Home Culture Thank-You Notes for a Funeral: What to Say and How to Express

Thank-You Notes for a Funeral: What to Say and How to Express

by Judith Lepage
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It can be difficult to be sure of what to say in a thank-you note, especially in the case of funerals. But remember, it’s been a difficult time for you. You’ve just had a major loss to come to terms with so it’s okay to take some time to think about what you want to say. No one will be in any rush to receive thank-you notes for a funeral.

What Is a Thank-You Note?

What Is a Thank-You Note

Thank-you notes for a funeral are short and simple written expressions of gratitude to all the attendees and helpers for their support.

Funerals are often arranged on short notice to give the fallen a proper send-off. This requires help and gives guests very little time to get ready, mourn or cry themselves, and show up well-dressed with a brave face.

A “Thank-You” note is simply a heartfelt expression of gratitude to someone for being considerate and caring. They’re usually handwritten with personal comments that vary with your relation to the recipient but always include gratitude for their attendance.

What To Include in a Thank-You Note

What To Include in a Thank-You Note

First of all, the best thing to do is to keep your thank-you notes genuine. Not only does that make them easier to write but the activity of doing so can also be really cathartic. The purpose of the thank-you note is to help you connect better with your attendees, so try to avoid any trite messages. Basically, don’t treat it as a formality.

As for what to write, it needs to be a personalized message based on whom you’re writing to and in some cases their contribution to the funeral. Some guests may have brought flowers, some may have helped out with the foodservice, some might have been there to regale the crowd with anecdotes of moments shared with the deceased.

There are some ideas below to give you some food for thought if you’re feeling stuck.

Do I Have to Write a Thank-You Note?

Do I Have to Write a Thank-You Note

Some of the attendees may not be close relatives/friends of the deceased or the family but may still have made the time and effort to show up to provide emotional support.

It is thanks to everyone’s presence that an air of solidarity is achieved in the room to celebrate the life of and mourn the passing of a loved one. And that is why funerals involve large social gatherings to mourn the passing — they help achieve closure.

Writing notes is not compulsory, and no one would ever find fault in your not sending one because everyone understands you are going through a tough time. But these small gestures of gratitude can help you forge stronger bonds with the people who cared about you and your family in your time of need.

It may also help them find closure if they’re still mourning. For all these reasons, you may take your time but you should send a note.

Different Types of Thank-You Notes For A Funeral

Here are some unique ideas to give you a sense of how to best write your notes. Unless they perfectly encapsulate what you’re trying to express, it would be best not to borrow them. Your note should sound like it came from you.

· For Funeral Flowers

For Funeral Flowers

Example #1.

Thank you so much for bringing those beautiful orchids to my grandma’s funeral. Grandma Kathy loved the fragrance of orchids, so we decided to adorn her final resting place with them to keep her blissful.

Example #2.

The whole family is sincerely thankful for the emotional support you provided to help us get through my sister’s funeral. And I’m sure if my sister were here, she would’ve loved the tulips. She was always fond of wildflowers.

Example #3.

Dear [person’s name],

The way you arranged those lilies under my mother’s picture was beautiful and really showed your love for her. We are thankful for your effort, and if mother were here, she’d want to give you a tight hug. Hope you can accept warm hugs and wishes from the whole family instead.

Sincerely,

[Your name]

Example #4.

Dear [Person’s name],

Thank you for remembering that roses were Aunt Emily’s favorite and also for your presence and support. We hope to come out of this stronger and warmly greet you again under better circumstances.

Lots of Love,

[Your name]

Example #5.

Thank you so much again for bringing my father’s favorite sunflowers from all that distance. It was really sweet of you to go out of your way like that, John would’ve appreciated it.

Kind remembrances,

[Your name]

· For Money Or Donation

For Money

Example #1.

Dear [Person’s name],

Thank you for your generous donation to the Susan Ross memorial. Susan was a proud teacher who wanted to spread knowledge and learning. Your contribution will aid in setting up a scholarship fund in her name.

Yours Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Example #2.

Dear [Person’s name],

The money you chipped in helped us enormously during a tough time and toward organizing the funeral. We are sincerely grateful and hope to return your boundless kindness someday.

Yours Truly,

[Your Name]

Example #3.

Dear [Person’s name],

The donation you made towards Steve’s memorial was nothing short of a true gesture of devotion toward remembering him. Your kindness and support lifted our spirits, and we hope you warmly welcome you in our home again on a better day.

Yours Sincerely,

[Your Name]

Example #4.

Dear [Person’s name],

Thank you again for the generous gift you made towards the funeral expenses. You really came through for us in our time of need, which shows how much Jesse meant to you. As his parents, we have nothing but pride in our son for forging such beautiful and caring friendships.

Yours Truly,

[Your Name]

Example #5.

Dear [Person’s name],

Thank you so much for the monetary support we received from you to organize Uncle Harvey’s funeral on such short notice. You proved to us that family is more than just a word, we hope to see you soon again.

Lots of Love,

[Your Name]

· For Food

For Food

Example #1.

We cannot thank you enough for your help with the catering at our grandfather’s funeral. All the attendees were able to receive warm food on schedule thanks to your contribution.

Example #2.

I was really low-energy on the day of my father’s funeral. Without your voluntary labor, the foodservice wouldn’t have gone as smoothly. So thank you for your helping hands.

Example #3.

Dear [Person’s name],

The casseroles you made and brought from home were delicious and just what we needed after a tiring day. Thank you for making the funeral easier to get through in one piece.

Yours Sincerely,

[Your name]

Example #4.

If it wasn’t for your help with arranging the plates at the funeral, we would’ve been overwhelmed and off-schedule. Thank you so much for your labor during the calling hours.

Example #5.

Dear [Person’s name],

Our guests truly appreciated the warm tea you made and brought from home, and so did I. We are blessed to have you in our family. Both your presence and tea helped soothed us through a tough time.

· For Attending

For Attending

Example #1.

Dear [Person’s name].

Thank you for traveling such a great distance to show us your support during our toughest hours. We will remember your kindness in the days to come and hope to find strength together in dealing with this loss.

Yours Truly,

[Your name]

Example #2.

I’m grateful to you for taking the time to show up for Dad’s funeral on such short notice. Knowing that you, like so many others, care brings me great comfort despite the circumstances.

Example #3.

Dear [Person’s name],

Thank you for showing up to support us emotionally as we grieved our precious grandmother’s passing. It is a kindness we hope to return someday.

Yours Truly,

[Your Name]

Example #4.

Thank you so much for coming with me to make the funeral arrangements for my mother. I was really emotional at the time, but your being there and going through the details for me helped me give her the perfect send-off. It’s one thing when someone attends and another when they’re with you every step of the way.

Example #5.

Dear [Person’s name]

We are really grateful that you were able to attend our Uncle Tom’s funeral just to support us, despite not knowing him that well. We truly appreciate your kindness.

Yours Truly,

[Your Name]

Tips for Writing Thank-You Notes

tips

How you want to write your thank-you notes is entirely up to you, but if there are too many to write, here are some tips to help you get through them.

#1. Be succinct. Try not to turn them into letters. You can express yourself in fewer words.

#2. Be honest. Unless the recipient has actually contributed in a major way to the funeral, you don’t need to sound overly thankful.

#3. If the person you’re addressing was a key figure in organizing the funeral or helping out a lot at the last minute, you should give them a more personalized thank-you.

#4. Losing a loved one takes its toll on your mental wellbeing and health, and on top of that, you had the funeral to arrange. So it’s perfectly fine to take your time, wait even a month, before sending notes. No one will mind one bit.

#5. Writing the notes by hand rather than printing them out gives them a more personalized touch.

A Few Parting Words

To sum up, take your time writing thank-you notes for a funeral. Don’t try to rush or get it over with because it isn’t urgent. And try to thank people in a meaningful way. The purpose of the note is to express your sincere gratitude for their attendance, support, and help to forge stronger bonds.

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