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Writing Thank You Notes

Published: July 12, 2019

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Writing thank you notes is usually one of the very first “after the funeral” tasks you will undertake. You may be surprised to find that your brain/hand coordination is not working so well. You sit there with pen in hand and well-formed thoughts in your head, but somehow it all gets lost between the head and the paper. Don’t despair. This is normal and it’s all part of the grief journey. You are not thinking straight now, but you will again soon. 

First, let’s tackle who gets a “thank you” and then I can give you a few wordy ideas to help you get started. Anyone who made a donation or sent flowers should get a thank you note from a family member. You will also want to send a note to people who helped. Maybe they provided food or took care of the dog for you or picked up people at the airport. All of those folks should receive a note of thanks. You do not need to send notes to people who sent condolence cards, emails, or texts.  

Your words can be brief. No one expects a long letter from you at this time. It is just nice to know that the flowers arrived, or the donation was received. Your kind friends just need to hear thank you. 

Thank you for all your kindness ….  

Your help meant so much to us…. 

We all loved the broccoli, thank you for taking care of us …. 

Your flowers were so beautiful and such a comfort to us …. 

For some, these are written the day after the funeral. Everyone sits around the kitchen table to write the thank you notes and everyone laughs as more than a few notes are torn and tossed in the trash. This may be the first laughter heard in several days.

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