What to Say In a Thank You Note

Wondering what to write in your thank you notes after the funeral?

All you need to write is a simple sentence or two. Write your message in preprinted sympathy cards (add your note along with the printed sentiment), or purchase blank note cards.

It’s always good etiquette to say something sincere and personal. Feel free to use these phrases as a starting point:

Top Tips
Sympathy Thank You NotesTop 7 Tips for Managing Thank You Notes

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…
Thank you for providing a meal to our family! We appreciate friends like you…
Thank you for the support and comfort you provided…
Thank you for the beautiful floral arrangement in honor of ________
We appreciate your thoughtful donation to ____________ in memory of ______________.
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.

Your signature can include other family members. If you’re sending a note to thank someone on behalf of your entire family, signing it “the family of …..” is perfectly acceptable, as it 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.
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What Do I Say in a Thank You Note for a Cash Donation?

It is often awkward to thank someone for giving cash (you should never state the dollar amount given), so we have 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.”

Addressing your acknowledgements

TIP:
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 acknowledgements.

Thank you notes should be sent to people at their own addresses. 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.” However, you would 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” will be 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.

Remember: A simple 1 to 3 sentence thank you is all that is needed. You can purchase sympathy thank you notes that come with a preprinted message or blank note cards for your message. Even if you send the preprinted notes, you should add a brief personal message.

Contributor: Jenny Mertes

Return to: Funeral Etiquette – Sending Thank You Notes


See related topics:

What to Say / What to Do
Offering Condolences
Attending Services
Sending Sympathy Flowers
Making Memorial Donations

Go to Funeral Guide — Index of Topics.