Many family members and friends go above and beyond to help a grieving family during a funeral. It can help make a difficult time a little easier.
If you are on the receiving end of this kindness and support, you may want to show your appreciation by sending thank you notes. As such, we have compiled a guide to help you pick the right words to say to show your gratitude.
When you sit down to write a thank-you note, you'll want to consider three factors:
The wording in thank you notes will vary depending on those three factors. However, most thank you notes should be short and sweet, often no more than one or two lines. Below are some guidelines for different scenarios.
Thank you notes are often sent in one of two ways: In person or electronically. When sending a letter in person, the family can drop it off or have it mailed via local postal services. The letter can be hand-written or pre-made. With either option, the home or shipping address of the individual you are sending it to is needed. If you do not already have their address, you can ask them for it. A virtual thank you may work better if you cannot obtain the recipient's address.
Virtual thank you notes can be created in a variety of ways. Common choices are via email or social media. If sending electronically, you will need the person's email address. If you don't have it, simply ask them for it. The message can be tailored to the individual or sent as a general email that is mass sent to everyone on your thank you list.
If sending over social media, having them on social media is important to ensure they see it. Like email, this can be written directly to the individual, or a general post can be made thanking everyone.
A general thank you letter is often shared with everyone that attended the funeral, thanking them for their time and consideration during a difficult time. It is best to keep things general and short in this thank you letter. Below are some examples of things to say:
We’re committed to honest pricing. We don’t charge extra for mileage, device removals or crematorium fees.
The message can be personalized in thank you letters sent to family members or close friends. Include information about your relationship with them, their relationship to the deceased person, a personalized introduction, and more. Some examples you can adapt for your use include the following. Feel free to edit them as you see fit. The examples are guidelines.
It is also best to keep things more general for this thank you letter. Some of the examples mentioned above would work well. However, you can make references to their relationship as well. An example of this could be something like, "Thank you for your attendance. We are grateful that [name of deceased person]'s work-family was able to join the services."
Flowers are a common gift that attendees bring to a funeral or send to a grieving family. They are a great way to express your love and sympathy for the deceased person and their family. If you are not going to send thank you letters to every guest, it is a nice gesture to send them to guests that brought a gift, such as flowers. Below are examples of what to say:
Funerals can often be expensive. Therefore, it is common for some attendees to send cash donations to the family to help relieve some of the financial burdens they may have faced paying for the services. As with flowers, it is a nice gesture to thank people that have done this for you. Here are some examples of what to say in the letter:
Eirene’s team is available 24/7 to provide guidance and answer your questions.
Some family and friends actively participate in the planning and specific aspects of a funeral. Therefore, it is nice to let them know you appreciate all their support for those that helped.
These types of letters are more commonly sent to family and friends. Therefore, it is customary to make these letters more personalized. For example, pallbearers play a meaningful role at a funeral service. So when sending a thank-you note, be sure to acknowledge the importance of their presence and express gratitude for their help. Families can say something like, "Thank you for serving as a pallbearer. You were an important part of [name of deceased person]s life, and we are so grateful you played a significant role in their funeral."
Many close family members and friends may have also helped by running errands, bringing food, setting up, etc. In this case, a thank you letter should acknowledge them for their assistance and express gratitude.
You may also want to send thank-you letters to funeral and cemetery staff, as well as clergy members (if applicable). In this case, you can be more general, thanking them for their assistance throughout the process and for making the funeral special.
Here is an example you can use for this: "Thank you very much to all the staff at _____ funeral home. You helped us make the celebration of [name of deceased person]'s life special."
If you have a question about cremation, ashes or related topics like grief and support, you can ask our experts via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our funeral etiquette articles may also be helpful. To make cremation arrangements click here.