According to proper funeral etiquette, thank you notes should go to anyone who sends a card, flowers or gift to the family. A sincere note will show your friends, family and associates that you appreciate their expressions of support.
Who Gets a Thank You Note?
Many people have a hard time remembering and recalling every instance of generosity during the intense grieving period, so it's a good idea to appoint another family member or good friend to keep track of everything until you are able to gather your thoughts and emotions together.
Consider it proper funeral etiquette to send a thank you card to anyone who has sent flowers, food, gifts or memorial contributions. Don't forget to include the clergy member and the funeral home directors who assisted with the logistics of the funeral services as well. Pallbearers, who have the great honor of escorting the casket, should also receive a thank you note. It is not necessary to send thank you notes to everyone who attended a wake or funeral during the announced hours of the service.
When it comes to sending thank you notes to groups of people, a card for each name is proper etiquette. For example, if the co-workers of the deceased joined together to send a spray of flowers, each name on the card should get a thank you note. Unless the task is impossible, such as flowers sent from a company with hundreds of employees, it is proper etiquette to send a thank you card to each individual, despite the group gift.
When Should the Cards Be Sent?
Funeral thank you note etiquette dictates that thank you notes should be sent out by two weeks after the services. While certain circumstances may prevent such a timely response, certainly any thank you cards sent out within four weeks are still considered appropriate.
What Should Be Said in the Card?
A simple card with a heartfelt message is sufficient to satisfy most funeral etiquette situations. A statement can be printed on the inside of the card and then signed by a family member. Of course, it is always appropriate to include a handwritten note or personalized signature to those who were particularly helpful or generous during the funeral preparations and throughout the service. Mentioning the specific act of service or assistance is also a nice gesture in a handwritten thank you note.
When you are notified that someone has passed away, it's natural to want to give a gift to the deceased's family in their time of grief, but make sure you follow proper funeral gift etiquette.
Most funeral announcements are made through the community newspaper, and certain funeral announcement etiquette rules should be followed. When someone passes away, it is common to make some sort of announcement to the community, as well as to share the funeral arrangement information.