day so much easier by bringing _________________ for the family to enjoy after the funeral. It was so nice to be able to spend time with the family without worrying about preparing dinner.
  • The casseroles you brought to the house were just with we needed! We enjoyed them for days. I don’t know what we would have eaten without them. Thank you for thinking of us

Addressing your acknowledgments

Thank you notes should be sent to people at their own address. It is generally not proper to include a person’s name on a card and send it to an address where they do not live unless it is addressed something like this: “Joe Smith, c/o Sue Anderson.” You should only do this if you cannot locate an address for the recipient and are sure that the person you are sending it “in care of” is willing to deliver it to the recipient.

What about the return address? If you’re a woman whose spouse has died, you are still “Mrs. John Smith,” and it is perfectly proper to use that title in your return address. “Sally Smith” is acceptable too. “The Smith Family” also is fine, if you’re writing on behalf of your family.

Should you use a preprinted return address label that includes the name of the deceased? Although good etiquette recommends a handwritten return address, using a preprinted label is a call only you can make. If you feel comfortable with it, or feel that it honors the memory of your loved one, then, by all means, use your “John and Sally Smith” address label.

Have you thought about planning ahead? The loss of a loved one is a time of transition. We may feel a need to reorganize and make sure that everything is in order for the road ahead. If you’re thinking of preplanning, our funeral planning tools can guide you through the process. Always free and always there when you need them.

Contributor: Jenny Mertes

Make writing easy by using the Best Wording Samples for funeral thank you cards and notes.

20 Great Thank You Notes for Sympathy Messages

what to say in thank you notes for funeral

Going through losing someone can be a difficult thing to do alone. Thanking a friend or relative that was there to help you is a great way to show the gratitude you feel for being there for you. Here is a look at some great thank you notes for sympathy messages that were shared with you during this difficult time.

“It has always been a privilege to have you for a friend. I don’t know how we would have coped with the loss of our wonderful son if we hadn’t had your huge support. Thanks never seems enough at times like this.”

“It was so thoughtful of you to think of me during my time of sadness. Your sympathy card and kind words of condolence are of great comfort to me as I grieve my Father’s death.”

“Just a quick note to show our appreciation for the beautiful flowers you’ve sent. We are grateful for your thoughtfulness while we are going through this difficult time.”

“Sorry it’s taken me a while to put pen to paper to thank you for the moving gift you sent me when little [name] was taken from us. It’s been so hard, and I’m only just beginning to come out of the shock I think. Your gift will help to remind me of the happy times, although short, that we spent with our son. I’m getting stronger each day, so don’t be a stranger, I’d love to get together for a cuppa soon.”

“Thank you for praying for us and for him/her. We appreciate your support and good feelings.”

“Thank you for remembering the good things you have learned from our dearest deceased and for sharing them with us.”

“Thank you for showing us that we are not alone in our grief.”

“Thank you for the lovely card. I really appreciate your kind thoughts. [name] always said you were the best work colleague anyone could have had. You helped her to cope during the early part of her illness and she really appreciated your visits to the home and hospital.”

“Thank you for the lovely flowers you sent us. They were really beautiful. It has been such a comfort to know that you were thinking of us while we were saying goodbye to our wonderful Mum. It’s been a really tough few weeks, but with the support of friends like yourselves we are getting through it. I hope that we will be able to catch up soon.”

“Thank you for your kind letter of condolence and for sharing in your memories of mum. Mum lived a long, happy life and I shall miss her dearly; your wonderful memories of her and kind words helped lift my spirits.”

“Thank you for your sympathy card and flowers. We are deeply touched by your words of condolence and are thankful that you are there for us at this difficult time.”

“Thank you for your sympathy during our time of loss. Your kind words are of great comfort to us as we try to come to terms with our daughter’s death.”

“Thank you for your thoughtfulness in helping me with the food and guests at the services. I am so grateful for your helping hand in my time of need. Thanks again.”

“Thank you for your thoughtfulness. Your generosity and support during this difficult time is greatly appreciated.”

“Thank you so much for the beautiful flowers you sent. They touched me deeply, as did your words of sympathy. I am so grateful to have you and your family close by as I grieve [name] untimely death.”

“Thank you so much for understanding the way we felt at the moment and for telling us the right words of condolences.”

“The family would like to take this opportunity to express our sincerest appreciation for the thoughtfulness presented to us and love we have been given during our time of bereavement.”

“The kind, generosity of good friends like you has been a great help to us during this very difficult time. Thank you so very much for your loving support.”

“There are simply no words to express my heartfelt thanks for the sympathy you have extended toward our family during this time of loss. We are deeply grateful to you.”

“We would like to give our thanks for the beautiful photos and flowers. We greatly appreciate your kindness, support, and generosity in this difficult time.”

Sometimes there is nothing better than a lighthearted reminder from kids on how to say thank you for the generous things that are offered to use from others.

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