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Suggestions for a sympathy thank you card

Updated March 23, 2017

Writing and sending personalised cards thanking people for their sympathy and acknowledging their kindness may take much time and effort. Responding in such a way may appear as a grand and kind gesture to all who attended the service or sent a sympathy card. However, not everyone needs to get a sympathy thank-you card. Other than clergy and family, you need only send a sympathy thank-you card if someone sends flowers, brings food, writes a personal letter, has a personal connection, makes a donation, served as a pallbearer, brings a gift or makes a special contribution to the event.

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Suggested Messages

Unless you have a history or deep connection with someone, keep the message short and to the point. A simple note thanking the person, friend or family member for his contribution to the event works best. In the note, mention the recipient's name and include a special memory or simply relate a positive experience with that person. If you want to send a sympathy thank-you card for everyone who attended, simply thank them for coming. A short and simple statement such as, "Thank you for attending Frank's memorial service," or "Thank you for your thoughtfulness during this difficult time," works well.

Buy Blank Cards

Buy several packages of blank cards along with envelopes. The best sympathy thank-you cards include a simple design, sometimes without a pre-printed word or message. Another option might include having a number of cards custom printed with a meaningful photo, a favourite poem, hymn or memorable art. Remember to order envelopes.


Never use a computer to compose a sympathy thank-you card. These cards require the time and personal touch of an individually handwritten note. In these days of e-mails and text messages, knowing a person took the time and spent the effort to personally hand-write a thank-you card means a great deal to people. Adding their names to the personalised message provides a priceless message for those folks who proved sympathetic in a time of need and crisis.

Send Quickly

Don't wait more than a few weeks to get these cards in the mail. If still grieving, find someone close who can handle this for you. If possible, set aside enough time to at least sign the sympathy thank-you cards personally. Look for proper mailing addresses in the guest book. Do not feel obligated to send a personalised thank you card to every person who came by to pay their respects.

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About the Author

Mark Kayo has been a writer for over 30 years and has work published on various websites. He has over 25 years experience writing copy for advertisements, marketing projects, catalogs and television commercials. Kayo has a bachelor's degree in advertising and marketing.

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