Writing Thank You Cards After the Funeral

Many people often feel at a loss for what to say to those who are helping them get through a difficult time. Our advice: keep it brief and direct. Most people recognize that you have numerous thank you notes to write. They will understand if you keep it straightforward and simple. See examples below.

Now that the funeral services are over, there is still another item to take care of. Since you received emotional or material help from others, it is important to close the circle and honor the moment by thanking those who have given you their time, their support, their sympathy.

Acknowledgement cards are a traditional and thoughtful way to express your gratitude. Feel free to talk to your funeral director about available options. Below you will find some sample responses based on the different personas and types of help you received.


Sending a personal note to any member of the clergy who presided at a service or offered you words of comfort. If you are sending an offering or honorarium, send separately from your note of thanks.


“Dear Dr. Smith: My husband and I thank you for the consolation you gave us during this trying time. The beauty of the services you conducted has helped us tremendously.”

(Note: Dear Father Smith or Dear Dr. Smith is appropriate, but NOT Dear Reverend or Dear Rev. Smith.)”


An Acknowledgment Card to honorary bearers need only contain a brief message of thanks.


“Thank you for your kindness in acting as a bearer for Father. We asked you because you were one of his closest friends. We very much appreciate your willingness to help.”


Letters or Emails

An Acknowledgement Card or response with a few words of appreciation will suffice.


“Thank you for your kind and thoughtful email. It was most appreciated.”



Write a brief personal message on an Acknowledgement Card.


“Thank you for the roses you sent for Dad. They were beautiful and added just the right touch.”



May be acknowledged in the same way as flowers.


“Thank you for your contribution to the Community Hospital in Dad’s memory. It was greatly appreciated and will do much good.”


Flowers Received from an Organization

Send an Acknowledgement Card to the leader of the group. Include in your message reference to the other members.


“Please thank the East Side Rotary Club for the flowers. They were beautiful and greatly appreciated.”


Sympathy Cards

An acknowledgement is not necessary for sympathy cards.


Friends Who Volunteered Cars & Services

A brief personalized note on an Acknowledgement Card is appropriate.


“Dear Bob: Thank you for the use of your car during the service. It was needed and I greatly appreciate your willingness to help.”

“Dear Ellen: You were so kind to stay with Mother after the funeral and help her through the rest of the evening. I greatly appreciate your thoughtfulness and willingness to extend yourself on behalf of others.”

“Dear Tomas: The apple pie you sent me to the house was delicious; thanks so much for your thoughtfulness.”