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How to Write a Thank You Letter After Receiving Condolences

Updated March 23, 2017

After a person experiences pain or grief, generally due to a death in the family, friends and family members offer condolences to the person. Condolences are any acts of sympathy toward the person who is grieving, including giving flowers, kind words and support. After the funeral, the person often thanks her friends and family members for the condolences given during this time by writing short, heartfelt thank you letters to them.

Ask some friends for help. Writing thank you notes while you're still grieving is often easier with the help of a close friend or two. Not only can your friends help you remember everyone to thank, but they can take some of the burdens of writing the letters off of you, such as addressing envelopes.

Make a list. Develop a list of all those who offered condolences to you. You may refer to the guest book from the funeral or look through the cards you received. Include everyone that offered sympathy or support to you through this time. You should include pallbearers, clergy and musicians for the funeral as well. Categorise the names by the types of condolences that were offered.

Write thank you notes to those who gave flowers. To write notes for gifts of flowers, tell them that their gifts were very thoughtful and greatly appreciated.

Offer thanks to those who offered help. During times like these, many people help out in various ways. Let the person know that the help she gave was truly appreciated. List the type of help she gave you, such as babysitting, bringing a meal or helping organise the funeral dinner.

Thank those who attended the funeral or sent cards. Many friends and family members attend the funeral or send a card to let you know that they care. These people also should be thanked through a short note. To thank them, let them know that you appreciated their visit or the kind words in the cards they sent. Use phrases like "We were deeply touched by your actions." or "Your words deeply touched my heart."

Sign your name. At the end of each letter, either sign your name or write "From the family of" followed by the deceased person's name.

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About the Author

Jennifer VanBaren started her professional online writing career in 2010. She taught college-level accounting, math and business classes for five years. Her writing highlights include publishing articles about music, business, gardening and home organization. She holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting and finance from St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Ind.