Losing a family member is a difficult time, but in those times, friends and family come together, offering sympathy and assistance when needed. Acknowledging these gestures of love with a simple card follows proper etiquette, and also allows you and your family to show appreciation for those who offer comfort.
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When considering stationery for acknowledgment cards, choose a card that seems tasteful and best represents you and your family. Many families choose a white card with a simple flower on the front and a blank interior. Many stationery stores carry cards, but you may choose to write out a simple letter on paper, though do try to write the note by hand since this adds a personal element.
If you are unsure who should receive a card, make a list of anyone who sent flowers to your home or funeral chapel. If friends brought dinner or made other thoughtful gestures, send a card to express your thanks. You do not have to send acknowledgment cards to those who sent cards to your family or attended the service. For traditional or religious funeral services, you should also thank the pastor or priest presiding over the service.
Acknowledgment cards and thank-you notes should be sent within two months of the funeral. You may find that sending out cards within a few weeks works best since you will recall the gestures easier than you might a month or two later.
Acknowledgment cards do not have to be lengthy. A few sentences will suffice. If someone made a specific gesture, such as sending flowers or attending the funeral service, simply thank her for the flowers. You may wish to add something special, such as a memory or how the deceased regarded the person. End the letter by expressing your appreciation for the gesture, and close with "Warm regards" or "With love," depending on your level of acquaintance.
You may choose have your family sign the cards while everyone is in town for the service. Set aside a time and have the family gather together. This also gives your family an opportunity to share memories and feelings about the deceased. Another option is to give family members a list of names and addresses and a number of acknowledgment cards. Let the family member write the cards when she feels up to the task. Also consider asking a close friend to help write the notes if you need help.
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