General Question

SpringTime's avatar

What is the etiquette on sending thank you cards for receiving sympathy cards for the death of a loved one?

Asked by SpringTime (72points) May 1st, 2010

My mother passed away recently. Her partner held a memorial service. For those who attended the memorial service, my mother’s partner plans to send out thank you cards addressed from all of us. I personally received some sympathy cards, as well as flower and fruit arrangements. I have sent out thank you cards for the flower and fruit arrangements. Should I send out thank you cards to people who sent me sympathy cards? If they came to the memorial service and also sent a sympathy card, they are getting a thank you from my mother’s partner, should I also send a thank you card? I want to do what’s right but not go overboard. Thanks all!

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10 Answers

OreetCocker's avatar

You can usually get away with none, maybe a thanks at the funeral. Most people send mass cards, and in all cases the recipients know that you know that their thoughts are with you. Am really sorry for your loss.

janbb's avatar

It is my understanding that you do not have to send out thank you notes for sympathy cards. I have never received nor sent any.

marinelife's avatar

@janbb is right, as usual.

janbb's avatar

@marinelife My daily affirmation – love to hear it. :-)

lynfromnm's avatar

I wouldn’t expect someone who has just been through an exhausting emotional event to send me a thank you card, and that’s how I usually decide questions of etiquette. How would I feel if….

jbfletcherfan's avatar

No, it’s not necessary to send thank you cards for just a sympathy card. Obviously, if there was a memorial check in there, that requires a card back. But just for a card…no.

gailcalled's avatar

Personally, answering letters and cards and thanking people for donations enabled me to get out of bed in the AM. I certainly did not feel it was mandatory.

thriftymaid's avatar

Don’t. When the card includes advice of a gift to a charity, etc. a thank you note may be in order. But “thank you for the card” is unnecessary.

slb's avatar

No one is really waiting and expecting a thank you card from you at this time, but what I have done is to use the cards provided from the funeral home. They have a nice and simple verse inside and you can simply sign the families name or include a special little note. God Bless You.

Gabby101's avatar

Sorry for your loss – my mother passed away recently as well. I am only planning to send thank you notes to those that made a memorial donation, sent flowers, or dropped off food. There are a couple of people who only sent a card, but they did include letters about my mother and what she meant to them, so I will probably thank them for taking the time to share with us. In general, my rule is to never send a thank you card for a card.

Although you are in mourning, a thank you note for a gift is expected, it is not optional. Others are in mourning too and will worry that you didn’t receive their expression of sympathy if they don’t receive a thank you note. You don’t have to write much unless the person went above and beyond.

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