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Bereavement Thank You Notes – An Easy Way to Get Them Done
Bereavement thank you notes don’t have to be a huge hassle if you use the simple method outlined below. Grief is hard! With everything you’ve had to deal with lately, the last thing you need right now is the added burden of social obligations. Some time has passed since the tragedy. Guests from abroad have returned home, funeral flowers have all withered, congratulations and letters of condolence are slowing down. Even though you’re still in the middle of one of the hardest things a human can endure, the rest of the world seems to be returning to normal.
Now what to do with all those flowers, cards and gift baskets you received? Did you appreciate these gestures of sympathy and support?
Now, I know this isn’t exactly high on your to-do list right now. Just breathing can sometimes be an effort. But did you know that responding to messages of compassion can be therapeutic? Comforting? See this task not as a task to be endured, but as an opportunity to reflect on what you have lost and as a focus for all your “grief energy.”
Those who have given to you expect their kindness to be acknowledged. It is mandatory. So let’s get to it! Here’s a method to take care of all your crushes in an evening or two.
I. Prepare a list – First you need to list the name and address of each donor and what they gave (be specific). Buy several packages of standard thank you notes, with the inside blank. Get some nice ones.
II. Ask for help – Remember those people who said “If I can help it at all…”. Well, pick 1 or 2 of your close friends who have offered to help and engage them. Your condolence note must be handwritten (never typed), but there’s no reason why it can’t be written by someone else on your behalf!
III. Have condolences, thank you “barn raising” night – Invite your volunteers and feed them dinner or provide snacks and refreshments.
IV. Examples of thank you notes for the deceased you can use
Here’s a good template to get you started: We (Bill and I) (kids and I) (or just me) want to thank you so much for your thoughtful condolence (card) (gift). Although we are going through a lot right now, your gesture has been noticed and we appreciate the support you have sent. (Now say something specific about the card or gift):
*Your gift of food (cookies) gave us some comfort and helped feed the crowd.
*The sprinkling of lilies was simply lovely and made a comforting addition to the church ceremony.
*Your thoughtful condolence card provided some support and comfort and we all read it.
*Your sympathy basket is truly appreciated and we are still exploring its comforting contents.
Here’s an example of a great, effective, but short thank you note:
Just to thank you for the lovely fruit basket you sent. Although this is a very sad and difficult time for Jim and I, your thoughtful expression of support was greatly noticed and appreciated. We are lucky to have caring friends like you in our time of need.
Thanks again for your kindness,
Although your household is in turmoil, and you must be deeply hurt, you will never regret what you wrote thank you notes to those who gave to you. As difficult and tiring as it may be, it is an expected and polite response to the support provided by friends and family.
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