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From the very first day after your bereavement, people will be doing kind things for you, like bringing meals and flowers or offering assistance. Don’t trust your memory—instead, keep a notebook handy and write these kindnesses down.
Nobody expects you to write a lengthy note. Simply saying something like, “Thank you for visiting me and bringing a meal—I really appreciate you,” will be enough.
Send your thank you notes when you’re ready, without feeling pressured to get this task done right away. Within two or three weeks is just fine. Take longer if you need to.
If a little time has passed but you still feel too stressed or emotional to write your thank you notes, ask another family member or close friend to step in. You can dictate while they write.
You know who they are—the clergy, the pallbearers, the musicians, and those who went out of their way to remember your loved one with a helping hand or a remembrance. You don’t need to thank each person who attended the funeral or sent a card.
If your loved one was especially well-known in the community, or if there was a huge outpouring of support for your family, it may be appropriate to place a “Card of Thanks” notice in the local newspaper. This can be an effective way of reaching out to hundreds of people.
Your thank you notes to the clergy and the musicians (the pianist and soloist, for example) should include an honorarium of $50–$200 for the clergy and $25–100 for musicians. Your church or your funeral home professional can help guide you in giving the right amount.
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